How can I get Baptised or become a Member?
Firstly a Word about Church Membership
The Church is the Body of Christ and is composed of all true believers in Christ throughout all time and in every place (Romans 12:5). A local church, like Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni, is a visible manifestation of the Church in a particular place at a particular time. The Church, and the local church, are made up of people not buildings.
We see the inauguration of the Church, and the establishment of a local church, in Acts 2:41 when after Peter preached the Gospel to the Jews in Jerusalem, “those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them.” Acts 2:47 says, “And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.” In Acts 4:4, “many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000”, and Acts 5:14 says that “Believers were added to the Lord in increasing numbers—crowds of both men and women.”
All that to make this point, the church was a visible, identifiable entity that “believers” were “added” to. The local church in Jerusalem knew who was in and who was out (1 Corinthians 5:1–13).
At Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni church membership is defining who’s in our local church. It’s about “believers” being “added” to our number.
Secondly a Word about Baptism
The Greek word baptizo means ‘submerge’ or ‘immerse’. Baptism, by definition, and demonstration in God’s Word, is an act of immersion in water (Mark 1:10; Acts 8:36, 38). Only those who have believed that Jesus died for their sins, rose from the grave and have repented are to be baptised, as a precursor to local church membership (Acts 2:36-41; Acts 16:29-34).
Believer baptism symbolizes identification with Jesus Christ and His Church and is an expression of our obedience to Him as Lord. Believer baptism pictures a believer’s death to sin, burial and subsequent resurrection to new life in Christ (Romans 6:3-4).
Believer baptism is not a step of salvation but is an outward symbol of an inward reality. All who believe are commanded to go through the waters of baptism in obedience (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus Christ commanded two ordinances be observed by His church: the Lord’s Supper and Believer’s Baptism.
Believer’s Baptism is for believers; that naturally excludes unbelievers, infants and children who have not come to faith (Matthew 28:19 – 20; Acts 8:36).
Believer’s Baptism is by immersion; that naturally eliminates pouring or sprinkling (Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38).
Believer’s Baptism is an act of obedience not a step to salvation. We represent ourselves with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4 – 5, Colossians 2:12).
Believer’s Baptism is requisite to church membership. The book of Acts paints a consistent pattern of salvation, baptism then church membership (Acts 2:41; Acts 16:15, 33, 40).
So, as an act of obedience to Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour after salvation you’re to be baptised, by immersion, as a sign of your association with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
So, How can you get Baptised and Join Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni?
Well it’s simple really, believe, be baptised, be added. The adding happens at a General Meeting of the members of the church after a church service every three months in February, May, August and November. The baptising happens during a church service preceding the General Meeting. To help you through the process we run mandatory membership classes over a few weeks.
|Week 1||Sharing your faith with a Friend – Your Testimony of Salvation|
|Week 2||What are the Marks of a Healthy Church? – the community we aspire to be|
|Week 3||What are the Marks of a Healthy Member? – the individuals we aspire to be|
|Week 4||What is a Baptist? – the distinctives we aspire to hold|
|Week 5||The Responsibilities of Membership|
|Week 6||Baptism Sunday|
|Week 7||Quarterly General Meeting and induction of new members|
What’s covered in the Membership Classes?
Our members pray for the leaders and fellowship, attend services and events, serve the Lord and each other in practical ways, give proportionally, anonymously, cheerfully, sacrificially and regularly and are involved in evangelism (read more here).
In the classes we work through a booklet Exploring the Church over three to four weeks. The booklet is broken down into What is a Healthy Church, What is a Healthy Church Member and What is a Healthy Baptist Church (download the PDF here).
We also distribute and introduce our church constitution. Our church constitution clearly lays out our Statement of Belief, how membership works, how church discipline works, how meetings work, how the leadership operates, finances and other details important to the smooth operation of the church (download the PDF here).
Lastly we distribute, with the expectation of receiving back, a short Bible study called How can I Share my Faith as a Friend. We use this booklet as a platform to gauge the profession of potential members. It is also the preparation booklet for potential baptismal candidates as it enables them to think through their testimony before presenting it to the church (download the PDF here).
If you’re interested in getting baptised or joining Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni as a member you need to express you desire to any one of the elders in person or by writing to them. And then make yourself available from this Sunday, after the service, for membership classes.
We’re excited about the way the Lord is growing our community and we’re looking forward to you joining us on His mission.