The Church of God of Prophecy holds the biblical principle of genuine repentance toward God (an individual’s experience of salvation) as its qualification for Church membership in accordance with the early church’s practice and God’s own activity in adding to the church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Corinthians 12:13). By genuine repentance is meant Godly sorrow for sin, confessing, turning from, denouncing and forsaking sin, and exercising faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ “who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10). Salvation is both instantaneous (new birth, regeneration) and the all-inclusive work of redemption, beginning with regeneration and culminating with the glorified body (Hebrews 9:28). In terms of “being added to the church,” the instantaneous aspect of salvation is evident, and a public commitment (“I will/I do”) to the Church covenant as administered by an authorized Church of God of Prophecy minister, in an appropriate church setting, is necessary. The covenant reads:
Will you sincerely promise in the presence of God and these witnesses that you will accept this Bible as the Word of God, believe and practice its teachings rightly divided—the New Testament as your rule of faith, practice, government, and discipline, and walk in the light to the best of your knowledge and ability?
Membership in the Church denotes acceptance, which is the basic need of every new believer. Ministry leadership and the Church must endeavor to give members this sense of belonging. The Church also advocates that new members be immediately placed in an effective, ongoing, discipleship process by the pastor and local church (Acts 2:42), a process that includes nurturing and discipline, to help them become mature (2 Peter 3:18), discover the spiritual gift or gifts, which will be exercised through them for the edification of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians, chapters 12, 13, 14), and to learn to make disciples of others (Matthew 28:19, 20). As we continue in the harvest, a program of extensive discipleship requiring great wisdom and loving care by leadership and people will help all our members mature in Christ.