You Need The Church
“For where two or three gather together in my name, there I am with them” (Matthew 18:20).
Church, what does it mean? A Church is a building where Christians gather for worship and fellowship. It can be anywhere that believers gather to teach, inspire and build up each other in the knowledge of Christ. The Church on the other hand, is the body of Christ: you, me and all other believers (1 Corinthians 12:27) with Jesus as the head (Ephesians 1:22-23). So; when you bring all of that together, Church is not just the building you go to every Sunday but it is the body of Christ. Church is a family of believers in pursuit of righteousness and holiness. The local Church you attend is a subdivision of the universal Church, it is a local gathering of the family of Jesus.
There are Christians who don’t think they need to go to Church which baffles me because where two or three are gathered in His name, He’s there with them. And so what Christian wouldn’t want to be where God is? Unless of course you’re hiding from Him but that’s a conversation for another day. Starting a relationship with Jesus is so exciting, you get to know who you really are. You discover your identity, you find renewable strength and other great things. But when you detach yourself from Church, you miss out other things that are equally great. Let me at this point in time, say that it is impossible to grow in your faith without the Church. You can’t move from milk to meat if you don’t mature spiritually. Think about it this way: have you ever lost weight or built muscles by fussing about it in front of a mirror? In this scenario, you can only get the results you want by going to the gym or working out at home. Matthew 6:27 says “Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan”? The same applies for spiritual growth. You cannot compel or wish yourself to grow in your walk with God. You can however put yourself in a place where you can grow and that place is Church. That place is wherever other believers gather in the name of our Maker. It could be a friend’s house, under a canopy or a nice event centre. Wherever people gather in His name, He will be there with them.
Church is not just the building you go to every Sunday, it is the body of Christ.
We were created to worship God and sure, you can do that on your own but there’s something so powerful about communal worship. It’s the kind of worship that shifts the atmosphere. It’s the kind of worship that brings joy because in the presence of God there is fullness of joy. Sometimes I find it really difficult to worship and read my Bible but when I’m around other believers, it’s much easier. You see the joy in their faces and you crave that for yourself so I would have danced all through praise and worship before realising that I walked into Church sad or angry. Being part of a Church ensures accountability – you’re more likely to realise the error of your ways if you continuously surround yourself with believers. You’ll be reminded of what is Godly and what isn’t. Isolating yourself makes it difficult to know when you’ve stepped out of line because you have no one to keep you accountable. Additionally some of the instructions that we were given in the Bible require being a member a Church to enforce. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 is one example. How can one go into the world, teach and baptise people if we don’t know what to teach or even understand the doctrine of baptism? This is knowledge that we get from being in Church. When you isolate yourself from Church, you prevent yourself from hearing the law and that’s detrimental (Proverbs 28:9-10). Furthermore, Ephesians 5:25 tells us that Christ loves the Church (you and I) and He died for it. And so in separating yourself from the Church, you’ve denied His sacrifice, you’ve rubbed it in His face and you’ve said “I didn’t ask you to do that”. If you only take one thing from this post, take this: denying the Church is denying Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Isolating yourself makes it difficult to know when you’ve stepped out of line because you have no one to keep you accountable.
It’s okay to miss Church once in a while if you really can’t go but some people just don’t go at all and that’s not okay. I know some people don’t go to Church because Christians have wronged them in one way or another. But please be reminded that these Christians are also humans, they are by no means perfect, only God is. If you’re wondering how to go about choosing a local Church, it’s simple. Galatians 3:27 says “For as many of you have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ”. This means personal responsibility matters in your relationship with God. You have put on Christ which means everything you do including what you feed your soul is your personal responsibility and should reflect Christ. So you should look out for the message – what are they teaching? The foundational message of Christianity is simple: Jesus is the only way to God, salvation is a gift of grace, and heaven & hell are real. Anything else is questionable which is why you have to know God personally through His Word which is the Bible. If you’re attending a Church that is teaching things that aren’t Bible-based then you’re in the wrong place. Everything about your local Church from the worship session, the prayer points and the message should be inspired by the Word.
From the moment you accepted Jesus Christ, you were adopted into a new family which is why we call Him “Abba Father”. As I explained earlier, the body of Christ (you and I) is THE CHURCH with Jesus as the head. Anytime a member (a part of the body) is out of place, the entire body can’t function properly. It’s just like when you have a throat infection, your ears start aching, your temperature rises, your head hurts etc. The basis of Christianity is love and 1 John 4:20 says anyone who loves God loves His people (the body of Christ). So when you cut yourself off from Church, you rob others of the ways in which you can edify them. God has deposited different gifts in every one of us and when you deny the Church, you’re keeping blessings from yourself and the body of Christ which according to Hebrews 3:13 is sin. You also fail God and love never fails according to 1 Corinthians 13:8.
Here’s a song for you:
I Just Want To Be Where You Are – Don Moen.