We, as Christians, often take extreme positions on certain things. While it is very easy to shift to one side or the other, the Bible is clear: “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” (Romans 3:4) This blog series is designed to help balance some of the lies we believe in the scales of God’s Word.
“I don’t have to be a member of some church … I pray and read my Bible at home.” How many times have you heard or said that? Well as true as this sounds, it is a dangerous deception. My dad once told me that the best lies stick because some part of it is true. However a half truth is a whole lie.
It is true that a believer isn’t required to place his or her name on the role of an systemized organization in order to gain acceptance from God. We are saved by grace through faith alone! On the other hand, believers need to understand the importance of community.
In the original Greek language of the New Testament, “ekklesia”, or church, means a people who are called out. “Out of what,” you ask? Out of a dark world of sin and death. Everyone who names the Name of Christ is a member of “THE CHURCH”. Jesus, Himself, is coming to the outskirts of the planet to receive His “CHURCH”. But in some instances, the Bible speaks of particular “ekklesia” in specific locations, hence the description, the “local church.”
The local church, by the definition mentioned before, is not about buildings or multiple ministries. The local church is not about leadership structures or governing patterns. The local church isn’t rooted in doctrinal positions and theological construct. The local church is people; the people of God who come together, as a community, to worship, to learn, and to serve. The local church, in its various forms, is the place where we are accountable to the Word and plan of God. While it doesn’t hold a monopoly on the Holy Spirit, God consistently uses the local church to impart His Word and will to His people.
This concept is so important, that God inspired the writer of Hebrews to include this : “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (10:24-25, New Living Translation)
Many people position themselves at the polar opposite of the afore-mentioned lie. “Every believer needs to be part of a dynamic ministry.” This is a lie as well. If we focus on the dynamic methods of particular ministries then we get an even bigger mess. Ministers who love ministry but hate people.
In many cases, the Gospel has become a product and the people are consumers, because we have removed love and accountability. God’s desire is that we find people to commune with. People to help us live out the Good News of God’s Word. Let me encourage you to find and support a ministry, in what ever form, that will build you up and hold you to your confession of faith.
© 2011 DJoaquin Publishing, All Rights Reserved