Becoming a Member of God's Church

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Becoming a Member of God's Church

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First, God must call or draw you to Christ (John 6:44-45 John 6:44-45 [44] No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. [45] It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.
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, John 6:65 John 6:65And he said, Therefore said I to you, that no man can come to me, except it were given to him of my Father.
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). Then you become a member of God’s Church when “the Spirit of God dwells in you,” as Paul put it. He explains that “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9 Romans 8:9But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
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). “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14 Romans 8:14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
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).

Paul also wrote, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized [immersed, inserted] into one body” (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.
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). That “one body” is “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27 1 Corinthians 12:27Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
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). Christ’s “body . . . is the church” (Colossians 1:24 Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
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).

How does one receive God’s Holy Spirit? As was explained in the last chapter, once a person believes the Bible, has repented of his sins and has been baptized “for the remission [forgiveness] of sins,” he will “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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) through the laying on of hands of God’s ministry. Receiving the Holy Spirit sets apart or sanctifies the convert as a new child of God. That is why the Bible frequently refers to members of God’s Church as saints (1 Corinthians 1:2 1 Corinthians 1:2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
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)—that is, those sanctified or set apart to God.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, “For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2 2 Corinthians 11:2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
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). God’s forgiveness cleanses us of sin, and the indwelling of God’s Spirit imparts God’s righteousness. This is how we become saints or spiritual virgins betrothed to Christ.

At the return of Christ, the saints will be raised in a resurrection to eternal life and glory (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 [13] But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. [14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. [15] For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. [18] Why comfort one another with these words.
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; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 [50] Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. [54] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
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; Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
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). The “marriage of the Lamb” to His betrothed Bride will then take place (Revelation 19:7 Revelation 19:7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.
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). The Church of God will then enter the Kingdom of God!

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