Desiring to become a member of a local church is not an unimportant decision; even more, it should not be a decision that is accepted casually by the church. Therefore, many churches have a process of sorts to bring people through before they’re officially accepted as a church member in order to ensure that those deisiring are making their decision with full knowledge and in full truthfulness (at least as far as they and the leaders can tell).
A.N. Martin speaks about one pastor who asked two questions to those desiring to become church members:
One of the old (pastors) used to ask those who aspired to…church membership, two questions.
Firstly, “What has Christ done for you?” He wanted to see if they understood the objective basis upon which God received sinners. He wanted to see if they understood that men are accepted before God on the basis of the work of Jesus Chris plus nothing. And if it was clear to him that they did not think in any way that they were accepted by virtue of their repentance, their tears, their works, but solely upon the merits of Christ.
Then he would ask them the second question, “What has Christ done in you?” You know what He has done for you, now my question is, “What has He done in you?” He asked that questions because he understood the terrible possibility that a person might have an intellectual grasp of the What has done for sinners, and yet be an utter stranger to His mighty work in sinners. (Taken from The Practical Implications of Calvinism).
It is key to know not only what Christ has done for you on the cross, but also what He has done in you by the working of the Holy Spirit. The salvation Jesus has effected for us will always have a radical affect on us. Therefore, those desiring to become members of any church must be able to explain what Christ has done for them and what Christ has done in them. Every Christian ought to be able to articulate what Jesus has done on the cross for their sins and what He has done in their hearts for their joy.
What has Christ done for you?
What has Christ done in you?
May our churches raise up disciples who have beautiful, humble, and joyful answers for both of these questions. May we rejoice not only in what Christ has done for us, but also marvel at what He has done in us. May we be able to point to the cross as the grounds for our salvation and then point back to our own lives as the fruit of it.