You can’t be in Jesus without being a Member of His body

I make no apologies for saying when someone forsakes the church, they forsake Jesus. But I do make a plea with people so that no one fools you on this fundamental matter – not even yourself!

The idea of being in Jesus, which is where salvation is found, entails that we are actually a member within His body:

Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10)

and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For 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. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”    (1 Corinthians 12:27)

As can plainly be seen from the scriptures delivered to the church by God’s Spirit, if we leave the body, which is the church, out of our life, we leave behind the Head that gives life (i.e. salvation) to the body as a whole and to our soul individually.

So if someone has convinced you that you can enjoy a proper relationship with Jesus without being involved with His church, then I encourage you to reconsider your convictions, for a body part removed from the body becomes a body part removed from the head by default. EA

And [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:25)


  1. OK…back to basics here. When you are speaking of being in the church, are you referring to the body of believers all over the world, or are you talking about a congregation? I believe one can leave a congregation without leaving God, or one can attend at more than one place and still be part of the church. Do you have to go to one church all the time? What if you go to one congregation on Sunday morning and a different one on Sunday night? Or what if one goes to a church of Christ on Sunday morning and a nondenominational church on Sunday or Wednesday night?
    I struggle with this question because I believe what the coC teaches about salvation, but not that everything about its worship is the only way it can be (except I do believe one needs to take communion every Sunday). I love to worship in the coC I attend, but I am also uplifted by churches that have contemporary Christian music with a lively worship style. I fight this temptation all the time because I really love that kind of worship, and have visited those churches at times because I don’t understand how it can be wrong. When I have attended another church, I have always felt guilty afterwards. I don’t know why that is either for sure.

    1. This particular article was speaking toward the mindset of some who believe can be right with God but live in their own world…a world that does not include worshiping with the church, helping other brothers or sisters in Christ, and basically just ignoring the fact that the majority of the New Testament letters they read are actually written to congregations. Sever ties from the body and by default you’re severed from the Head of the church. So to answer your question more specifically, both the local and universal church would apply (Hebrews 10:24-25).

      I’ve seen people get upset at a congregation for not “being there for them” but at the same time they were never (or extremely rarely) ever there for the church themselves. Most of the time the church doesn’t ever know because there’s no way they could know.

      As for the rest of your question, in relation to worship one thing I keep mind (myself not always worshipping the way I do now) is that worship is about what we bring to God and not necessarily what we get from worship. Also, worship is something that is regulated by God (John 4:24), hence what we think isn’t always what God desires in relation to what’s offered as worship (1 Samuel 15 … note specifically verse 15). Unfortunately (without overstepping and judging intentions) I believe most worship services are done with the “worshipper” in mind instead of the One who is to be worshipped.

      1. I have only experienced good things with my congregation so far, and I hope it never comes to a situation where I felt I have to leave. That would break my heart. I love the people and think they love me. I think they try to worship God the right way. So I am very happy there.
        But I also have visited other churches (not cofC) for special events. I’m trying not to do that now until I can understand if it is right or wrong, but I’m always being invited and tempted to go.
        I’m an emotional person, I tend to like worship that is on a more emotional level. Hard to describe. When I was in the RCC, we had a group within the church that was Charismatic (it was permitted by the Vatican). They mostly met in private prayer groups.
        I became attracted to that type worship and guess part of that is still with me. That’s why it is so tempting for me to go to worship events that have these types of services.
        I hope these kind of comments are not inappropriate on this site. If so just tell me and I will stop. I just have a zillion questions, and am trying to work out of a maze of beliefs and get to the basic truth. I just kind of put everything out there because I feel that the only way God is going to teach me the truth is to be honest about my beliefs. I am a baptized believer who is eternally grateful to Jesus for dying to save me from my sins. I believe baptism was the point at which I was forgiven and became a new creation. I also believe we should take communion every Sunday. There are very few churches that do that. I wish there was a simple plan that told you everything to do and was not confusing.

      2. Nothing wrong with questions. We don’t learn if we don’t ask and look at the scriptures together. Confusion is a sad side effect of denominationalism.

  2. I never thought of worship as what we bring to it rather than what we get out of it. That makes sense when I look at some examples of worship in the Bible. Just thought about how the people who followed Moses into the desert worshipped God in the right way, but as soon as he went up the mountain to receive the 10 commandments, the people made a golden calf idol and started a frenzy kind of worship that pleased themselves rather than God. Could this be what we do when we worship to please ourselves? How can we know for sure that our worship is pleasing to God? Sometimes it can feel so spiritually good to raise my hands and just praise God when I am singing. I don’t understand how this can be wrong, but some people think it is. I don’t know how to even approach studying this, but I want to. I worry that I will never find answers to my questions because there are just too many and too much too untangle.
    But I also know God is good and will guide me into the truth if I seek Him.
    Is there a simple way to unravel all these past teachings. Should I approach it by dissecting each question one at a time? What should I do?

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