BECOMING A MEMBER
Membership on a Spiritual Basis
The serious, solemn obligations of church membership should be impressed on everyone who applies
for admittance to the church. All should be faithfully taught what it means to become a member of the
body of Christ. Only those giving evidence of having experienced the new birth, and who are enjoying a
spiritual experience in the Lord Jesus, are prepared for acceptance into church membership. Thorough
instruction in the fundamental teachings and related practices of the church should be given to every
candidate for church membership before being baptized and received into church fellowship. Each
person seeking admittance to the church should be informed of the principles for which the church
While there is no stated age for baptism, it is recommended that very young children who express a
desire to be baptized should be encouraged and entered into an instruction program that may lead to
baptism. “The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous
light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and
through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to –the principalities and powers in heavenly
places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.” The Acts of the Apostles , p. 9.
Baptism a Gospel Requirement
The New Testament establishes baptism as the rite for admission to the church. “Go ye therefore, and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:19, 20).
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for
the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
Baptism a Prerequisite to Church Membership “Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His
spiritual kingdom. He has made me a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be
acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Before man can find a
home in the church, before passing the threshold of God’s spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the
impress of the divine name, –The Lord our Righteousness.’ Jeremiah 23:6.
“Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that
they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the
heavenly King. They have obeyed the command: –Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . .
and touch not the unclean thing.’ And to them is fulfilled the promise: –I will receive you, and will be a
“The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those who have newly come to the truth.
None can depend upon their profession of faith as proof that they have a saving connection with Christ.
We are not only to say, –I believe,’ but to practice the truth. It is by conformity to the will of God in our
words, our deportment, our character, that we prove our connection with Him.” Testimonies , vol. 6, pp.
Mode of Baptism Seventh-day Adventists believe in baptism by immersion and accept into membership
only those who have been baptized in me manner. Those who acknowledge their lost state as sinners,
sincerely repent of their sins, and experience conversion, may, after proper instruction, be accepted as
candidates for baptism and church membership.
Membership by Profession of Faith
Individuals who have already been baptized by immersion and whose membership records are not
readily available, will be accepted as members by profession of faith once they publicly announce their
desire to do so and confirm their belief in the doctrines of the church.