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To Be?

April 27, 2017

“Be the church.”

Christian’s must do more than attend church they must be the church. Christian’s must be the church in the community. The Christian must be the church to the poor, the hurting and the unlovely. The admonition is a compelling call for Christian’s to be salt and light in the world. Except for one little difficulty. The individual Christian cannot be the church. The Christian is a part of the church but he is not the church.

By living a Godly Christian life the believer reflects the glory of God and the fullness of salvation to the eyes of a world blinded by Satan. The Christian should show the world the grace of God. He should live in a way that is fitting to the glorious doctrines of God’s Word. (Titus 2:1-10) By living an honorable life the unsaved will see the Christian’s good works and glorify God (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12) Yet doing these things is not being the church to the world.

The world needs to see the individual Christian being Christlike and the world needs to see the church being Christlike. The lost need to see that believers are part of a body that loves its members. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:25) The world does not see Christian love for other believers unless those believers are together through good times and bad. The world does not see the body of Christ when it only sees individual members. “For the body is not one member but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14)

In the New Testament the church is always the assembly. From the very first time Jesus mentioned the church the New Testament exclusively describes the church as a gathered community. The church is not a collection of believing people spread throughout the city. The church is an assembled body of believers. The church is never an individual member. Your finger is part of your body, but your finger apart from your body is not you. It is just a finger. The Christian apart from the body is not a church. He is a Christian. The church is a gathering of believing people into one place.

Be the church. Be the church by covenanting yourself to a local assembly of believers. Be the church by assembling every week with the body you have joined. The gathering together is a wonderful privilege for all Christians. Why try to go it alone when God has graciously designed a body for you to be a part of? The gathering together is a wonderful privilege for every Christian. Why neglect your gifts and miss out on service when God has created a place for you to show your love to other Christians. Gather with the church to be encouraged, trained and prepared to serve Christ in the world.

Leave the church gathering to go into the community serving others, glorifying God and preaching the gospel. The child of God must be a Christian wherever he goes, but he can only be the church when he is gathered with the church.

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