The Christian and the Church
The Bible teaches that a Christian is saved into the body of Christ, which is another name for the church. In Acts 2:47, the Bible says, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” However, it’s important to add that there will be saints in heaven who were not affiliated with a church due to specific restraining circumstances.
A saved person who loves the Lord from all of his heart, mind and strength (Matthew 22:37) will find it a joy to fellowship with fellow believers in the church (Romans 12:10). Therefore, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
The Body of Saved Believers
The Lord resembled the church as a body where all the members work together in unison for the benefit of the whole body (1 Corinthians 12:27). The believer grows spiritually among other believers (Matthew 18:20). If we take a piece of burning coal away from fire, it gets cold. Likewise, if we take a Christian away from the church fold, he gets spiritually cold.
Jesus promised the disciples to shower them with the gift of the Holy Spirit but this was to take place only when they unite with one another and pray in one spirit (Acts 1 & 2). Jesus’ last prayer to the Father before He offered Himself as a sacrifice was that the disciples would be united together and become one body as He and the Father are one (John 17:11).
The Lord taught that the unity springing from the blended lives of Christians would be the most tool that will impress the world of the divine origin of the Christian church. He said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
The early church was on fire because the believers “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Romans 12:10). Sharing with one another and hearing testimonies of Christian experiences strengthened the believers in the face of persecution and trials (Philippians 2:1).
Paul saw the great necessity for the children of God to encourage and build one another. He wrote, “we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15).
Sign of True Christianity
The Bible teaches, “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). If Christians walk in God’s presence, they will be filled with love for one another (Psalm 133:1; Romans 12:10). They will be ready to work, serve, minister and encourage each other and those that are outside the church.
Division among the believers shows that the spirit of evil and sin is present among them. John wrote, “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20). An examination of the quality of a person’s love for his brothers will show much concerning the truthfulness of his love for God.
In His service,