Should churches have stringent requirements for membership? The New Testament does not appear to require much. Say you believe in Jesus and you’re in.
When the people were gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses gave them the word of God. “He took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people” (Exodus 24:7). The book of the covenant was at least Exodus 21, 22, and 23. These are three extensive chapters listing explanations of the Ten Commandments that are given in Exodus 20. This seems overbearing. Why this list of requirements, all these stipulations?
What was the reaction of the people? “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” (Exodus 24:7). The people agreed with the requirements of God for membership in His visible body.
Christ later gave the Great Commission. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Membership in the company of the disciples requires baptism. It also requires a willingness to learn all that Jesus Christ teaches. Think about it. Disciples of Christ must be willing to pledge, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”
Click here and listen to a message called, “A Covenant of Church Membership.”