What Is A Christian?
A Christian is a person who has put their faith in Jesus Christ of the Bible. We accept that Jesus is the Son of God, and by believing in Jesus we are saved from sin and brought into a right relationship with God.
The Bible says it like this: “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Romans 3:22-24).
And again: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
A person is not a Christian because of the good things we do, but by their faith in Jesus as the Son of God and Lord of their life. However, a Christian lives life differently once they have put their faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible says this:
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”
If you’d like to start a new life in Jesus Christ, you can pray this prayer:
“Dear God in Heaven, I believe you sent your son Jesus to earth to pay for my sins, by dying on the cross. I believe you raised Jesus up from the grave. I now choose to trust Jesus to be the Lord and Leader of my life. I give my life to you, and receive the new life you have for me. Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, please let us know by clicking here.
What is Baptism?
Jesus instructed his followers to teach his message around the world, and to baptize these new disciples. Baptism is when a new believer in Jesus is momentarily fully immersed in water in front of the church. Baptism is a symbol of “dying” to our old life without Christ, and being raised to new life with Christ (Romans 6:1-4). According to Acts 2:38, we are to “repent and be baptized”. That means baptism is to follow one’s decision to believe in and follow Jesus.
At Bethany, baptism requires attending a baptism class and being prepared to share a brief personal testimony of your conversion experience.
What is Church Membership?
Church membership is a formal commitment to be a part of a particular church family. It includes a commitment to get involved in serving and participating consistently as well as the privilege of voting at the annual meeting (the church is a non-profit society, and required to have annual meetings). While the Bible does not use the term “church membership”, the Bible does teach that a baptized believer is a part of the church as the body of Christ. We believe this is expressed in a formal commitment to a local church family.
To join membership, you must be a baptized believer in Jesus, having been baptized as a believer not an infant, be in agreement with our statement of faith, and attend a membership orientation. To leave membership one simply notifies a pastor or church leadership. For example, we encourage a member who moves away to quickly establish a membership relationship in a church in their new location, rather than remaining a member with us, where they no longer attend.