Christian.Ephesians 2:19b (LB)
God's family is the church of the living God,the pillar and foundation of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:15b (GWT)
You are called to belong, not just believe. The Bible says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together and will be caught up together. You're not on your own anymore.
While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God's family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity. Following Christ includes belonging, not just believing. We are members of his Body-the church. The church is a body, not a building; an organism, not an organization.
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, but you will miss this second purpose of your life if you're not attached to a living, local church. You discover your role in life through your relationships with others.
YOUR LOCAL FELLOWSHIP
The Bible says 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. The Bible says, "You belong in God's household with every other Christian.'
WHY YOU NEED A CHURCH FAMILY
A church family identifies you as a genuine believer. I can't claim to be following Christ if I'm not committed to any specific group of disciples.
A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation. The local church is the classroom for learning how to get along in God's family. It is a lab for practicing unselfish, sympathetic love. As a participating member you learn to care about others and share the experiences of others: "If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share its bon or:" Only in regular contact with ordinary, imperfect believers can we learn real fellowship and experience the New Testament truth of being connected and dependent on each other."
Biblical fellowship is being as committed to each other as we are to Jesus Christ. God expects us to give our lives for each other.
The church will outlive this universe, and so will your role in it.
A church family helps you develop spiritual muscle. You will never grow to maturity just by attending worship services and being a passive spectator. Only participation in the full life of a local church builds spiritual muscle. The Bible says, "As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love."
Real maturity shows up in relationships.
We need more than the Bible in order to grow; we need other believers. We grow faster and stronger by learning from each other and being accountable to each other. When others share what God is teaching them, I learn and grow, too.
The Body of Christ needs you. God has a unique role for you to play in his family.
Jesus has not promised to build your ministry; he has promised to build his church.
IT'S ALL IN THE CHURCH
He created the church to meet your five deepest needs: a purpose to live for, people to live with, principles to live by, a profession to live out, and power to live on. There is no other place on earth where you can find all five of these benefits in one place.
God's purposes for his church are identical to his five purposes for you. Worship helps you focus on God; fellowship helps you face life's problems; discipleship helps fortify your faith; ministry helps find your talents; evangelism helps fulfill your mission. There is nothing else on earth like the church!
Why is it important to join a local church family? Because it proves you are committed to your spiritual brothers and sisters in reality, not just in theory. God wants you to love real people, not ideal people. You can spend a lifetime searching for the perfect church, but you will never find it. You are called to love imperfect sinners, just as God does.
You become a Christian by committing yourself to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourself to a specific group of believers. The first decision brings salvation; the second brings fellowship.
-- I am called to belong, not just believe.
Verse to Remember: "In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5 (NIV)