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Definition

Church membership concerns belonging to or being a part of the church of Jesus Christ. It involves different concepts of the church, entry requirements, and the responsibilities and privileges of membership.

Summary

In a time when churches are either discounting or re-emphasizing church membership, it is important to consider some fundamental understandings of membership from theological, historical, and denominational perspectives. This article explores membership in relationship to five issues: (1) different perspectives on continuity and discontinuity between the people of God prior to the coming of Jesus Christ and those after his coming; (2) the universal church and local churches; (3) churches that baptize infants (paedobaptism) and those that baptize believers (credobaptism); (4) responsibilities and privileges of members; and (5) removal of people from, and restoration of them to, church membership.

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