The Necessity of Church
Would your faith be any different without the visible Church in your life? Think about that for just a moment. The Bible knows nothing of Christians separated from a local body of believers, but for many in our world today, how they practice their faith has no bearing on anyone else but themselves. The “only me and Jesus” attitude is not a Biblical one. Faith is personal. But just because your family or friends may be Christians doesn’t make you one. The essence of the Christian faith is that it is meant to be lived out in community.
God has given us the gift of the Church, the Bride of Christ, for our good. We are going to spend the next several Sunday nights looking at the doctrine of the Church in Scripture.
In contrast to the practice of many around us we will look at how the body of Christ is a place of belonging for believers.
The visible Church consists of believers and their children in a covenant community.
The Church is also the God-ordained agent of Evangelism.
It is the place where we partake of the means of grace, the proclamation of the Word of God, the proper administration of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and corporate prayer.
It is a place of sanctification and grace as we grow in our faith side by side and encourage and help each other along in our faith.
It is also the place of accountability where others can help me to stay on that straight and narrow path.
The Church shows forgiveness to the repentant sinner.
Where would I be without the Church? You have heard me say before that you cannot say, “I Love God,” and yet in practice hate being with the Bride of Christ. To do so is to say, “I want to follow Christ” and then ignore what the Bible teaches about Him. Christians outside of the visible Church need to repent of disregarding God’s commands about His body and find a place they can call home.
I hope you will enjoy these six messages on Sunday evenings about the Church as we begin a new year together.