Saturday, May 31, 2014

No Man's an Island

This entry is by guest writer, Josh Strickland.  He attends Refuge Church in Raleigh, NC and recently! 

            More and more frequently I meet Christians who do not go to church. I hear reasons for this choice such as "I love Christ, but can't stand Christians," "There's too much hypocrisy in the church," or even "I just never found a church I liked." Unfortunately, everybody is messed up, so even in the church sin is still going to happen. We who go to church on a regular basis are NOT perfected yet, and none of us will be until Christ returns for His true followers. Yet, even with this major hurdle in mind, I think there are several reasons why every true follower of Jesus Christ should be attending a local church.


            There are lots of problems in our world thanks to sin. We have personal problems, relational problems, health problems, and so on. It's very easy to get discouraged, especially when you are on your own. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, "and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." When we meet in the local church we are able to love and serve each other, organize for loving and serving the communities we live in, and remind each other that Jesus is coming back!


            As much as I think that I can, there are just a lot of things that I cannot do on my own. I need help fixing things, staying encouraged, and growing in my faith. A local church body is made of many members who can and will want to help you. "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). We'll get to that law in a second, but serving one another and helping each other is a main concern for the church body. This also includes you. Don't just be helped; help others as well.

Spiritual Growth

            Can you learn about God on your own, and can you grow in your relationship with Him on your own? Yes. However, that growth and spiritual maturation happens much more consistently, deeply, and quickly with the aid of others invested in your life. That should happen through the church. Proverbs 27:17 describes this in saying, "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another." This is a big deal, since the church at large over the last few decades has been generally weak in this area. Church discipline is no longer standard operating procedure. We have segregated our lives "in church" from our lives "out of church." So sin runs rampant within believers when we should be checking it with each other. The best way to respond is to deal with the sin and conquer it through the Holy Spirit.

God's Glory

            Finally, being a part of a local church body gives God glory. This is the most important reason, since we should be giving God glory as much as possible. Remember the "law of Christ" we talked about earlier? Here it is in John 13:34-35: " A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Jesus is telling His disciples at the Last Supper that they should love one another. How do you love other Christians when you are never in contact with them in the church body? So we have to come together as believers to love each other. In doing so, we give God glory because we then show the world that Jesus Christ is worthy to be worshipped.

So if you truly are a follower of Christ's teachings, then you should join us in being a part of a local church body. Christ taught that His followers should be together. Yes there are problems and sin, but Jesus is the Son of God. He's bigger than hypocrisy or unkindness or anger or sexual affairs or different music styles. He is God, and worthy to be obeyed.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Josh. One thing in particular you said that really rings true for me is about spiritual growth. In my life I have definitely seen the need for the "aid of others" as you said, to help me grow spiritually. Love all your other points, encouragement, and yay for giving God the glory!!