The word “Christian” means a follower of Christ. A person can follow Christ without going to a church. However, the Lord wants to bless us with Christian fellowship and spiritual food from His Word. Therefore, He inspired the apostle Paul to tell us in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” 

Your second question was “Is it necessary to belong to a church even though I’ve been baptized and most importantly have a relationship with Jesus?” It is not necessary to belong to a church to be saved. The only thing necessary is “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” as we’re told in Acts 20:21. It is also not necessary to be baptized in order to be saved. As we see in 1 Peter 3:21, baptism is “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.”

As a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are a member of the universal church that is composed of all believers. Let us see a sequence of Scriptures that shows this to be true. In Ephesians 1:13 we read, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationhaving also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (NASB). This verse shows that the moment we are saved we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell us. Now let us consider 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” This verse shows that the Holy Spirit places us into one body of believers. Now let us read Ephesians 1:22-23. The context is that the Father has raised Christ from the dead and elevated Him to the highest place, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” These verses show that Christ is the head of the body and that the body is another name for the church, which is made up of all believers.

If you read the rest of 1 Corinthians 12, you will see that every member of the body has a purpose and should help care for other members of the body. Just as every member of our physical bodies has a purpose, each of us fills an important role in the body of Christ. One way that we can support other Christians is by attending a local gathering of believers or church. You will miss out on much blessing and miss opportunities to encourage others if you do not attend a church again.

Since all Christians still have a sinful nature, there are times when wrong things are done or things are done in a wrong way in churches. You will never find a perfect church since each church is made up of imperfect people. However, you want to be sure to attend a church which is gathered unto the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see this in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” A church that is gathered unto the Lord Jesus Christ will exalt Him, seek to please Him, permit Him to be their Head, and will function according to the instruction found in the Word of God. (166.4) (DJ)