February 17, 2024

Your Membership Card

Written by Tripp Prince

Our membership within the family of God is the most foundational reality of our lives.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 17, 2024

If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body…Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:19-20, 27, ESV

I attended seminary at a small evangelical school in Canada, yet it was attached institutionally to one of the largest and most prestigious schools in North America. As such, all seminary students were given a student ID to the main university, and I remember a feeling of great pride swelling up within me when I received that card. As the descendant of illiterate southern farmers, in that moment, silly as it may sound, receiving that card felt like the gift of a new identity, like something grand and honorable and prestigious saw something in me that was worthy of embrace and accepted me as one of its own.

Of course, this identity was fleeting and in many ways an illusion. That card was “active” as long as I paid my tuition, and as soon as I graduated, the card quickly found its permanent home in a box in the attic. I imagine, though the details will vary, you have similar stories and experiences. Identities and associations that mean a great deal for a season, then are soon abandoned or replaced. And while this may be true of schools, gyms, or loyalty programs, our “membership” within the family of God is categorically different. 

When Christ calls us as his own, as it says in the Anglican baptismal liturgy, we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever.” We are individuals with our own unique stories, hopes, and dreams, yet we are more fundamentally members of the body of Christ, and this identity is the most foundational reality of our lives. It is a membership that never fades or expires, and in truth, our life within the family of God is the single most important way that our individual lives are given meaning and purpose. 

Notice Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 12:27, especially the ordering of his statements of identity. “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” What comes first? You are the body of Christ. This is your statement of identity and primary membership in this world. It is an identification and allegiance that surpasses all others, and only when we keep this clear in our hearts and lives are we then able to make sense of and embrace the truth that follows: as the body of Christ, we also are individually members of it.


Father, remind us today that our purpose and fulfillment in life is rooted primarily in our membership in your body, the Church, and it is from that identity that we know and understand ourselves as you intend us to be known, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Prayerfully reflect upon the words of this passage, asking the Lord to reveal any competing identities that vie for your attention and allegiance.

Related Reading

Romans 12:5; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:19

Worship Resource

Austin Stone Worship: How Deep The Father’s Love For Us


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