Acts 2:42 "So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls."
1. A regenerate heart.
Excerpts from Edward T. Hiscox's "New Directory for Baptist Churches" on the subject of regenerate church membership
In order to make this fellowship real and personal to each, the new-comer who seeks admission to their company must give them the evidence that he, too, has been born of the Spirit, and become an heir of God.
Now let me stop the reader for just a moment to reflect on what we have read thus far. According to Hiscox, those who desire membership in the local church must had been necessarily born-again by grace through faith. The evidence of such a miraculous work of God will show up in their conduct toward the cross and the character of their life. Such evidence is confessed freely and verbally by the one desiring to join the church. Passages such as Romans 10:8-10, Titus 2:11-15 and 2 Peter 1:3-11 bring to mind these evidences of one's attitude toward the cross, changed character and confession before others of their said faith in Jesus Christ. Hiscox continues below...
"He who remains silent, and can bear no testimony to the loving kindness of the Lord, gives small reason to believe that he is a child of God. The declaration of those who experience this spiritual transformation in all ages, climes and conditions, is substantially the same: " Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul." — Ps. 66:16. And thus is realized the declaration: " With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth con- fession is made unto salvation." — Rom. 10:10.
Without a confession of saving faith in Christ, and a profession of pardon and peace through the blood of the Covenant, there can be no spiritual fellowship, and membership in the Church would be little more than a pretense.
Thus we close out today's post. I pray these past several posts have proven helpful to the reader in understanding where Baptists come from in understanding the Biblical teaching on regenerate church membership. Tomorrow we will consider where believer's baptism factors into membership in the local church.