Church Membership in the New Testament


There were two sides to Church membershiip; the Divine side emphasized in Matthew and the human side as set out in the Book of Acts. However, neither should be separated, for each complement the other, and one side should not be used against the other side.

Many times Church membership is looked upon negatively because of misunderstanding or various other reasons which will be considered in due time. We consider what the Scripturs have to say on thiss area.

A. The Divine Side–Sovereignty

What happened in the experience of Peter relative to Christ’s prophecy certainly can be received in embryonic form of that which must happen in every member of the true Church.

1. In the Gospels

In Matthew 16:13-19 we may see the following outline.

a. Two Persons

Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living God.

Peter–typical of every believer who becomes a member of the true Church. “Simon” means “Hearing”, and “Son of Jona” “means “on of a Dove”. It points to the matter of spiritual 4hearinng that comes through hearing the Holy Spirit who is likened to a Dove.

“Peter” means “A Stone”. He is a sample of the lively stones of I Peter 2:5. Greek Petros = Movable Rock, that is, Peter.

Greek Petra = Massive bed-rock. That is Christ Himself. City of Petra was a Rock City. Christians, like Peter, are lively stones and all are to be built together on THE ROCK Christ Himself, as His house.

Christ is THE ROCK/STONE. Peter is a Stone. Beevers are lively stones. John 1:41, 42. Cephas = A Stone. I Peter 2:5-9.

b. Two Questions

General-“Whom do men say thaat I the Son of Man am?”
Personal-“Whom do ye say that I am?”

c. Two Answers

General-“Some say John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the Prophets.”
Personal-“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

d. Two Sources of Revelation

Flesh and blood. Carnal, human reason. Sense knowledge (Galatiians 1:16; Ephesians 6:12; I Corinthians 15:50).

The Father God. process. The elderly and groups at risk for coronary, cancer, neurological and neuromuscular diseases, AIDS, and accidents are encouraged to make their wishes known before tragedy strikes.

Some are opposed to the living will, labeling it as deceptive and dangerous as well as unnecessary. The danger lies in placing decisions in the hands of others who may not have in mind the best interest of the sick. Wills could facilitate deliberate killing through neglect. Also the will is viewed as a product of the euthanasia advocates aimed at overcoming societal resistance to assisted suicide and mercy killing. They are to be viewed and used with the utmost attention given to wording and authorization. 21

Durable Power of Attorney

In cases where family or patient cannot decide on a course of action, the court, at the request of physician or hospital, may appoint a surrogate. To avoid this eventuality, some have turned to granting a durable power of attorney to act in their behalf. 22 Recognized in every state, “durable” powers of attorney provide for the written power of attorney to remain effective or to become effective when the principal is incompetent, disabled, or incapacitated. As with a living will, a duly authorized legal document stating exact wishes and assigning the powers is necessary.

Hospice Care

A third alternative is to care and minister to the dying in a hospice. Hospice, from the Latin term meaning hospitality, is a program of care offered to the dying in their home, a facility near a hospital, or in a separate in-patient facility. The objectives of a hospice are to control pain, provide companionship, assist terminal patients in preparing for death, and offer bereavement care for the family after death of a loved one. It becomes a “rest stop for individuals traveling from this life to the next.” 23

The hospice concept originated in England in 1967 and moved to America in 1974. Of more than 1,700 now in operation, a third are operated by religious organizations that provide spiritual care as part of the program. Hospice offers a choice to patients and families facing death and minimizes suffering while providing a compassionate support group. It has little in common with euthanasia but reflects care and concern while seeking to make life worth living to the end. Hospice programs provide for professional and family care giving in a homey, domestic setting. Most facilities have private rooms, a community kitchen, a chapel, and a library of devotional reading material.

Summary and Conclusions

Euthanasia, easy death, is both an ethical and theological concern. Its importance is recognized in the public cry for legalization and by the fact that most religious groups take a stand against active euthanasia. Many cultures and religious groups favor passive euthanasia, which is little more than allowing terminal illnesses to run their course. Persons without integrative brain functions are considered dead by medical criteria, and stopping a life-support system should be considered equivalent to never beginning one. Further definition is needed in this matter. In many cases good judgment would suggest that extraordinary or heroic means should not be employed to prolong death. In no case should active euthanasia, suicide, or assisted death be employed.

Justification for a Christian position against active or voluntary euthanasia is founded on the dogma of the sanctity of life, the sovereign will of God, human compassion, the value of suffering, and one’s view of the importance of life in the body to the eternal existence of the soul.

Criteria for determining the occurrence of death are changing since body organs and systems may now be maintained functionally independent of an integrated whole. The most common consensus is that brain death or loss of human consciousness means death. Technological interference may extend “life” of organs or organ systems, but it should be used with discretion.

Alternatives to euthanasia are proposed along three lines. A living will made while healthy dictates the wishes of a patient. A durable power of attorney legally assigns another to “manage” the patient’s death process. Hospice offers to the terminally ill both care and compassion in a domestic setting as they die. Attention is given to comfort, pain alleviation, and spiritual encouragement during this period. No agency is more intimately involved in the dying process than the church.

How can we, as the true body of Christ, communicate biblical morality to those with non biblical views of life? We must firmly stand for the Bible truths as we develop a stated biblical position that will apply to contemporary medical and social problems. We should attempt to communicate Bible doctrine in a reasonable and meaningful way, with understanding and compassion, not dogmatically, legalistically, or fanatically. More than anything else, we must always show forth the love of God for a lost generation in a lost world–the dying as well as the living.


1. O. Ruth Russell, Freedom to Die: Moral and Legal Aspects of Euthanasia (New York: Human Sciences Press), 7

2. S. Bok, “Death and Dying: Euthanasia and Sustaining Life,” Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Riverside, N.J.: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1978), 1.

3. Right to Die: Historical Review of Thought and Action on Euthanasia, 53-65.

4. Gerald Larue, Euthanasia and Religion: A survey of the attitudes of world religions to the right-to-die (Los Angeles: Hemlock Society, 1985), 3.

5. Beth Spring and Ed Larson, Euthanasia: Spiritual, Medical and Legal Issues in Terminal Health Care (Multnomah Press, 1988), 108.

6. Ibid., 112.

7 Right to Die, 201-13.

8. Ibid., 203.

9. Ibid., 204.

10. Ibid., 203; Larue, 64.

11. Right to Die, 205-6; Larue, 26.

12. Larue, 22-23.

13. What Opponents Say Legalization of Euthanasia: Arguments and Proposals, 217-31.

14. Spring and Larson, 122.

15. Ibid., 126.

16. Ibid., 127, 130.

17 Ibid., 129.

18. Robert M. Veatch, Death, Dying and the Biological Revolution (Yale University Press, 1986) in Ethics, Viewpoint 81, 379-88.

19. H. Wayne House, “Die and Let Live,” Kindred Spirit, Autumn 1988, 8-11.

20. Spring and Larson, 155.

21. Luke Wilson, Living Wills Are Unnecessary (St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1987), 155-59.

22. Spring and Larson, 140.

23. Ibid., 174.

By J. Mark Jordan

A recent article in the St Louis Post-Dispatch (January 12, 1990) underscores the timeliness of this subject. “Bill Would Allow Life Support Cutoff,” the headline stated. The decisions that used to be routine are now so complex that lawyers, legislators, doctors, judges, and religionists–not to mention patients and their families–are in confusion. While much of this confusion is over theories and differing interpretation of facts, emotion also is an intense factor. The time has come to seriously consider this issue.

Dr. Poe’s paper is a professional treatment of euthanasia. Scholarly, organized, complete, objective, and fully documented, it is a masterful condensation of a vast array of material. Indeed, this paper is a compelling document that ought to become a launching pad to reach a definitive position for the United Pentecostal Church International as a body. Although my role as a respondent is to offer critical analysis, I do so only to explore the implications and suggestions that Dr. Poe’s conclusions make.

It is true that euthanasia is not a modern problem, but modern technology has certainly changed its complexion. It has become an ambivalent, gray area that almost demands a case-by-case review. We can now talk about organ banks, body banks, freeze-dried dead bodies awaiting cures, and keeping bodies “alive” indefinitely by machines. As the paper suggests, these new possibilities make many traditional definitions obsolete. New definitions are necessary, and those of us who are deeply religious and hold life supremely sacred must be sure that our beliefs are preserved in the outcome.

Let us look at some of the specific points the paper makes. Many questions surround these areas.

1. Dr. Poe says, “The theological side to life and death must be dealt with.” But what is the theological side? Does the theological side equal the “spiritual” side-another term used in the paper to describe life? Do we, as an organization, have a concrete, workable definition of life? Can we–or should we?

2. Euthanasia is often justified because it puts an end to human suffering. Dr. Poe says that Jesus “taught of compassion” and “healed people of all manner of afflictions, illnesses, diseased conditions, and even restored life to the dead.” What, then, is our position on suffering? If suffering is good, why end it? If it is bad, why not end it? Or is it primarily a matter of who is in control? And if control is the issue, why attempt any kind of control over suffering, even that which falls short of euthanasia, for example, medication, treatments, surgery?

Furthermore, was Jesus selective in whom He healed or raised from the dead? As the paper says, Jesus “healed people of all manner of afflictions,” but it is careful not to say He healed all people. Evidently, Jesus chose those whom He wanted to heal out of a crowd of sick and diseased people. By what criteria did He select them? If He was selective through divine omniscience, a state we will never attain, is He our role model in instances of healing, or is He our God who is beyond human understanding? In other words, if we cannot know what He knows, can we properly select who should live or die, or who should be sick or well?

3. Dr. Poe speaks of Christ as the “literal bearer of fleshly ills,” thus providing hope for sufferers. Then he says, “In spite of this hope, illness sometimes persists.” He is articulating a dilemma that all pastors face. (The use of the word “presumably” underscores this difficulty.) Are people who are not healed guilty of sin that prohibits their healing? If not, do we have a position on this that relieves them of guilt and condemnation?

In the same vein, the paper says, “Suffering provides op0:17).

Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Faith is implanted in the heart upon true repentance as a SEED which has all the potential of growing into full and perfect faith (Romans 12:3). To do so it must be nurtured by the Word of God and quickened by the Holy Spirit (Luke 17:5, 6).

Implicit in Peter’s call to repentance is faith. True faith is obedience (James 2:14-26). Faith without obedience is dead.

3. Water Baptism

Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16; 15-20; Romans 6:1-3; Acts 2:37-41.

Water baptism was involved in the initial steps of being “added to the Church” in the Book of Acts (Acts 2:47).

The Jews were familiar with ”the doctrine of baptisms” or “divers washings” (Hebrews 6:1, 2).

a. Aaron and his sons were wholly bathed in water when consecrated to the Priesthood ministry (Exodus 29:4; Leviticus 8:6).

They washed at the laver before ministry in the Sanctuary (Exodus 30: 17-21).

b. The leper cleansing involved bathing in water to be admitted back into the camp of the saints (Leviticus 14:8, 9).

c. Israel experienced the waters of purification from the ashes of the red heifer (Numbers 19).

d. Israel as a nation had experienced baptism in the Red Sea unto Moses the Mediator of the Old Covenant (I Corinthians 10:1-3).

Gentile proselytes were baptized as converts into the Jewish faith.

The word “baptism” means ”to dip, to overwhelm, to plunge, to submerge”. It is to dip something beneath the surface of water or some other fluid.

John the Baptist came preaching repentance and water baptism (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Matthew 3:1-2). Christ’s disciples also baptized others (John 4:1-2).

John’s baptism was an acknowledgement of their sins and desire to be cleansed before God and a preparation in faith of the heart to receive the coming Messiah.

After Christ’s death, burial and resurrection He ordained Christian baptism. Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:16. Christ told His disciples to baptize disciples. In baptism believers are identified with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-4).

In baptism circumcision of the heart takes place by an operation of the Spirit (Genesis 17; Colossians 2:12-14).

In baptism the believer has the triune Name of the triune God invoked upon him
(Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5). The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Name of the Fulness of the Godhead bodily It is the family Name (Ephesians 3:13, 14).

Water baptism is an act of faith and obedience to the commands of Christ.

Peter’s message therefore involved Repentance and Faith and Water Baptism.

4. Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:14; 2:37-40; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 1:5, 8; John 3:31-33.

Peter also said that they would receive the promise of the Holy Spirit coming upon them. In the Old Testament the Spirit was only available for the select few (Exodus 31:3; Judges 11:29; Numbers 24:2; 11:25; 1saiah 11:2; I Samuel 10:1-10; 16:14).

However, the Prophets also spoke of the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh (Isaiah 44:3; 28:11-12; Joel 2:28-29).

Jesus also spoke much of the coming Holy Spirit and His ministry (John 1:33; 7:38-39; 16:1-16;Acts 1:4, 5; 2:33; 19:2).

In the Book of Acts the evidence of the reception of the Holy Spirit was speaking with other tongues (Acts 2:14; 8:14-17; 10:44-48; 19:1-6; 9:17, 18).

The Godhead is thus involved in Church membership.

* The Father reveals the Son (Matthew 11:25-27; 16:13-17).
* The Son is confessed as the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Acts 8:37).
* The Son imparts the Holy Spirit who sets in the Church, the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:3; Acts 2:41, 47).

They did not just ”join up” in the early Church. They were added to the Church, AFTER they responded to these steps laid out by Peter in the initial Pentecostal message.

God’s way has not changed! Man has changed God’s ways and needs to return to the foundation laid at Pentecost by the apostle Peter.

C. The Church at Jerusalem

Both the Gospels and the Acts imply that there was some definite evidence of belonging to the Church. Believers were numbered and accounted for. Otherwise, how did they know who were “added” to them or not? In other words, there was a visible and practical expression of Church membership and identification. It was not enough to belong to “the Church invisible and mystical” but it was practically expressed by belonging to “the Church local and visible”. On the Day of Pentecost the first 3000 converts were “added to them” (i.e., The 120 disciples, Acts 2:41), and “added to the Church” (Acts 2:47). They became identified with the Church at Jerusalem, the Church in that city and locality.

Was there some record of membership in the early Church? The following Scriptures show that they knew who belonged or identified with them.

1. Jesus chose 12 apostles, named and numbered (Luke 9:1, 2).
2. Jesus later chose 70 others as His own (Luke 10:12).
3. Over 500 brethren saw Jesus in His ascension (I Corinthians 15: 1-3).
4. Before Pentecost 120 disciples gathered in the Upper Room (Acts 1:15). The number of the names were about 120.
5. At and after Pentecost multitudes were brought to Christ and into the Church which He said He would build.
6. There were added to the Church 3000 souls (Acts 2:41, 47).
7 About 5000 believed also (Acts 4:4).
8. The number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem (Acts 6:7).
9. At least 10,000 believers were numbered in these Scriptures. In AD70 history ways over one million Christians fled from Jerusalem before its destruction and not one Christian was known to have lost his life.

One can have Church membership in any local Church or Denomination, but one must be added to the Lord FIRST, otherwise Church membership is not recognized by Him. However, a practical expression of membership is evidenced in being added to some New Testament local Church.

Acts 2:37, 38 lays down the standard and evidences for New Testament Church membership. These have never changed–in God’s mind! These evidences were tangible and visible!

D. Old and New Testament Records

It may be asked: “Is it Scriptural to have some kind of Church Roll or Records? Yes! The Old and New Testament refer to books where the names of God’s people were kept for records. It would be impossible to fully take care of God’s sheep if no one knew where they went, or if they really belonged to some Local Church. Just belonging to the Church universal is abstract and vague.

1. Old Testament

a. The Israelites had their names in the Books of the Genealogy of the Nation. They were numbered before the Lord (Numbers 1-2).

b. The Levites were also numbered before the Lord before they could minister in the priestly offices (Numbers 3).

c. Everyone numbered in Israel had to be redeemed with silver (Exodus 30:11-16; 1 Chronicles 21; II Samuel 24).

d. The remnant from Babylon had to be registered in the book in order to be in the priesthood (Ezra 2:62, 63; Nehemiah 7).

2. New Testament

a. The Church of the Firstborn have their names written in heaven (Hebrews 12:22-24). None can add these names or take them away but the Lord.

b. The great shepherd calls His own sheep by name (John 10:3, l4).

c. The redeemed of all ages have their names also written in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 13:8, 17:8; 20:12-15; 21:27). “When the roll is called up yonder” all believers will be there.

Thus God Himself keeps records! God keeps the names and numbers of the saints in His roll. If God Himself does this, then there should be no problem if human beings who are finite do likewise. God knows who is in His book or not (Revelation 3:5). He will not blot names out of His book who overcome. In God’s book every member of our natural body was written (Psalms 139:13-17). How much more the members of the Body of Christ?

NOTE:–Legal requirements stipulate that proper records of membership be kept in relation to Church funds, holding of property, taxes, etc. This cannot be just an unreal, unseen and invisible, mystical method of record keeping! We must render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar in these matters.

E. Membership Confirmation

Most historic Churches have some form of confirmation in which a person is admitted into full Church membership privileges and responsibilities. This varies from group to group. It should be recognized that certain ceremonies for confirmation are not to be found in the Bible. However, the Scriptures do show that there is a truth in confirmation.

1. What Does the word “Confirm” mean?

a. Webster defines the word to mean ”to make firm, or firmer, to strengthen; to establish; to encourage”.

Also, “to make certain; to give new assurance of truth; to verify; to ratify; as to confirm an agreement, promise, covenant or title” (i.e. In the USA the Senate confirms or rejects the appointments brought before the President of the United States).

New Century Dictionary adds, “To make valid or binding by some formal or legal act”.

The Bible definition gives the word a wide variety of meanings, as follows:

“To fill, accomplish or to strengthen, establish, fix, prepare, prevail, encourage; to ratify, make authoritative, to interpose (as arbiter), to ratify (as surety); to make firm, make secure, fast, stable”.

b. What Examples of Things Being Confirmed do we have in the Scriptures?

1) Covenants were confirmed (Daniel 9:27; Galatians 3:15-17).

2) Promises were confirmed (Romans 15:8).

3) Letters were confirmed (Esther 9:29-32).

4) Words were confirmed (I Kings 1:14; Ezekiel 13:6; Daniel 9:12).

5) Inheritances were confirmed (Psalms 68:9).

6) The Gospel of Jesus Christ was confirmed with signs following (Hebrews 2:3; Isaiah 44:26; Philippians 1: 17; Mark 16:20).

We speak of people who are “confirmed alcoholics” or “confirmed

c. Do we have Examples of People being Confirmed?

Yes! The Scriptures show that God’s people were confirmed, strengthened, established, encouraged and given assurance of the truth of the Gospel in the New Covenant.

1) Kings were confirmed in their office as King (I Chronicles 14:2).

2) Paul and Barnabas confirmed the souls of the disciples in the Churches they established (Acts 14:21-23).

3) Judas and Silas, as prophets of God, exhorted and confirmed the people of God (Acts 15:32).

4) The Corinthian Church was called on to confirm their love to the repentant excommunicated (II Corinthians 2:8).

5) The believer is to be confirmed unto the end (I Corinthians 1:6-8).

6) Feeble believers are to be confirmed (strengthened) (Isaiah 35:3 with Hebrews 12:12, 13).

7) The disciples in Galatia and Phrygia were strengthened (confirmed) by Paul’s ministry (Acts 18:23).

d. How may Local Church Membership be Confirmed?

1) By the laying on of the hands of the oversight and prayer.

2) By extending the right hand of fellowship (Galatians 2:8, 9).

3) By a verbal commitment, or public affirmation, whereby the believer enters
into covenant relationship and is willing to receive the privileges, and assume the responsibilities and accept the discipline of the Local Church of which he is a member.
“An oath for confirmation. . .”(Hebrews 6:16, 17).
“When thou vowest a vow, defer not to pay it . . .” (Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5).

To commit oneself is “to pledge; to entrust; to put in custody or charge; to bring together”.

F. This confirms to the whole congregation that this person is recognized and responsible as a member and to be received as such. It confirms that both leadership and membership are committed to each other.

NOTE:–Confirmation may be experienced several times in a believer’s life.

* Confirmation after confession of faith at water baptism (I Corinthians 1:6-10).
* Confirmation by being received into Church membership.
* Confirmation by the laying on of hands and presbytery (I Timothy 1:18; 4:14; 5:22; II Timothy 1:6).
* Confirmation at time of ordination (Acts 6:6; 13:1-4).
* At other times as the Holy Spirit directs.

Confirmation, then, is a means of grace whereby members of the Local Church are strengthened and established in the faith of Jesus Christ and committed to the will of God (Read also II Corinthians 1:21; Colossians 2:7; Nehemiah 12:9). “The God of all grace . . . make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. ” I Peter 5:10.

Why Do Many People reject Practical Church Membership?

Many believers reject any form of Church membership. Various reasons may be mentioned, some of which are as follows:

1. Fear of being hurt, having been hurt by other shepherds (Ezekiel 34; Jeremiah 23; John 10.)

2. Fear of legalism, and threats.

3. Do not believe it is Scriptural, as belong to the Church mystical, invisible, universal.

4. Do not have a submissive spirit.

5. Desire to be self-governing, self-directing, lawless, go it alone, independent, “Jesus and me, I need nobody else”, attitude.

6. Do not want to support a Church financially with tithes or offerings.

7. Do not desire to come under correction, discipline or protection (Cf. I Corinthians 5).

8. Do not want to be committed to anything local or visible.

9. Do not want to be responsible and accountable to anyone.

G. What are some of the Blessings of Practical Church Membership?

1. Security in the family of God. Everyone needs a sense of security.

2. Fellowship–a sense of belonging, company of God’s people.

3. Protection from wolves (Hebrews 13:7, 17; Acts 20:28-32).

4. Spiritual food and nourishment from the word of God.

5. Discipline and correction and adjustment where necessary (I Corinthians 5:13).

6. Ministry of life, healing and health by the members of the Body (James 5:14).

7. The Communion Table–Life of the risen Lord.

8. Love, care and concern in a practical way by the Oversight ministries (Ephesians 4:9-16). Support of the ministries and the Church by tithes and offerings and the blessings of an open heavens (Malachi 3:8-11). One cannot expect to receive all the blessings and benefits of the Lord’s Church when one is not willing to be committed to the responsibilities of membership! Membership may be transferred to other Local Churches if a person moves geographically.

H. Maintaining Healthy Church Membership

There are four major and very embracing things by which a good, healthy, Church membership can be maintained. These are found in Acts 2:42.

1. The Apostles Doctrine

The Apostles Doctrine may be defined in the First Principles of the Doctrine of Christ in all its ramifications (Hebrews 6:1-2).

These Scriptures should be read as they all show the importance of believers being established in sound doctrine (Matthew 16:12; Colossians 2:22; Ephesians 4:4; Revelation 2:14, 15, 24; Hebrews 13:9; Mark 7:7; John 7:17; Deuteronomy 32:2; I Timothy 4:1; 4:6, 13, 16; Titus 1:9; 2:1,7, 10).

2. Fellowship

Fellowship through continuance in the Apostolic Doctrine (Psalms 94:20; I John 1:3-7; Ephesians 3:9; I Corinthians 1:9; I Corinthians 1:9; Galatians 2:9; Philippians 1:5; 2:1; 3:10; II Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11; I Corinthians 10:20).

There is fellowship with the Father, the Son and the believers. There can be no true fellowship with doctrines of devils.

3. Breaking of Bread

The Lord’s Supper, which is spiritual meat and drink, the communion of the body and blood of Jesus (I Corinthians 11:23-34; I Corinthians 12; 10:1-21; 5:1-10; John 6; Matthew 14:19; 15:36; 26:26-28; Acts 20:7; Luke 24:35).

Jesus can be known in the breaking of bread. The Table of Shewbread fulfilled.

4. Prayers

The fulfillment of the altar of incense in the Church. Prayers, intercessions is contact with the risen Head in heaven. He ever lives to make intercession for us. A prayerless believer is a powerless believer.

Revelation 5:8-10; Acts 1:14; 4:31; 13:3; Jude 20; Hebrews 7:27; Revelation 8:14.