Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Church...Does it Matter?

Attending Church Makes Us A Christian?
How many associate Christianity with church attendance? Probably most of us would concur, that
attending church has nothing to do with qualifying to be a Christian.
In fact, when I first became a Christian about twenty five years ago, for a short time, with great cockiness, I vowed that I didn't need to attend church to prove I had become a Christian. However, conviction came upon my heart and before I knew it, I had to find a Bible believing Christian church.
Had I learned that attending church proved my faith? No, not at all, it is only by believing in Jesus Christ and what He did for us all, that qualifies us a Christian. There are absolutely, no works we can perform, attending church included, that can give us new life and save our eternal souls.
Then why did the Holy Spirit convict my heart and cause me to find a church? What is church all about?
I Don't Need Church...Or Do I?
At the time I didn't know any of this, I just did what I knew I was being lead to do. But now I can share a few of the passages in God's Word about what the body of Christ is all about. Just incase, you are wondering.
Ephesians 4:12-16 KJV - For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Romans 12:4-8 KJV - For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Ephesians 1:22-23 KJV - And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
1Corinthians 12:12-21 KJV - For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where [were] the body? But now [are they] many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
Jesus As Our Head

Not only are we to meet together to encourage each other to grow and mature as Christians. We are to be under the direction of Jesus Christ, He is the Head part of our body. That means that even if we faithfully attend church, participate in all the churchy activities such as Bible studies, choir, Sunday school teaching and such, yet we don't submit to the Head of our body, Jesus, we will be rather lost. The only way we can live in unity with each other, pleasing God,  is to submit to His leadership. Here are a few verses that are very clear about Christ as our Head:
Ephesians 1:22-24 KJV Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 5:23 KJV - For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
1 Corinthians 11:3 KJV - But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.
Colossians 1:18 KJV - And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

We all know the importance of our brain and how it is the control center for our entire body. It is the only reason why we are to wear helmets when participating in activities such as biking, skateboarding, hockey, football, mountain climbing and such. It only takes one injury to our very delicate brain, to result in a debilitating head injury, that can render us utterly dependent on others to care for us. Well, even if we avoid those activities we can still be impacted by diseases that we have no ability to avoid, such as alzheimer's, strokes and aneurisms. And I am reminded of my own disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. No matter how much I tell my muscles to work, they won't get any stronger because my motor neurons, the part of my brain that is to make my muscles work, deteriorate and therefore my muscles atrophy, resulting in weakness, and resulting in increasing dependence on the assistance of others.

It is evident that being a part of the Body of Christ, with Jesus as our Head is critical to our spiritual growth and walk with God.

What If I Can't Find The Right Christian Church?
A very valid question that we'll talk about that topic in the next posting.

For now,  I will leave you with these verses that encourage us to not give up meeting together.

Hebrews 10:25,26 KJV And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Acts 2:46.27 KJV - And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.