Dating or Married?

This Sunday at Faith Discovery Church we will be talking about something everybody ought to know. Yep, we’re going to point out the obvious. What is it? That the church is a family and that Christianity is about relationships!  Christ commissions us to faithfully do His work – feeding the hungry, comforting the broken, preaching the Gospel – but that’s not all that it’s about.  His church is a place to belong, a place of grace. We miss that sometimes, getting so busy in the work of the Lord that we forget the importance of loving and listening.

Are you, disciple, part of the Body? Are you committed to the Church and the church?

Bible doctrine teaches us that the Church is the universal Body of Christ. We are joined to her when we are born of the Spirit and baptized in faith. But, we need to do more than know this. We need to do this!  When we make gathering with our church family a priority, we discover support, fellowship, and encouragement; and who doesn’t need that?  So, why don’t more of us find the richness of relationship I’m describing? Because churches are made up of real people, flawed people, who don’t always love well.  It takes commitment, patience, and time to create the connections that return the kind of joy promised to those who are ‘in the Body.’  Look what is possible. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” (1 Corinthians 12:26, NLT)

Experiencing that connectedness requires radical commitment; akin to that which we make in marriage. Some Christians “date” churches endlessly, but never marry one! Thus, they never know the great joy that can only be experienced as a part of a team that is building the Kingdom of Christ. They let the superficial stuff – who was nice to me, who talked to me, who noticed me – replace the unity of the Spirit that binds us all together.  When we let the Tempter stir up feelings of resentment toward other people in Christ’s Body, we will fall into the sin of offense.  Inevitably a high wall will appear dividing us from those who are our best allies in the fight for faith. Even worse, when we let resentment loose, we will begin to attack and destroy what Christ loves! Think what it does to His heart when we tear down, for selfish reasons, the Bride (the Church) that He loves so much that He gave His life for her.

The Bible offers this lofty description of Christ’s Church. “By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:7-11, NLT) God’s plan is to use the church to demonstrate His grace and goodness to Heaven and Earth!

Don’t miss out. Join up! Make a radical commitment to the work of God in your local church.  It’s not just about joining a mission! It’s about being ‘in a family.’  Sunday, we’re going to present the vision of “Discovery Groups” a place outside of the church building where we can learn to be the people of the Lord. It’s not about yet another ministry. It’s about a place to belong, a place of grace.
Here’s a word from the Word to ponder today. “I … beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each  other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6, NLT)

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