In order to receive the benefits of being a member of the Lord's church, one must first become a member. In this study we'll briefly review a few of the benefits of membership in the Lord's body and how one becomes a member.
Benefits of membership
We've mentioned only 2 of the benefits of membership in the Lord's church. But consider the significance of the two we've discussed. No spiritual blessings are outside His church, and one cannot be saved without being a member of the church built by Jesus. These are benefits any reasonable person would crave. But how does one become a member of His church? Please return to Acts 2:47. How did Luke tell us those who were being saved became members of Christ's church? They were added. How do many (if not most) religious organizations grant membership today? Prospective members join the organization. Let's consider the importance of the difference between being added to and joining a church. If I'm added to some organization, who has the final authority granting my membership? It's not I! Some person or persons has been given authority to determine who is fit to become a member and who isn't. However, if I join an organization I do so under whose authority? Mine! I decide if the group is right for me, and declare myself a member if I feel it is. In the Lord's church I cannot declare myself fit to join the other members of His body. Jesus decides if I meet the qualifications. If I do, then He adds me to the membership roll of His body. What qualifications does He require? One must be saved. But how do I know if I'm saved? I have to look to the requirements for salvation. But where do I find these requirements? In the Bible. If I have met the requirements for salvation then I know I have been added to His church. Again consider how Jesus adds every saved person to His church. If I'm saved, I've been added. On the other hand, I can know that I'm not a member of His church. If I've followed some pattern for salvation other than that we have recorded in the scriptures then I know I'm not saved and therefore am not a member of His church. In such a state I have no access to any spiritual blessing.
It's beyond the scope of this study to consider the first principles one must obey to receive forgiveness of sins. Please link to my study on salvation should you have any questions.