Many people have been saved and have truly come to know Christ after having been sincere, religious “church members” for years. Though faithful supporters of some earthly church organization they had never experienced the truth of II Cor. 5:17: “If any man [be] in Christ there is a new creation.”It is possible to be a member in good standing of a church organization, yet be outside the one true Church of which the Bible speaks.
This is because the true Bible Church is not an organization, much less a political state. It is a living organism, a spiritual body, with a living Head and living members. Again and again St. Paul, by divine inspiration, calls the Church, the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:5; I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30).
It should be observed too, that the true Bible Church has one Head — not a man on earth, but the glorified Christ in heaven (Eph. 1:22; 4:4,5; 5:23; Col. 1:18). Nowhere in Scripture do we read that any man is to act as His earthly representative as Head of the Body.
How, then, do we become members of this one true Bible Church, the Body of Christ? First, we must acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in God’s sight, for Ephesians 2:16 relates how Christ died for sinful men “that He might RECONCILE both [Jew and Gentile] to God in one Body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Thus, when believing sinners are RECONCILED to God by faith in Christ, they are REGENERATED, given a new life, by the Spirit, and by the Spirit are BAPTIZED into the Church, the Body of Christ.
Titus 3:5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”
I Corinthians 12:13: “For BY ONE SPIRIT ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY”.
Every one of us should ask himself: “Have I been baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ?” Those who have not, do not belong to the one Church which God recognizes. But membership in the true Church is still open. Simply, but sincerely, trust Christ as your Savior. He is the Head of the Church. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Then associate yourself with some local assembly where Christ is honored and the Bible taught, rightly divided. We will be glad to suggest such a place of worship.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.