Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Ephesians 4:4-7 (NIV) 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Romans 8:26-28 (NIV) 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
We are called to one body. The body is then made up of different parts, all of which are fully equipped to do God's ministry in community. I think someone over time culture has influenced some thoughts on the church being brick and mortar and a specific place to worship. I think somewhere western influence has evolved into a lazy pattern of what God's disciples really are called to do. Not all churches have succumbed to this westernization, rather, some bear the fruit of the Spirit and are growing and thriving churches.
The example of the first really health and flourishing church is found in the book of Acts:
Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Why do we need to continue to go to church:
- Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching
- Colossians 3:16 (NIV) 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
- Romans 10:17 (NIV) 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
- Ephesians 4:3-6 (NIV) 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Be the Church (in your home, your work, your community and your church)
- Devote yourself to the Pastors teaching (the Elders)
- Fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ
- Devote yourself to breaking bread with all the believers and to prayer
- Come together (as believers did in Acts)
- Give to those in need, don't withhold what God has graciously given you
- Continue to meet together regularly
- Continue to meet with each other outside of church (building community with each other as we are the family of Christ)
- Praise God together
What does God require of us?
- To confess and know His Son as Savior
- To believe and humble are ourselves
- To trust and to obey
- To love one another
- To serve and to go out unto the world
- To be in the world BUT not of the world
- __________(Fill in your blanks)