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February 12, 2014

February 12, 2014

"Don't Just Believe.  Belong!"

“God’s family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”  1 Timothy 3: 15b GW

You are called to belong, not just believe.  Even in the perfect, sinless environment of Eden God saw that need.  He did something about it.

When He saw that there was not a suitable partner for man God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”  (Genesis 2: 18b NIV)  (That is still the truth.  Men who are married live longer than men who are not.)  And so He created woman to be an equal partner of man.

We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship and formed for a family.  None of us can fulfill God’s purposes by ourselves.  The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits.

While your relationship to Jesus is personal, God never intends it to be private.  In God’s family you are connected to every other believer in every other time.  Following Christ includes belonging, not just believing in Him.  CS Lewis noted that the word “membership” is of Christian origin, but the world has emptied it of its original meaning.

Stores offer discounts to “members” and advertisers use member names to create mailing lists.  In churches, membership is often reduced to adding your name to a role with no requirements or expectations.

To Paul that would have been a scandal.  Being a “member” of the church meant being a vital part of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the body of Christ.  It is vital that the church recover and rediscover that understanding.  It is even more important that we as Christians practice that meaning of membership.

The church is a body, not a building, an organism not an organization.  (Romans 12: 4 – 5, 1 Corinthians 6: 15; 12: 12 – 27)

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don