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What does it mean to be a member of a church?

To be the member of a Christian church means that you believe in that which the Bible teaches us about Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that there is eternal life after death, and that our eternal destiny will be decided by a judgment in which God will evaluate our lives and decide whether we will spend eternity in heaven or hell.

The Bible also teaches that, because of our sinfulness, all of us are destined to go to hell, but God, in His mercy, sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty that we owe for the sins that we have committed, and that having faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ will save us from our fate.

Some people think that the Biblical account of the life of Jesus Christ is just a story or a myth. Some people actually think that they should be able to go to heaven on their own merit, because they think that the best people will get into heaven and that they are no worse than anyone else. The Apostle Paul tells the Romans that many Jews don’t actually believe in Jesus and think that they are righteous, meaning that they think that they have followed God’s law well enough to go into heaven on their own merits. Paul says, in Romans 10:1-5:

1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Some people want to live, in the next life, receiving the rewards that they earned according to their own good deeds. They don’t recognize that although they have done good deeds, that they have also committed sin, that their good deeds don’t cancel out their sins, and that God will condemn them for their sins. We who are saved and are members of a church are trusting in Jesus Christ to save us from the penalty of our sins, as that was the purpose of His death. Paul continues, in Romans 10:6-13:

6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth [that Jesus is Lord] and [if you] believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

So what must I do to be saved?

The first thing that we must do to be saved is to call on the Lord.

We have to believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord and has been raised from the dead, and then we have to confess it, that is, we must tell others that we believe. Once we do that, once we believe in Jesus Christ and confess Him, we are saved from the penalty of sin by His sacrifice on our behalf, and we are going to Heavenly Holy City rather than the Lake of Fire when we die, and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit from God, who helps us to understand the things that God says in His Word and reminds us of our obligation to do the things that God wants us to do. Jesus Christ’s death was a great enough sacrifice so that everyone can be saved, but everyone is not going to be saved. Only those who believe in His Word, in the truth of the history written in the Bible, will be saved.

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