What does it take to be a member of a local assembly of Jesus followers (like SojoS)? Repentance, baptism and a life of choosing wisely in humility.
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
Jesus went about saying to repent. The Greek expression is to really change your mind. What are we to change our minds about? The Kingdom of God is at hand! Do you believe that God’s Kingdom is here and now and that Jesus is the King? If so, have you put your allegiance and trust in him? As Paul says:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, 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. (Romans 10:8-9)
Jesus believed that God’s Kingdom was where our allegiance should be. He did not need to RE-pent (change from wrong thinking to right) but he still needed to be baptized. John the Baptist was shocked because everyone he baptized was turning from wrong thinking and action toward right faith and behavior. But the point of baptism that we share with Jesus is the second half; the moving toward. Jesus said,
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. (Matthew 3:15)
We are immersed into our active allegiance to Jesus as Lord in Baptism. If we have had other allegiances, we renounce our loyalty to them and declare our trust to solely rest in Jesus as the Captain of our Salvation, our King. It is how we join the counter-revolution to see the creator overcome fallen creation with new creation; in us and then through us.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)
What is that newness of life? A series of choices. We declare our allegiance (trust, faith, confidence, loyalty) to Jesus as King (Lord, Kurios) and we are expected to live accordingly. That requires growing up. We do that as individuals, but not alone. We are individual members of a family and we grow together.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
So, if you have declared your faith in Jesus as Lord and demonstrated it in baptism and growing in his ways, you can choose to join with us. We are specifically aiming to help young adults (teens) grown in their faith. Though it is not a requirement to be a teen or connected to a teen, we must be clear that our focus is on teens and we might not meet the needs or expectations as well as another church assembly might. By choosing to join you are expected to come to our gatherings with the question: “How can I grow through helping others grow?” You should be diligent not only in your attendance, but also in your preparation and in your participation.
Prayerfully consider whether you should be a member of SoJoS Church 2007/8!