The Purpose of Church

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Christianity necessarily involves the Church for one becomes a part of the Body of Christ which is the Church when they enter a relationship with Jesus. The great marriage feast foretold symbolically throughout Scripture is all about this relationship between Christ and the Church. To say one doesn’t believe in the Church is like saying a man likes marriage but doesn’t believe in women.

In reality, people are saying they do not like the idea of being a part of the local body of believers, also called church. This is because, they either do not see the importance of it, because their lives are too busy to take up with services and meetings and church responsibilities or they do not want to deal with the relational problems that arise in the church. People see that the local church isn’t what it ought to be. They observe its failures to conform to the ideals of the Christian life.

Revelation tells the story of seven churches, each one having areas where the church did well and was strong as well as areas where it was weak and needed work. Each and every local body of believers, just like every natural family, is going to have a combination of strengths and weaknesses. But, like with our natural family, we are to persevere through those weaknesses and delight in the strengths. Friendships, marriages, relationships of all kinds, are not built between perfect people. The Christian calling is to forgive over and over again and to walk with someone the extra mile regardless of the difficulties.

The real tragedy is that we get so wrapped up on the weaknesses of those around us we forget the plank in our eye, the one that is causing our critical outlook on our Christian family. The Christian life cannot be lived to its fullness alone. It involves community and relationships which is in a local body of believers provides. It will not ever be perfect on this earth while our flesh is still weak. We have just as many weaknesses as others and its people like us that make up the body of Christ. Jesus sees us all as pure and spotless, but that reality is not yet manifested in our eyes, but together we can choose to walk in line with the Kingdom reality that we are the righteousness of God or the earthly reality that we are what we see in the natural.

There is no hope in an alternative direction.

Doing things outside of God’s way will not produce better results. Doing things God’s way isn’t easy, it’s the difficult narrow road where much is sacrificed, but the rewards are like nothing one could ever even taste doing it our way. In the church, people won’t be perfect, they will offend you, and they will be hypocritical. Pastors and leaders will not be perfect; they are human just like everyone else. They will let you down. Our eyes must be on Him who is perfect and not on man.

Together we can walk this journey for which Christ calls us heavenward.

We can face the facts of our imperfections and not allow them to divide us. Jesus calls for us to even love our enemies and do good to those who have wronged us. If someone in the church has really wronged you, forgive them and do good to them. Bless them and you will find freedom from the hurt of their actions.

We are one body of Christ, but we each serve different parts.

Each of us has a church family where we belong and where we fit. Each of us is a vital part of the body and without that part, the church cannot function to the fullest of what God has for it. If all the hands stayed home the feet couldn’t do all the work of the hands. If all the eyes stayed home the church would be blind. Each person is needed in the family and has a place where they will be most fulfilled because they are in the will of God doing what they were designed to do. Some of the hands or feet or eyes of the church are designed for the marketplace or other spheres of society, but they need to be sent out from the church always having that community with other believers.

Salvation is through Christ

The bottom line is it’s a misnomer to say that one is a believer apart from the church. This is not to say that one cannot be saved and have a relationship with Jesus without being a part of the local body of believers. Salvation is through Christ alone there is nothing that can be added to that, not even church. At the same time, the church is a necessary part of a Christian life. This also is not accomplished by simply attending Sunday morning meetings by worshiping a few songs and listening to a sermon. Being apart of the local church consists of being in the family of believers. Sunday morning services are a very small part of that, albeit an important part. Corporate worship and sermons are important, but real church life starts with relationships one with another with a group of believers that you are going to walk through life with until the point comes that God moves you on to a different body.

The most important thing when finding what God wants for your life is to first and foremost find what group of believers He has for you to belong. Then from that place, you can know what city to live in and what job to work. The church is always first. God must always be first.

When you have community and fellowship with believers and take that time out of your week to worship together and learn more about God, your week will profit from doing so. When life is lived in proper order it will work out better. However, that is not to say that there won’t be trials and hardships in doing the right thing, those will come, and they may hit you hard when you start doing the right thing, but you will get through it and your life will be better when God is given first priority. The right way is not usually an easy way.

No matter the trials and difficulties of being rightly connected in fellowship with believers, its benefits outweigh them all. There are so many wonderful things to explore in the Kingdom of God and watching other believers enjoy them as well is a very pleasant experience. Think of church as a family, a family that doesn’t have to agree on everything and will get on each other’s last nerves, yet a family that is always there in life and has your back. Stick it out through the thick and thin and it will be well worth it no matter what trials may come. The trials are better faced from within the family than from without. The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, but to be lived in community with a larger body of believers. Ask God to show you the family He has for you and go get to know them, it’s worth it.

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