It is NOT ‘Just a Church’

[575 words]

Jesus promised to do something never before done on earth: He would build His Church upon the great truth that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God! “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock l will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Whatever your understanding of the Church may be, it is easy to see from what the Savior said that it must be important to Him. How important is His Church to you?

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). When the Church began on the Day of Pentecost, the first converts to Christ got off on the right foot by doing spiritual things with one another. They realized not only the value of the gospel they had obeyed, but also their need for the fellowship of others.

“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). When you are obedient to the gospel, the Lord adds you to the Church. Is that where you truly are today?

What a great privilege it is to be a member of the Church (Eph. 2:19-22)! In the Church we find those with whom we have the most important things in common; fellow citizens of the everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ! In the Church we are granted opportunities to grow in grace and to prove our love for God by sewing our brethren (1 John 4:20,21)!

“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness ofHim who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22). The Church is the Body of Christ, and He is the Head! We all understand how important our own bodies are to our existence, yet we often fail to consider how important the Body of Christ is to Him who is over all! Every Christian is a member of the Body of Christ, and therefore needs to function together with the rest of the Body. We would consider a finger severed from a hand as grotesque, but many think that a member of Christ with no connection to his brethren is normal! In reality, the members of Christ are His instruments for carrying out His perfect will here on earth. We are His mouthpiece, His hands, feet, fingers, and limbs for reaching the lost even as we encourage one another to grow up into the Head (Eph. 4:16)! Getting close to God and being spiritual are connected to our fellowship with other believers in Christ! We are taught to consider our fellow-members because God can help THEM through US, while God helps US through THEM (Heb. 10:19-27)!

The Lord made us so that we need one another, especially in the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:18). If you willfully excuse yourself from fellowship with your brethren, you are not only depriving yourself of the best source of encouragement you could ever have, you also rob the saints of a true blessing—YOU.

Sam Woody
via Jackson church of Christ
Jackson, MO

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