Ok, I’ll give you that. But if you have a desire to grow spiritually then attending church is conditional and should also be your desire, and is encouraged throughout scripture. God instituted local churches to help Christians grow spiritually. There you will have fellowship with other believers-including opportunities to serve and encourage them. You will receive “training and righteousness” as God’s word is preached and taught in your local church. As you mature spiritually God will reveal His purpose for your life.
Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages us to seek out fellowship through the church. After all this is where the family of God congregates. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” NIV
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” Psalm 122:1 KJV
Let’s study this verse in two parts.
· “I WAS GLAD”:
David was excited about going to church. I teach a Sunday school class on Sunday morning and as soon as I get up I find myself thinking of what is ahead of me when I get there. I put on my special praise CD, crank it up a little, and sing along listening closely to the words. Immediately the Holy Spirit begins to minister to me as I put on in my best clothes. Sometimes I can barely contain myself as I arrive at Church.
There are three things I look forward to when I get there.
FIRST: I look forward to the fellowship both before and after church. In my church we actually laugh and have fun. The backslapping, handshakes, laughing, hugs, sharing of events of the week, and the tiny children we have to holler at to quit running in church. And of course the little ones that approaches ‘the candy man” with their hands stretched out. And sometimes I’m blessed by a brother or sister by a special confidential prayer request.
SECOND: Praise service. What a joy it is to sing our songs of praise. To listen to the words as we sing them to the Lord. Lifting Him up. Acknowledging His power and grace. As He begins to receive our praise, we can feel His joy through the presence of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit begins to prepare us for the hearing of God’s Word.
THIRD: The hearing of God’s word. My goal as a Christian is to grow spiritually and to take on the character of Christ. As we gain knowledge from the Word of God we give the Holy Spirit the tools He needs to grow our spiritual fruits. These fruits described in Galatians 5:22,23 reveals the character of Christ. “: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control”. Though I study my bible daily, I always go to church in anticipation that God will reveal something to me through the preaching that I would not have received through my individual studies. We all want to know God’s purpose for our lives. We can only know God’s will through His word.
· “LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD”
The Acts church as described in Acts 2:42-47 was made up of Baby Christians. They studied and applied the word daily. They encouraged and provided for each others needs. They shared the Word of God in their community. They were looked up to because of the good works and needs they provided to the lost. And because of their good deeds new people came to the church daily and were saved.
THE CHURCH – THE BODY OF CHRIST — God’s purpose for every Christian is to bring others to Christ. The church is the training ground that provides the tools and knowledge to fulfill that purpose. Christ is the head, and the church is the body. The body of church members provides the mouth, eyes, ears, feet and hands directed through the Holy Spirit to bring others to Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-15 reveals that God gives spiritual and physical gifts to certain people in the church to become pastors, teachers and fill other leadership roles so that they may build up the rest of the body, advising and teaching them to not believe in wrong doctrine just because they sound true, but will learn to believe and apply what is taught in the true word of God.
Ephesians 4:15-16 teaches that the body of Christ, under His direction is made up of many parts that must fit together. Each part doing it’s own special work, helping the other parts to grow so that the whole body is healthy. It s critical that the members unify in one accord for the purpose of bringing others into the church and to Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:14-20 explains “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 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. 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. 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? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” NIV
WE MUST TREAT THOSE THAT DO THE “MEANIAL JOBS” HONORABLY –1 Corinthians 12:23-25 “and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.” NIV
It is absolutely conditional that Christians attend church to receive the “training and righteousness” that will equip them, and lead them to the fulfilling of God’s purpose in their life which always leads to bringing others to Christ.
WE ARE THE BRIDGE TO CHURCH — We often don’t realize that some of the best gifts that God has given us, are the things we love to do the most. We often think of those gifts as something God has blessed us with, to bring us joy and pleasure to our lives. While this is true, those gifts were also given to us to serve as a bridge to bring others into the church, and to Him. Bringing others to Christ doesn’t have to be a struggle. It can be as simple as sharing “What you love to do” with others.
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