Ephesians 2:19 reads, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” with every other Christian; God’s very own family.
God’s family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim.3:15). You are called to belong, not just believe. Even in the perfect, sinless environments of Eden, God said, “it is not good for man to be alone.” We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship and formed for a family and none of us can fulfill God’s purpose by ourselves.
The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship. The Bible says that we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together and held together (Eph 4:16). Therefore, you are not on your own anymore. While your relationship with Christ is personal, God never intended for it to be private.
In God’s family, you are connected to every other believer and we will belong to each other for eternity, so get used to it. We are one. God will have it no other way. The Bible says in Romans 12:5 that “we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
Following Christ includes belonging. Not just believing. We are members of His body, the church. To Paul, being a member of the church meant being a vital organ of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the body of Christ. The church is a body not a building. For the organs of your body to fulfill their purpose, they must be connected to your body. The same is true for you as a part of Christ’s body. You were created for a specific role; you discover your role in life through your relationship with others.
The Bible tells us that each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole. The body we are talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us find our meaning and function as a part of His body but with a chopped off finger or cut-off toe, we would not amount to much, would we? What I am trying to get you to understand is that if an organ is somehow severed from its body, it will shrivel up and die. It cannot exist on its own and neither can you or I.
John Chap. 15:4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches...”(v. 5).
What God is saying here is that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one in heaven and we also need to be one in Him as a body in the Earth!
If disconnected and cut off from the life blood of a local body, your spiritual life will wither and eventually cease to exist. So don’t think that you can stay at home and watch church on TV and never fellowship with other believers. You will find yourself in a backsliding condition. The church is God’s agenda for the world. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
The church is indestructible and will exist for eternity. I will outlive this universe and so will your role in it. The person who says, “I don’t need the church,” is either arrogant or ignorant. The church is so significant that Jesus died on the cross for it. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. The Bible calls the church the Bride of Christ and the body of Christ. I can’t imagine saying to Jesus, “I love you, but I dislike your wife” or “I accept you but I reject your body” but we do this whenever we dismiss, demean, or complain about the church.
Instead, God commands us to love the church as much as Jesus does. The Bible also says that a Christian without a church home is like an organ without a body; a sheep without a flock, or a child without a family. It is an unnatural state. You belong in God’s household with every other believer.
When we come together in love as a church family from different backgrounds, race and social status, it is a powerful witness to the world. You are not the body of Christ on your own. You need others to express that together, not separated. We are Christ’s body manifested in the Earth.
Let us pray: Father in the name of Jesus, by your Holy Spirit we ask that you help us to understand that a house divided within itself cannot stand, but together we can and that we can do all things through Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.