The Requirements for Church Membership

The Requirements for Church Membership

Featured in the March, 2011 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

Often I am asked, “What are the requirements for membership in the Ashburn Baptist church?”

Our church has four requirements for membership and no exceptions can be made for any person.

The first requirement for membership in the Ashburn Baptist Church is that you must be a sinner.

This church is for sinners only. The Bible clearly teaches, “There is no one righteous” and “All have sinned” (Romans 3:10, 23) and anyone who is not quite sure that he is a sinner is not quite ready to consider membership in this church.

If you are not a sinner then Christ did not die for you! The Scripture says, “Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). The second requirement for membership in Ashburn Baptist is that you must be a Christian; that is, you must be a sinner who is saved, for the message of the Bible is salvation.

The familiar text tells us, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Just as a birdhouse is for birds, and a Boy Scout troop is for boys, so membership in a Christian church is for Christians only.

Of course, this does not prevent anyone from becoming a member because no matter what you are, you may always, through personal saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, become a Christian. If you are Jewish, you may become a Christian and be eligible. If you are a Muslim, you can become a Christian and qualify for membership. No one is prevented from becoming a member because everyone may have the joyous experience of being born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The third requirement for membership in the Ashburn Baptist Church is that you must be imperfect. All the present members of this church are imperfect people, and we do not want our fellowship disturbed by anyone who feels he is already everything God wants him to be.
Discussing the Christian life, the Apostle Paul said, “Not that I have already attained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”
(Philippians 3:12).

All of us who are now members are in the same fix as the Apostle Paul, still pressing on and we have not yet arrived. If you are a saved sinner who is imperfect, then you would find yourself at home in the membership of this church. But there is one more requirement.
The fourth requirement for membership in the Ashburn Baptist Church is that you must be humble, not perfectly humble, but just practically humble. The prophet asks, “What does the Lord require of you?” and responds, “To walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). We are told to humble ourselves (James 4:10).

Proud people think themselves so strong that they are able to live the Christian life by their own power. Humble people sincerely sense the need for the strengthening fellowship of other believers and show this humility by regularly “meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25) with other Christian people in the services of the church.

A proud person feels he knows everything and consequently does not need teaching. A humble person is keenly aware that there is still much to be learned from the inerrant Word of God and his humility is shown by his willingness to regularly study the Word of God under competent, devout Bible teachers in the Lord’s church. It was Mary who humbly “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said” (Luke 10:39). A humble person is always teachable.

A proud person wants to be served by others, but a humble person is willing to serve as we see our Lord serving by washing the disciples’ feet (John 13:5). No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. If no one served, there would be no church. Proud people feel that they are in this world to see how much they can get other folk to do for them. Those who have some measure of humility feel that life’s highest calling is lowly service. Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).

These are the four requirements for membership in the Ashburn Baptist Church. You must be a sinner who is saved, but still imperfect, and humble. Membership Information Classes are constantly in session in both Chicago and Orland Park. The starting dates of new classes are given in the Sunday bulletin and announced in the public services, and you are welcome to share in these discussions and be fully informed.

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