The Local Biblical Church: A Necessity for Christ-Followers
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NASB)
Let’s hold firmly to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
For a time, I told myself that going to church regularly was unnecessary. Much of this attitude was brought on by my own self-righteousness. Additionally, it was mixed with a healthy dose of cynicism. Only through humility generated by God was I able to mature. He was able to change a defiant heart regarding church engagement. I finally realized that I needed other Christ-followers in my life in order to survive this earthly journey.
While it can be challenging to find a local biblical church, it is not impossible. If we are intentional, God will bring us to a group of like-minded believers. The Apostle Paul stresses the importance of like-mindedness (Philippians 2:1-4). Thinking in the same way about Christ, fellowship, and eternal things is paramount. A unified voice in truth glorifies God (Romans 15:5-6).
Many times, true biblical churches are small because they are not committed to the commercial and cultural ideologies of most “big box churches.” There are remnants of American Christians who desire Jesus above all things. God is good, and a cohort of brothers and sisters in Christ is waiting for you. I can tell you from personal experience, don’t give up on finding a local biblical church!
A local church body offers us the opportunity to serve others. Whether it be providing for members or people in the local community, the body of Christ facilitates a means to carry out Christian love. God-given talents can be maximized for God’s kingdom in extraordinary ways. All believers are uniquely fitted to serve (1 Peter 4:10).
Our spiritual growth demands constant learning. It also implores us to teach others in the ways of Christ. The local biblical church is the prime conduit for supporting spiritual maturity. Jesus requires us to be His disciples, and in turn, we must disciple others. On the church platform, we are enabled to be the salt in the world. Christ-likeness is our calling (1 Corinthians 11:1-2).
Life in this world can be difficult. Temptations surround us, and the enemy is always present. Experiencing encouragement and redirection from other believers is essential in our race. God is relational, and He created us as relational beings. The opportunity to pray together invites Christ to be among us (Matthew 18:20). Group prayer is not only unified communication to God, but it is also an intimate means of bonding with one another.
Furthermore, when experiencing trials, we need a support system. Having brothers and sisters in Christ present enables us to move forward in the Spirit. Simple acts like eating meals together can provide an environment that supports confession, laughter, and joy. Living life together is powerful.
In God’s wisdom, He designed the body of Christ to facilitate His light in a dying world. The world needs the local biblical church, and the Christ-follower needs it as well.
”For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that with one purpose and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1-2 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I handed them down to you.
1 Corinthians 12:21-26
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again, the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor, and our less presentable parts become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable parts have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same care for one another. And if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if a part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 Peter 4:10
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the multifaceted grace of God.