act 09v26 Saul
Assayed to Join Himself To The Disciples
"SAUL ASSAYED TO JOIN HIMSELF TO THE DISCIPLES" Acts
Saul had been converted by the grace of God on the Damascus Road. He had publicly confessed faith in Christ at Damascus, both by personal testimony and by public baptism.
Then he came to Jerusalem, and "he assayed to join himself to the
disciples." That is to say, he applied for membership in the church at Jerusalem. The despised church of God, which Saul once hated above all people upon the earth,
he now loved above all people. No sooner did he return to Jerusalem than be found the place where God's people met in the
name of Christ, and publicly identified himself with them, by uniting with the
joined the church VOLUNTARILY.He
was not recruited in a "church membership drive". No one put any
pressure on him, or even asked him, to join the church. Being a believer, Saul
wanted to be numbered with God's people. He considered it a privilege and an
honor. "To be joined to a church is to become an open subject of Christ's
kingdom, a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem,
one of the family of God, and a member of the body of Christ visibly,"
Saul was fully QUALIFIED
to unite with the church at Jerusalem.
It is true, he had been a blasphemer and a persecutor. And his former
reputation was well-known. But God had forgiven him, cleansed him in the blood
of Christ, and received him. Therefore he was accepted by the church as a
brother, beloved in Christ. He professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and was
baptized as a believer. Nothing more was required to qualify him for membership
in the church; and nothing less could be accepted. Church membership is for
baptized (immersed) believers only.
By uniting with
the local assembly at Jerusalem, Saul publicly demonstrated his COMMITMENT
to those people, to their Lord, and to the gospel they were commissioned of God
to preach. Uniting publicly with a local assembly, the believer says, "My
heart is joined to you in Christ by the grace of God." If you are a
believer, it is both your privilege and your responsibility to confess Christ
by baptism and unite with his people.