One is not baptized into any particular sect or denomination. Rather, through baptism as taught in the Bible one becomes a member of the spiritual Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27 1 Corinthians 12:27Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
American King James Version×; Ephesians 2:19-22 Ephesians 2:19-22 19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
American King James Version×).
In 1 Corinthians 12:13 1 Corinthians 12:13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
American King James Version×we find that “by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body —whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”
This body is called the Church of God (Acts 20:28 Acts 20:28Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
American King James Version×). Membership in this Church is granted by God upon genuine repentance and baptism and is not determined by men or human organizations. The Greek word for “church” is ekklesia, denoting a called-out assembly. Simply put, God calls those He chooses out of this society to be part of the spiritual body that is His Church.
Jesus said His disciples, or followers, would need to be taught (Matthew 28:19-20 Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version×). In Ephesians 4:11-13 Ephesians 4:11-13 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
American King James Version×Paul explained: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
We see here that the Church, as the body of Christ, has an obligation and responsibility to help Christians grow spiritually, which requires working together under the guidance of called and faithful ministers. God admonishes us to strive for unity and recognize the need we have for each other (1 Corinthians 12:12-25 1 Corinthians 12:12-25 12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 No, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
American King James Version×; Ephesians 4:1-3 Ephesians 4:1-3 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
American King James Version×).
Finding a church—a called-out group of believers—in which we can learn sound doctrine and fellowship with people of like mind is important in staying on the road to eternal life.
Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.
American King James Version×tells us, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We in the United Church of God recognize the need to provide opportunities for God’s people to assemble and receive biblical instruction and fellowship. Meeting regularly with God’s people will be a vital aid to your spiritual growth.
Information on how to find the nearest congregation of the United Church of God can be found at the end of this booklet. We meet in locations all around the world. Visitors are always welcome. If you’d like to learn more, read or download your free copy of the booklets The Church Jesus Built and This Is the United Church of God .