Commitment to Christ Means Commitment to His Church (Blogs Revisited)

Commitment to Christ Means Commitment to His Church (Originally posted June 22, 2014)

“Is it possible to have a commitment to Christ separate and apart from a commitment to  his church?  Scores of today’s Christians apparently believe so based on the lack of attendance in worship services around the world. But the church, the body and bride of Christ, is far more than going to a worship assembly or attending the annual church cookout. If we are to identify ourselves as Christians, joined with Christ, we must also join our lives with Christ’s people. It is a privilege to be identified as a member of Christ’s family, but so many believers view it as a chore.

Part of the problem in today’s culture is how we view the church. We tend to think of the church as a building, a meeting place. We characterize churches based upon denominational leaning or what programs they offer. It’s common to hear people say, “I attend the church with the great singles program” or “I worship at the church that has unlimited resources and outings for retirees.”  We’ve created a consumer-driven mentality where we “shop around” for the congregation that best suits our needs.

But this is not how the Bible presents the church. Jesus nor his disciples never once refer to the church as a building or a series of programs designed to please the masses. The church of Christ is simply meant to be a body of believers sharing the life of Christ. We’re meant to care, love, serve, and teach one another. We’re called to forgive, encourage, pray for, and rejoice with one another (Read 1 Corinthians 12:25, John 13:34-35, Galatians 5:13, Colossians 3:16, Colossians 3:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, James 5:16, and Philippians 4:4).

So I must ask the question…How will you approach the church and your commitment to it?  Our only response should be total dedication to the bride of Christ because in doing so, we are also showing total dedication to Christ himself.”

It’s summer vacation time here in Florida, and I’ve noticed a lot more out-of-town visitors at our Sunday morning worship services lately.  I love it when we have visitors because I get to meet and talk to other Christians, but even more importantly, I gain a tremendous amount of encouragement by seeing the importance these visitors place on worship and the church itself.

We all have been there before I’m sure.  We are on a much needed vacation, one which we’ve have planned for months or maybe years, and we have many activities or hours of relaxation planned for our time.  A lot of times, our weekly worship time passes and we don’t give a second thought about missing.  Maybe that’s because we’re not home with our regular church family or we’re unfamiliar with the local churches in the area.

It’s always nice to live in a tourist area and know that Christians have made it a priority to assemble with a group of believers while on vacation.  It shows how strongly they view the church itself and the vital role it plays in worshipping God and strengthening the body of Christians worldwide.  The above post, which I penned almost 5 years ago now, is a reminder of what our commitment to the church should be.  If we are committed to Christ and then show no commitment to his bride the church, then we are really liars and not committed to him at all.  And it’s not just on vacation either.  Our lives should be an example of placing God and his church at the forefront of everything we hold dear.

I’ll close by echoing the words above.  How will you approach the church and your commitment to it?  Our only response should be total dedication to the bride of Christ, because in doing so, we are also showing total dedication to Christ himself.

-Joe Butler

What’s So Important About the Church

aCwqee1438196380“A place to belong, A place to become, A place to call home.”

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.)

-Joe

Commitment to Christ Means Commitment to His Church

Is it possible to have a commitment to Christ separate and apart from a commitment to  his church?  Scores of today’s Christians apparently believe so based on the lack of attendance in worship services around the world. But the church, the body and bride of Christ, is far more than going to a worship assembly or attending the annual church cookout. If we are to identify ourselves as Christians, joined with Christ, we must also join our lives with Christ’s people. It is a privilege to be identified as a member of Christ’s family, but so many believers view it as a chore.

Part of the problem in today’s culture is how we view the church. We tend to think of the church as a building, a meeting place. We characterize churches based upon denominational leaning or what programs they offer. It’s common to hear people say, “I attend the church with the great singles program” or “I worship at the church that has unlimited resources and outings for retirees.”  We’ve created a consumer-driven mentality where we “shop around” for the congregation that best suits our needs.

But this is not how the Bible presents the church. Jesus nor his disciples never once refer to the church as a building or a series of programs designed to please the masses. The church of Christ is simply meant to be a body of believers sharing the life of Christ. We’re meant to care, love, serve, and teach one another. We’re called to forgive, encourage, pray for, and rejoice with one another (Read 1 Corinthians 12:25, John 13:34-35, Galatians 5:13, Colossians 3:16, Colossians 3:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, James 5:16, and Philippians 4:4).

So I must ask the question…How will you approach the church and your commitment to it?  Our only response should be total dedication to the bride of Christ because in doing so, we are also showing total dedication to Christ himself.

-Joe