On Thursday I started a small series on a topic that I feel is very important to us as Christians. The topic of why do I need to be a part of the church if I am a Christian is rampant in our culture. As I mentioned in my earlier post the majority of our country claims to be a Christian while only a minority is a part of the church body. Today we are going to look at a second reason as to why it is crucial if we claim to be a Christian that we are also a part of the church.
The Bible commands for us to meet together and encourage one another!
In Hebrews 10:24-25 it says, “Let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Honestly, that right there is enough for us to see why it is important for us as Christians to be a part of the church body. Even if this was the only verse we had on the topic of the church this would be enough but lets press into this a little further. Individual and personal Christianity always involves incorporated and public Christianity. As John Wesley once said “The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” The Church in the New Testament is described as the body, the building, the bride, and the brotherhood of Christ. (Beacon Bible Expositions). The New Testament presupposes that we as Christians will live out our faith in community.
Many will say “I can worship God anywhere. I don’t need to go meet with other Christians at a building. I can worship God at the beach, on the golf course, while I am driving.” While this is true that yes we can worship God anywhere we are commanded as Christians to come together to encourage one another in the faith. To be concerned for one another as we promote love and good works.
I find great truth in what Norman Snaith says in his “Hymns of the Temple” when he says, “The man who does not worship God at a particular place and at a particular time, ceases in the end to worship God anywhere.” When we neglect to gather with fellow Christians many times we neglect to gather with our Holy God. As believers may we continue to strive to follow after Christ in our own times of prayer, Bible study, and service but may we not neglect our time with the body of Christ.
Why Church? Because we have been commanded to do so for the glory of God and the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Part 3 coming tomorrow!