Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Last Sunday we considered the importance of our attendance at church worship services as well as other church functions. We examined three metaphors for the church in Scripture which highlight this.
First, the church is “the people of God” (I Pet. 2:10). This doesn’t simply mean random people who are scattered everywhere but do not come together. Rather, in Scripture this refers to the people saved by God’s mercy who then identify with one another and assemble together for worship, growth, and service.
Second, the church is “the Body of Christ” (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23), of which Christ is the Head. I Cor. 12 explains how every believer is gifted by God to serve the church in various ways. The gifts are given for the common good, and so the church needs the gifts of every Christian. If a Christian does not participate in the life of the church, their growth is hindered because they cannot benefit from the spiritual gifts of others, and the church is limited because it is missing out on the gifts of that Christian.
Finally, I Cor. 3:16-17 and Eph. 2:21-22 describe how when we gather together, collectively we are a temple where the Spirit of God dwells. When we meet together for worship, we can grow in our faith in ways we cannot on our own, for the Spirit is with us to teach us, to build us up in our faith, to strengthen us in our walk with Jesus, to draw us closer to the Lord, to touch us afresh with His love.
So what a great gift God has given us with the church. There we experience the presence of God’s Spirit, we can grow deeper in our faith and walk with Jesus, we are able to love and encourage one another, and we can unite our gifts for greater service within the church as well as to the world.
May each of us take full advantage of this wonderful gift God has given us!
Grace and peace,