Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Church is an “us” Thing.

For years, I have heard folks say variations on this theme, “I have a relationship with God. It is private and personal. I don’t need to go to church.” Assuming these individuals are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they have been born of the Spirit (John 3:6), then the first two statements are true to an extent. The third statement, however, is patently false, a Satanic lie. You do need to go to church. That is, you need to go to church if you want to fulfill the plan of God for your life here on earth and enjoy the rewards that can be yours in Heaven. God never intended that we live our faith in a vacuum. The local church is the hothouse for growing prize Christians. Peter said it clearly: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…(1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)” Notice, we are a priesthood, not just priests. We are a nation and a generation, not just individuals. We are a special people, not a special person. Without you, I am not special!

God wants to show His supernatural power in His Church and through His Church. In our quest to see the supernatural power of God in our fallen world, being part of a local body of believers is essential. Indeed, we need to be part of a body that is more than a weekly motivational speech, or a good concert, or a political action group. The New Testament seems clear. You need:

1. A spiritual family to pray for you. I believe the number one reason that we don’t see more of the fullness of God’s healing and delivering power is that we are too often on our own in the battle. Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

2. A team of spiritual fellow travelers to encourage and correct: Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (25) 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.

3. A spiritually connected body that functions in concert to bring supernatural power to bear on broken humanity: 1 Corinthians 12:11-12 NLT (11) It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. (12) The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ:

4. A spiritual coaching staff to train you and coordinate your gifts: Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. (12) Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.

Somebody Said: Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. Michael Jordan

Scripture Reading: I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display His wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:9-10 NLT)

The Christian life is not a “me” thing, it is an “us” thing. You’ve heard of the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow fame? I think we reduce the Body of Christ to the status of a body-less Head. When we fail to flow in what we were designed to do by the power of the Spirt, we deprive the Lord Jesus of His ability to impact the world. We are His Body. In this earth, we are the only one He has.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
Office: 520-792-3238

You can ramble through the archives of these posts, along with other material at www.pastorvirgil.com Stop by and check it out. New stuff is being added almost daily.

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