What is the church?
The church of Christ is made up of all and only those who believe in Jesus Christ. The local church is a body of believers, who are filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14), who assemble together in submission to Christ and one another in love. It is led by elders (pastors/overseers/bishops) who are commissioned by Christ (Acts 20:28) to lead the church only in the path of God’s word (See 2 Timothy 4:1-5), and who will give an account (Heb 13:17). Deacons are faithful and mature men, who serve the needs of the body as they occur.
The church is made up of many members but is one body. 1 Cor 12:12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Each and every member is essential to the health of the whole (See 1 Cor 12), regardless of age or any other temporal characteristic. The standard of behavior in the church is love, as seen in Christ himself. 1 John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (Biblical love is when we by grace alone keep the commandments of God towards him and one another. 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.)
Christ is Lord over his church. Eph 1:22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. He governs his church by his law, which is holy and righteous and good (Romans 7:12). We believe that we have the liberty to do that which Christ calls us to do in his word, but not go beyond it (Luke 6:46).
Believers in Christ are encouraged to consider how to stir other believers up to love and good works. This is to be done when we meet with other believers, an activity that we are not to neglect. Hebrews 10:24-25 In addition, there are many obligations that we have to other Christians, and many ways of reflecting Christ that can only be fulfilled by meeting with other believers.
Some examples of love are…
Encouraging each other to be the salt of the world– Mark 9:49-50
Loving one another (which is the test of being a disciple)– John 13:34-35, John 15:12, etc.
Show honor to each other– Romans 12:10
Associate with the lowly among us– Romans 12:16
Live in harmony with one another– Romans 15:5
Welcome one another– Romans 15:7
Instruct one another– Romans 15:14
Be united in the same mind with each other– I Corinthians 1:10
Come together to eat with one another– I Corinthians 11:33
Care for one another– I Corinthians 12:25
Comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace — II Corinthians 13:11
Serve one another– Galatians 5:13
Bear one another’s burdens– Galatians 6:2
Bearing with one another in love– Ephesians 4:2
Act like we are members one of another– Ephesians 4:25
Practice kindness to one another– Ephesians 4:32
Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs– Ephesians 5:19-20
Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ– Ephesians 5:21
Teaching and admonishing one another– Colossians 3:16
Abounding in love for one another– I Thessalonians 3:12
Encourage one another– I Thessalonians 4:18
Build one another up– I Thessalonians 5:11
Do good to one another and to everyone– I Thessalonians 5:15
Exhort one another every day– Hebrews 3:13
Confess sins to one another and pray for one another– James 5:16
Show hospitality to one another– I Peter 4:9
Use our gifts from God to serve one another– I Peter 4:10
Show humility toward one another– I Peter 5:5
God equips us for ministry to the church, through the church
The Bible tells us that Christ gave grace and gifts to every believer, but that the gifts may differ. (Eph. 4:7-8). The Bible also says that every believer needs other believers and is needed by them. We are together one body, and each of us is a part of the greater body of Christ. Each of us is to use his or her gifts to build up the body of Christ in the local church. (I Corinthians 12:14-27, Romans 12:4-8)
Membership at Northwest Baptist Church
The Bible says that we are “one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:5)
The church is called to do three things as commanded by Christ in the Great Commission. It is to make disciples by sharing the gospel. It is to baptize disciples who have come to faith in Christ. It is to train baptized disciples to observe all that Christ commanded. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)
It is our desire to fulfill the Great Commission in every member of NWBC. Anyone who believes in Christ and desires membership at NWBC will be baptized (unless they were already baptized as a believer). All members of the church, as disciples of Christ, are encouraged to be trained to observe all that Christ commanded. We believe the characteristics of this training are clearly given in God’s word (See The Teacher Disciple Model in Scripture.)
To reflect that truth, we at Northwest Baptist Church acknowledge our obligations to one another and dependency on each other through formal church membership. This is really just a way of acknowledging what the Bible says is already true about us as we meet together regularly and care for one another. However, going through a process of becoming an “official” member of the church reminds us of the nature of our relationship to one another.
If you think you would like to join us…
Here is a link to a Membership Application
If you have any questions, please email us by clicking the link below.
Unless otherwise cited, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ® (ESV ®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2015 Northwest Baptist Church