This page examines the question of whether or not someone can be saved outside of a church. Does one have to be a church member to be saved?
In Acts 20:28 it says that the church of the Bible was purchased by blood. I Corinthians 6:19-20 says "you are not your own? For you were bought at a price;" The purchase price was the blood of Christ. If the church of the Bible was bought by blood, those not members of that church are not bought by blood. Few of those who say you don't need to be a member of the Bible church to be saved would say you are saved without the blood of Christ. If you do not need to be a member of any church God spent His Son's blood for a non-essential purchase.
Not only was the church blood bought the church is also where salvation is found.
Ephesians 5:23 says that Jesus is the Savior of the body. Colossians 1:18 says the "body" is the church. If Christ is the Savior of the body, the church, one must be inside the church to be saved.
One must be in the church to be saved because the church is where man is reconciled to God. Ephesians 2:16 says "and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity." This passage clearly says Jesus went to the cross to reconcile men to God into one body. We have already seen that body is the church of the Bible. (Colossians 1:18) We must be reconciled to God to be saved, that fact is a given admitted to even by those who say we do not need to be a member of any church to be saved. The Bible says reconciliation to God is in the body and that body is the church of the Bible.
Man cannot be saved outside of the church because Christ will present it to himself. (Ephesians 5:27) If we are not members of that church we cannot expect Christ to bring us to him.
We cannot be saved outside of the church because the Bible says the saved are in the church. (Acts 2:47) To be saved in the church of the Bible was to be added to it by the Lord. Prior to being saved the 3000 were lost and outside the church. Once saved they are in the church. Since the saved are in the church, one must be a member of the church to be saved. If one is not a member of the Bible church then one is not included among the saved.
We cannot be saved outside of the church because the church is the household, the family, of God and children of God belong in the church. (Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 4:17) Jesus says "whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 20:50) We are the children of God. (Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 3:26) We cannot be saved outside the house of God, the church, the body, the family of God. God has no illegitimate children.
We cannot be saved outside the fold. Fold is another word for flock and the flock is the church and Jesus is the shepherd. (John 10:9; Acts 20:28) Salvation is only found in the church.
We cannot be saved outside of the church because we cannot be saved without being justified. (Romans 8:30; Colossians 3:15; Colossians 1:18) The called are justified. The called are in the body and the body is the church. If we are not in the church we are not justified.
In conclusion, all the saved are in the church of the Bible. If you are not in the church of the Bible you are not saved no matter how religious or right with God you feel. One cannot judge one's spiritual condition by feelings. The Bible has many cases where one felt right but was spiritually wrong. Only the Bible is a dependable guide.
If you are going to be saved you must be in a church. If you are going to be saved you must be in the church of the Bible, Christ's church. To be in a Bible church it needs to be founded by the right person at the right time, Christ. Any other church is product of man and not God. Denominations are founded far too late and with the wrong founders.
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