link882 link883 link884 link885 link886 link887 link888 link889 link890 link891 link892 link893 link894 link895 link896 link897 link898 link899 link900 link901 link902 link903 link904 link905 link906 link907 link908 link909 link910 link911 link912 link913 link914 link915 link916 link917 link918 link919 link920 link921 link922 link923 link924 link925 link926 link927 link928 link929 link930 link931 link932 link933 link934 link935 link936 link937 link938 link939 link940 link941 link942 link943 link944 link945 link946 link947 link948 link949 link950 link951 link952 link953 link954 link955 link956 link957 link958 link959 link960 link961 link962 link963 link964 link965 link966 link967 link968 link969 link970 link971 link972 link973 link974 link975 link976 link977 link978 link979 link980 link981 link982 link983 link984 link985 link986 link987 link988 link989 link990 link991 link992 link993 link994 link995 link996 link997 link998 link999 link1000 link1001 link1002 link1003 link1004 link1005 link1006 link1007 link1008 link1009 link1010 link1011 link1012 link1013 link1014 link1015 link1016 link1017 link1018 link1019 link1020 link1021 link1022 link1023 link1024 link1025 link1026 link1027 link1028

Tag: have

Why Do I Have to Go to Church?

s it enough to just follow Jesus?

Written by GodLife on 02/05/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Membership, Gifts, Baptism, Fellowship
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Did God give us a list of steps we must take before we can go on to maturity? In a way, yes! An interesting Bible passage warns us not to get stuck in our growth, but to move on to maturity. In doing this, it actually gives us seven “basic things” mature believers need to understand clearly. It begins with our personal relationship with God. It moves to our earthly identification with God’s people. And it ends with the ultimate heavenly destiny of all God’s people.

Are you ready for a tour? Turn to Hebrews 6 and follow carefully along.

Just You and God
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God…” (Hebrews 6:1)

Every follower of Jesus needs to clearly know Who He is. He’s “the only Son, who is truly God” (John 1:18). He loves us so much that He left heaven to live under His own Law. He was tempted in every way, but He remained perfect and sinless. He suffered rejection, mockery and a cruel execution to take the punishment our sins deserve. He said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) when He died, and His resurrection proved it was true.

For this “once for all” sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10-14) to work for me, I had to realize all I ever did only increased my guilt. My works were “deeds that bring death.” If there were any other way for me to escape hell, “it was useless for Christ to die” (Galatians 2:21). Believe this, pray humbly to receive Him, and trust that He’s able to save you forever, and you become a child of God (Hebrews 7:25; John 6:37).

You and the “local church” — the people of God near you
“And we shouldn’t need to keep teaching about baptisms or about the laying on of hands…” Hebrews 6:2a

As the passage implies, God did not save you simply so that you could enjoy eternal life. As His child, you’re part of a family with a mission. Not to keep teaching already-saved people the same things over and over, but to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19) But until a new believer has been baptized, he or she needs to be taught.

Water baptism is a public ceremony identifying you with Jesus and the other “called-out” people of God (that’s what “church” means). In order to do this, you have to have fellowship with other Christians, even if it’s only with one or two other people who follow Jesus. “Laying on of hands” takes it a step farther — this means publicly choosing and sending someone out for service. God empowers each believer “so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong” (Ephesians 4:12).

You and the “universal church” — the whole family in heaven and earth (Ephesians 3:15)
Finally, the passage ends with two more important points: “…the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:2b).

When Jesus returns, there will be a resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58). Believers who have died will be raised and united with those still living on earth. This is so that, in heaven, the work of the entire Church can be judged at once by Him (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5), and He can “show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7).

In this lesson, it’s easy to see that we’re not meant to live the Christian life alone. You might be able to think of exceptions: missionaries who travel to places where there is no church. Isolated believers in countries where Christians are persecuted. Those whose family members do not allow them to attend. But these are the special cases, because those who are denied church fellowship are the very ones who want it most! Christian children whose parents do not take them to church long to know what it is like. Isolated believers do their best to meet in secret or find a substitute, like broadcast or online services. Remote missionaries are going for the very purpose of establishing a church.

As Hebrews 6:1-2 shows us, there really is no way to move on to Christian maturity, to serve in the role for which God has called and empowered you, to accomplish the deeds for which He deserves praise in heaven, without being a part of an assembly of believers.

Pray this week:
Father, will you teach me everything I need to know about being a member of the Body of Christ?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member