Membership to this great and noble body of Christ is open to all and sundry, to become a member of the body of Christ, there has to be self denial, an acceptanceof his divine works on earth, kept as a reciprocal to his enormous love lavished for mankind. The suffering and death of our Lord Jesus on the cross is for all, irrespective of denomination or religious affiliation and makes it mandatory for all to respond to this overwhelming gesture. Furthermore, he has wiped out the record of our debt to the law, which stood against us, he has destroyed it by nailing it to the cross. He has stripped the sovereignties and ruling forces and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession – Col. 2: 14 – 15.
"wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us. He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross."
"Having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
With this little insight, you can see that devotion and membership to Christ Jesus is for all. When Jesus was arrested by the soldiers, the disciples with the exception of Peter and John deserted him – Jn. 18: 1 – 18.
1Having said these things, Jesus left with His disciples and went across the [a]ravine of the Kidron. There was a garden there, which He and His disciples entered.
2 Now Judas, who was betraying Him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples.
3 So Judas, having obtained the Roman [b]cohort and some officers from the high priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was about to happen to Him, went to them and asked, “Whom do you want?”
5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus said, “I am He.” And Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them.
6 When Jesus said, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again He asked them, “Whom do you want?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you want Me, let these men go on their way.”
9 This was to fulfill and verify the words He had spoken, “Of those whom You have given Me, I have not lost even one.”
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword [back] in its sheath! Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
12 So the cohort and their commander and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him,
13 and led Him to [c]Annas first; for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.
14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.
15 Simon Peter and [d]another disciple were following Jesus. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, so he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the [residence of the] high priest; 16 but Peter was standing outside at the door. So the other disciple (John), who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter inside.
17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not one of this Man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”
18 Now the servants and the officers had made a fire of coals, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. And Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.
For oursake, he has chosen to be in the Tabernacle and now is asking each and everyone of us “can you not watch with me for an hour”? Mt 26:40
"He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?"
He has graciously given us 24hrs a day and if multiplied by seven days, will give you a total of 168 hrs. Out of which he has said, give me atleast 1hr; we shoĺuld respond promptly and avoid selfishness.
Quality of Membership:
The quality must be superb and total because he owns us and everything that we have. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it – Ps. 24:1.
"The earth is Yahweh’s, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell in it."
God is all in all – Eph. 4 :5 – 6
5"one Lord, one faith, one baptism,"
6"one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all, and in us all."
and therefore must be given the best and that is why he said, that you must love him with all your all soul, mind, heart and strength.
It is not enough to say I am a member, action they say, speaks louder than voice. Your commitment is determined by punctuality/regular attendance to preaching the gospel, demonstrating love and other activities observed at various times. Reasonable number of members are lip service and lukewarm and therefore have nothing practically to show for their membership. A lot of people honour me with lip service, whereas their hearts are far from me – Mt. 15:8.
"‘These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."
True and Sincere assessment of one’s devotion and activity in terms of regular attendance, punctuality, active participation indicates the measure of commitment. Many people have been devotees for years but till date, cannot lead prayers due to their irregular attendance of prayer, nonchalant attitude, less interest and lukewarmness. You must have the grasp of what we are doing, at least be able to say some of the prayers off head, for example, daily renewal and morning offering, otherwise you are only a baby member.
Permit me to use this medium to appeal to such people to have a change of heart. Remember where you were before you fail and repent in earnest or else, I will come and take your lampstand from its place – Rev.2:5.
"Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent."
A committed devotee of Christ love is expected to receive that transformational touch and thereby be remolded through the influence and rapour with genuine members of the body. - Mt7:16.4Do not model your behaviour to the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and mature – Rm. 12:2.
"Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God."
We urge you brothers, to admonish those who are undisciplined, encourage the apprehensive, support the weak and be patient with everyone – 1st Thessalonians 5:14.
"We exhort you, brothers: Admonish the disorderly; encourage the faint-hearted; support the weak; be patient toward all."
In addition to these, endeavour to have the gifts of the Holy Spirit as enumerated in Gal5:22
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,"
We need the Holy Spirit in all ramifications, since it is not by might nor by power but by the spirit of God – Zech. 4:6b.
"Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, “This is Yahweh’s word to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says Yahweh of Armies."
You must decrease for him to increase – Jn. 3:30
"He must increase, but I must decrease."
and also expose yourself to be interiorly disposed, for proper guidance, spiritual transformation and enhancement.
Fruits of Commitment:
Faith without good works the scriptures says is dead – Jm. 2:17.
"Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself."
Your commitment must show how many people you have introduced into the association since you became a member. Apart from regular attendance, have you served in any capacity? Your motivational output, conversion of people and financial contributions are also required. Fruits of commitment also include radical approach, enthusiasm and zealousness in our efforts to propagate the devotion.
Finally, those in positions of authority should demonstrate enough maturity, decorum and proper disposition both at home and outside to reflect appropriate leadership qualities which hopefully is expected to transcend through members to influence / enrich families positively.
This is important because until we convincingly enlighten members of the body of Christ and continuity of devotion will almost be impossible. They must be people that are articulate, innovative, broadminded, patient and understanding, prayerful and spiritual giants, for proper and effective co-ordination of activities of the body. They should exploit the talents they have in their centers to discover those that are versatile and willing to work for God. As iron sharpens iron, they have been sharpened, therefore should sharpen others. May our devotion win a place in these two hearts of love, so that on the day of reckoning, our names shall be found written in the book of life amen.