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The 4 Essentials To Spiritual Growth-2

The 4 Essentials To Spiritual Growth-Part II
Attending Church

And 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 (NKJV)

In Part I of this series on the 4-essential things that each new believer should implement into their lives, to promote spiritual growth we looked at

1.    Read your Bible daily

In this writing we are going to continue on to number two on our list, which is:

2.    Attend Church services regularly

The second essential thing for our Spiritual growth as Christian men and women is for us to get planted in a good healthy Bible teaching Church.   Before we get into the reasons as to why we should be in Church, I want to clarify that the Church is not any set of four walls in one particular town, state, or country.  And any person who says that you have to attend Church to be saved is lost in legalism and is propagating something that is not true, but there are some things we cannot be a part of, or receive unless we meet as a body, or "Group" of believers.

The Church is actually the body of believers-all those who have made a profession of faith in Jesus as Messiah, and it covers many diverse countries, cultures and ethnicities throughout the world.  We as a body of believers make up one Spirit.  We serve One Lord, through one faith.  We are encouraged to remember this in our walk in Ephesians.

 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:1 (NKJV)

So when I talk about attending church, I am simply speaking of meeting at a place of worship with the body of believers-our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.  

It is important to know that we were actually called into a relationship with God once we became Christians (See 1Cor 1:9).  One thing that we can note is that the New Testament never separates Christian believers into groups of "Church members" and "Non-Church members."  It is clearly noted throughout the scriptures that everyone participates in their local assembly, and in fact, there are no examples found within the Bible of believers who are a part of the universal Church, but have no link with a local Church.  

I like what Alan Stibbs said in his book entitled, "Gods Church." He said, "Any Idea...of enjoying salvation or being a Christian in isolation is foreign to the New Testament writings."(1)

Early Christian converts met regularly as evidenced in Acts 20:7. Every time the Apostle Paul would go to a new city and win new converts, the first thing he would do is organize them into a new local church.  There are many things that could not be done if we were not participating in our local church.  Here are three of them as specified in the Word of God.

    1.    USE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS -1 Corinthians 12 makes it clear that God has given spiritual gifts to every Christian. And verse 7 states unmistakably that these abilities are not provided to make you feel good; they are abilities to minister that should be used for the common good!  1Peter 4:10 commands us to use spiritual gifts to help each other. The same passage makes it clear that we meet with other Christians so they can use their gifts to strengthen us. God's gift of a preacher or teacher is wasted if no one comes to hear them speak. (2)

    2.    MUTUAL MINISTRY - The church is pictured as a body in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul explains that each part of the body exists to meet the needs of other body parts. In the same way, God intends each of us to meet the needs of other believers, using our strengths to help in their areas of weakness. 1 Corinthians 12:21 says it this way: "The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you." Neither can a Christian claim to be self-sufficient today. The New Testament is full of one another commands. We are to comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18), build up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and confess our sins to one another and to pray for one another (James 5:16), and many more. How can we obey these directives if we stay away from the gathering of believers? (2)

    3.    ACCOUNTABILITY - God designed the church as a place where spiritual leaders could watch out for our welfare, as a shepherd guards the sheep (1 Peter 5:1-4; Heb. 13:17).  A Christian who answers only to himself can easily rationalize sinful attitudes or actions; regular contact with other Christians can keep us sharp. A single verse should actually be sufficient answer for this question: Hebrews 10:25 warns its readers against forsaking the assembly of yourselves together, as the manner of some is. (2)

Hey Christian, we are strengthened and encouraged when we gather together as believers.  It is also our opportunity to help others in love.  Let's make attending Church a priority in our lives.

STUDY QUESTION: What does Hebrews 10:24-25 tell us about gathering at Church?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you attending a local church that teaches the Bible verse by verse?

APPLICATION: Make gathering at church services and bible studies a priority in your life.  God wants to do something in other peoples lives through you.  And He wants to do something in your life, through them as well.  Trust God.

Father, Thank You for teaching us about the essentials of Spiritual growth.  Help me to continue in applying these 4-essentials as long as I live.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

(1)    Alan Stibbs, God's Church, p. 92
(2)    Christian Answers Author: Dr. John Bechtle.

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000