In the year 1215 Frederick II, the king of Germany, became the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. One of his many interests was language, and the story is told of his quest to determine the original language of man. Was it Hebrew, Greek, Latin, or Arabic?
This story is recorded by the thirteenth century Franciscan, Salimbene of Parma. It is said that Frederick engaged in a number of unusual experiments in this quest to determine the original language of man, including the collecting of orphaned babies. Foster mothers and nurses cared for them, but they were never to speak with the babies. The babies never heard a word, not a sound from a human voice.
Frederick was never able to discover man’s original language. In fact, the experiment failed horribly because after a few months every single one of the babies had died.
God made us, as human beings, to have meaningful communication with one another and especially with those in a spiritual family. Belonging to a particular church is vital to the Christian, and if we do not interact with each other our spiritual health will suffer. In fact, in the New Testament there is no such person as a Christian who does not belong to a church. Conversion was described as “the Lord adding to the church” (Acts 2:47). Those who came to know Christ were committed at once to the local church where they were instructed and shepherded, and where they submitted to the teaching and direction of those whom God appointed for their good (Ephesians 4:11-12).
In Acts 5:13 we read of the reaction of the non-Christians in Jerusalem after a couple within the church, Ananias and Sapphira, had died on the spot when it was revealed that they had lied to the Holy Spirit. It says, “None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.” The unbelievers had great respect for the Christians, but after this incident none of them who claimed to be converted, and were outward-only believers, wanted to join the church.
In the Greek language the word that is translated “join” literally means “to glue or cement together, to unite, to join firmly.” This is the unity and bond that God expects in His church.
People are saved out of the world and into the church to serve Christ, not singly but as part of the body over which He is head. Many of the duties of the church can only be honoured when the people of God work together. The discipline of the church is impossible when individuals decline to join.
The eldership of the church is encouraging those of you who attend our church to formally identify yourselves with IBCZ as your spiritual home. By committing yourselves to the body of believers you are also showing your commitment to Christ – making it clear whose side you are on (Mark 8:38). This must not just be an outward act. It needs to be a sincere commitment which is seen by your faithfulness in meeting together, praying for each other and serving Christ.
Please speak to myself or one of the elders if you would like to know more about becoming a member at IBCZ.