That phrase is a motto for the church I attend. And isn’t that what the church is supposed to be? We are not just solitary believers. We are called to belong. We are a part of something, a living body connected together under the leadership of Christ. But we Christians have corrupted the perfect church Jesus created. Through division and apathy, the church has devolved from what it was created to be. Today, it is now popular to say, “I don’t need the church.” In saying that, we are spitting in Christ’s face. Jesus died for the church (Ephesians 5:25) and we are his bride. We can’t say that we love Jesus but hate his bride. Let’s look at why the church was created and how we’re called to belong.
- Ephesians 4:15-16- “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (The church was created for us to stay healthy and grow. We have a family responsibility to help one another reach full spiritual maturity.)
- 1 Corinthians 12:7- “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (The body needs all of its members playing their unique roles to function properly. The church is a wonderful place to put our God-given abilities into practice.)
- Ephesians 2:10- “ For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Jesus will one day come for his bride, but until that day comes, we are his instruments. We are meant to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth and that can be better achieved if we work together as a body.)
- Hebrews 3:13- “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (We are responsible for keeping track of each other, helping one another to avoid the temptations of this world. God knows that we have a better chance of fighting sin when we are united.)
In the end, we are not only meant to be committed to Christ. Just as important, we are supposed to be committed to other believers. I encourage you to join a group of local believers and fulfill your role as the bride of Christ, his church.
(I do want to add that a biblically-based church body may look very different from what you’re used to. It may be a large group meeting at a central church building or it could be a small gathering of Christians in someone’s home. We are simply called to be the body of Christ and follow and worship him as the Bible describes. No more, no less.)