Who Makes Up the Church?

Who Makes Up His Church?Text: Matthew 28:19

This is the third in a series dealing with the church. We already noticed that Jesus built just ONE church and that His church is to follow His will. In this lesson, we’re going to ask the question: Who makes up His church? As the church is the body of the saved (Ephesians 5:23), we are seeking to know who will be saved.

Those Whom God Adds

  • The universal church is the body of all the saved (Ephesians 5:23) – God is the one who adds people to the church (Acts 2:47)
  • This means that man does not add anyone to the church – therefore, if we want to be added to the church (the body of the saved), we need to listen to what God says about this; not what man might say

Those Who Are Committed to Being Disciples

  • In giving the Great Commission, Jesus told His apostles to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) – a disciples is a learner/follower of Jesus; implies that they are to believe that Jesus is Lord and change their lives to follow Him
  • The work of making disciples in the church began in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:8)
  • Peter taught that Jesus was “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36) – we must believe this (John 8:24; 1:12)
  • Peter also said to “repent” (Acts 2:38) – we are no longer to be slaves of sin, but servants of Christ (Romans 6:16-18)

Those Who Are Baptized

  • In making disciples, the apostles were to baptize them (Matthew 28:19) – not a supernatural act (like baptism of the Holy Spirit); one person could baptize another person
  • Baptism is immersion – it is a burial in water (John 3:5; Acts 8:36; Romans 6:4)
  • Peter said that those who believe and repent must “be baptized” (Acts 2:38) – not presented as optional; people either believed and were baptized or they didn’t believe and weren’t baptized (Mark 16:16); “those who had received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41) and were added to the church (Acts 2:47)
  • Baptism puts us in Christ (Galatians 3:27), in His body (1 Corinthians 12:13), into a state of salvation (1 Peter 3:21) – in the church

Those from Every Nation

  • The Great Commission was to make disciples “of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19) – they were to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15); they were to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and throughout the earth (Acts 1:8)
  • Peter explained that the promise of salvation was for all (Acts 2:39) – we are called by the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:15); the gospel is for all (Mark 16:15)
  • Everyone is welcome (Isaiah 2:2) – no one is excluded (Acts 10:34-35); even the worst of sinners can be saved (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Conclusion

  • The Lord’s church is open to all – we need to make the decision to be part of it
  • We do not join it by doing what man tells us to do
  • We are added to it by doing what the Lord has told us to do

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Government, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Social Issues.