During the month of February I briefly want to look at the four aspects of our life together as a church that are highlighted in our vision statement. What we are seeking to do as a church and why the Bible says this is an important thing for us to be doing.
This week I want to look at the first aspect of our life together as a church.
The Body of Christ
Each Sunday morning we are all faced with a decision. Will I get up and go to church or not. Sometimes we have not helped the decision, we have been out too late the night before or our kids have had a BIG day on Saturday or the kids might not have slept well at all that night or … well there are lots of things we can do in this area.
There is no doubt in my mind that Satan’s number one strategy to weaken the life of the believer and the local Christian community is to help us make the decision not to be in church on a Sunday morning and he does this in a wide variety of ways.
Why is the gathering together is so important? Ephesians 4:16 speaks of the church as a ‘body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, growing and building itself up in love as each part does it work’. We are joined together, supporting each other and like a body we (as a collective body) have a work to do, work that has been set for us to do by God. So we need to turn up to do this work, we need to be strengthened to do the work we need to be equipped to do the work, we need to work together to do the work… like a body.
1 Cor 12:12-31 brings it home in even more detail. In verse 12 it says, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
Verse 14 – Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, ‘‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, ‘‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
Verse 26 – If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.
Can you see how vital we are to each other as we as a collective body seeks to glorify and honour God? My brothers and sister in Christ we are the body of Christ… us here … gathered together. Yes we are part of a bigger body, a worldwide body, but 1 Cor 12 is written to the local congregation, to us. If one of us is missing the body suffers or misses out. If one of us does not use the gifts God has given us … the body miss out.
I do not say this to make you feel guilty. I say this so that we all realise how important meeting together is for God’s people. Missing out on gathering with your local church family should be a rare exception rather than a rule. Now I also want to say this is not a rule. Salvation is not by church attendance once a week. But because we are saved we should meet together.