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The Bible clearly teaches that only those that have accepted Christ as their Savior are part of the church (Acts 2:47). The Bible frequently refers to the church as the Bride of Christ, Christ himself being the Bridegroom. Another name in the Bible for the church is the body of Christ, and specifically names Christ the Head of the church (Col.1:18). The church in the Bible is very significant, for Ephesians 5:25 says that Christ gave himself for it. The Bible teaches that even though the church is significant, no one can receive salvation by means of a church, for it is only Christ that can forgive sins (Mk.2:7, Jn.14:6, Acts 4:12).

There are two ordinances of the Church: Baptism (Matt 28:19) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:23-28). Baptism is administered only once after salvation (Acts 2:41; 8:36-37). The purpose of water baptism is to identify publicly with Jesus Christ (Acts 2:37-38) and to have a clear conscience before God (1 Pet 3:21). Baptism is by immersion,in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19) and administered by the authority of the local church (Acts 2:41). If someone is baptized before understanding the gospel, he should submit to baptism again after salvation (Acts 19:1-5).

The Lord’s Supper is to be observed as often as the local congregation desires to do so (1 Cor 11:26), and after the members have had an opportunity to examine themselves spiritually (1 Cor 11:28-31). In observing the Lord’s Supper the supreme sacrifice Jesus made for sinners is remembered and announced (1 Cor 11:26).

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