The Christian's Duty To The Local
The Church of Christ is an institution from God. It was established at the command of Christ, and it was purchased with the blood of Christ. This body wears the name of Christ. The fact that it is a spiritual organization makes it a sacred possession of God.
As Christians, we are blessed to be added to the church that He died for. This happens when we obey the gospel message of belief, repentance, confession, and baptism. As soon as we do this, we are saved from our sins and are added to the body of Christ. We are baptized into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13). As we begin our new life, we should cherish what God has done for us. We must realize that along with the privilege of membership in this body, responsibilities are placed upon each of us.
As we build upon our new relationship with God and Christ, we need to build relationships with God's people in our local area. We must learn to love the church and the members of the church. In truth, the members are the church in a local sense. We are all members of the body of Christ throughout the world who obey Christ and His teachings (Matthew 7:21-23). We must love this church so much that we would be willing to sacrifice for it.
Anyone who does not recognize the importance of the church will not treat it as sacred and special. We are commanded to keep the church pure. Such purity comes from application of the truth of God's word. Such truth must always be of supreme importance in the church. Otherwise it becomes nothing more than a social club.
In order to understand my duty to the church, I must study God's word to learn all about His church. I must know why it exists and how it came into existence. I must realize that the purpose of the church is to help people get to heaven. This is done through evangelism and edifying those who are saved. Encouragement is a large part of edification. Bible study helps us also.
Along with the love I should hold towards the church, I must also try to be a worker in the church. While there are physical matters that need tending to, there is much in the work of the church that all members should participate in. Promoting the church is one thing you can do. Tell others about the church. Tell them how much you love your brethren, and how much they love you. Tell how the worship service lifts your soul so as to feel the presence of God in your life.
We should feel that there is no task too lowly that we cannot do something. Greeting visitors makes them feel welcome. They just might see how much love can be offered to them by God's people, and thusly see the great love of God towards them.
As a member, we should know that we are expected to help the church grow and fulfill the work of the church. Evangelism is a work of the church. If we do not do it, there are people who do go preach. These people need financial support. If we have a church building, there are utilities to be paid, advertising, lawn maintenance that needs money to do these things. I must support financially the local church as I have the ability and the purpose in my heart to give.
I must defend the church against error, false teaching, those who rebuke her, and those who choose not to serve God His way. And I will not desert her myself.
So much more could be said, so think about this.
By Carey Scott.
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