The Bible has much to say about the importance of the local church body and for the believer living in community with it. With all of the social distancing going on and places being closed, remember that your local church body is a living organism made up of believers living in community with one another. We cannot allow ourselves drift apart or fail to pursue living for Christ together.
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
I. The Christian life is not designed to be a “loner life” but rather one in a community/family.
A. It involves others (Consider Acts 2:38-47).
Salvation involves a personal decision, but the relationship with Christ as the head involves the community/family of believers. Our walk with Jesus Christ is evident and even demonstrated in our relationship with one another.
B. There are activities the local church family must be involved in.
1. Discipleship – “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).
2. Evangelism– “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:8-9).
3. Prayer– “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Consider that believers are commanded pray for one another. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
4. Caring for widows – “Honour widows that are widows indeed” (1 Timothy 5:3). Consider Acts 6:1 which says “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.”
5. Caring for those in need – “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:34-35).
6. Edifying one another – “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification” (Romans 15:2).
“Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church” (1 Corinthians 14:12).
“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Corinthians 14:26).
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).
“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Timothy 1:4).
7. Gather together for the purpose of spurring one another on to love and good works– “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
8. Help restore one another– “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1).
9. Bear one another’s heavy burdens– “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”(Gal. 6:2-3).
II. The image of the God and Jesus Christ is to be reflected through the church.
A. The local church, has been designed to function as a living organism.
“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10).
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
“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” (1 Cor. 12:13).
B. Jesus Christ expects a oneness with the Godhead in His body- the church (John 17:11, 20, 21, 23, and 26).
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Conclusion: A healthy church family is essential to becoming mature believer.
Words having meaning, so here is a place you can find some things to think about and be challenged and encouraged.
One of my children loves American history, especially events pertaining to the founding of the United States of America. Our founding fathers had a deep sense of what freedom meant. The committee of five (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston) presented a revised version of Jefferson’s original declaration of independence which also received further revision. The continental congress approved of the statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Yet, how do these play out today?
Jefferson’s original statement was, “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.” Jefferson certainly thought that freedom involved the preservation of life. Taking it a step further, life was viewed as a right not merely the preservation of it.
While John Adams supported these rights, he warned that our U.S. Constitution with the freedom it promotes was not for everyone when he said, ” Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”
(Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_adams_391045). Adams knew that Freedom was not license to do whatever one wants.
Freedom, true freedom, finds its source in God. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Jesus spoke of freedom from being a slave to sin (verse 34). True freedom is found in Christ. Jesus said, “If the Son, therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (verse 36). The freedom that Jesus offers is the release from the eternal penalty for sin and the temporal bondage to it here in this life. The freedom Jesus offers is the gift of becoming an eternal citizen of heaven with all of it’s rights and priviliges and a new life here and now with the abilility to live a life full of joy and meaning. Freedom: do you have it and are you enjoying it?