Fulfilling the great commission requires being baptized and telling others to be baptized. Peter commanded Cornelius to be baptized (Acts 10:48). And Luke 7:30 states plainly the implications of not being baptized saying, “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.”
Baptism is the prerequisite God requires before He adds a Christian to His church. Acts 2:17 makes it clear that God added to His church. Baptism does not add you to His church. And unlike believing and repenting, baptism is a work that can be done by the lost. Works cannot save your soul (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The book of Acts, being a record of the early church, is very clear that God expects every Christian to be a church member. More specifically, God wants every Christian to conduct their ministry through His local churches. Acts 2:41 shows that everyone who received the Gospel message was baptized and added to the church. This is the precedence set for every Christian.
There are many excuses for not joining a church, but ask yourself this: “If the church is not important, why did Jesus build it and include baptism in the great commission?”
Ephesians 4:11-16 explains the importance of the church. In particular, verse 12 says the God built His church for us, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Attacks on the church the Jesus built are part of Satan’s strategy to confuse Christians and to keep them away from church. Convincing Christians that they are justified in disobeying God’s word is a devious plan to divide and conquer. The church is weaker because it is lacking a complete set of members, and Christians are weaker individually because the are without a church to serve.
Read the following books to get a Biblical perspective on the church. It is a vital resource given to you by God, so it is worth your time to learn what the Bible has to say about God’s church.
- The Local, Visible Nature of the Church ( Spanish), Today’s confusion about what the church is has weakened the saints and local churches. This book gives a brief history of how the doctrine of the church corrupted and then categorizes and explains every Bible verse that describes the church to give students insight into the difference between the family of God and the church of God.
- Understanding the New Testament Church ( Spanish), Insight is revealed by this study comparing the old testament house of witness (Israel) with the new testament house of witness (church). The ordinances are explained, and readers learn how God uses the church to build the saints and preserve truth on earth.
- Finding the Right Church ( Spanish), “Which church is the right church for me” is a frequent question. This study examines the doctrines and historical principles necessary to finding the right church.
- MBBC Discipleship ( Spanish), Grasping and fulfilling a vision requires an understanding of the what, why, who, and how of the vision. MBBC’s discipleship ministry explains its mission and goals for each member.