The Family of God is Important.
Everyone can agree how important family is.
Though we may not always act like we believe this, we know it’s true. Our family supports us in the good times and the bad. Our family will always be there for us.
No matter what we’ve done or how far we stray. And we know that to keep our family relationships healthy, we need to devote time and energy to them.
So what about our family in the church? Do we see them the same way? Whether we attend a small church or a mega church, we have contact with fellow Christians who share our beliefs. These people are also our family. It’s not just those in our local church either; it’s all Christians.
How much time we spend with our fellow Christians and getting to know them is up to us. There are plenty of opportunities. But the more we devote to our Christian family, the closer we are to becoming what God wanted from His Church all along – Unity.
God knew we would need each other. He knew we would need like-minded people to laugh and cry with and to share our struggles. Doing life alone is hard, and it’s even harder when we’re in the trenches, doing what God called us to do, because we need extra encouragement there.
If we want to impact our world, we’re going to have to do it together. We’re going to need to be connected and grow together. Just like a team of excellent players that don’t know each other or practice together wouldn’t perform well, we as a church won’t be who God needs us to be if we don’t know each other and do life together.
We are the Bridge to God.
Staying connected with each other is so important, not just for our benefit while we’re here on earth, but also for the lost people around us. We are the bridge that helps lead the lost to Christ. How else will they know they need the Lord or how to get to Him if we don’t show them the way?
Of course, individuals can do this to an extent. You may have heard the phrase, “Each one, reach one,” and this is true. It takes all of us. If every believer just reached one person, we’d have a major revival on our hands. But it takes more than just one-on-one evangelism to impact our society and culture, which is so heavily influenced by sin. We impact our culture by evangelizing as a unified body.
There’s a popular Christian way of thinking that says the way you live is often a better example to others of what Christianity is all about than trying to convert them with your words. It’s kind of like the saying, actions speak louder than words. This is very true, and the same can be said about the body of believers as a whole. Yes, we need to get the Word out there, and yes we need to speak love and truth into people’s lives. But the way we live – together, unified, sharing life and love and grace with each other, helping each other, and carrying out God’s work together – will speak way more to our broken society than a sermon.
The world wants to know that we’re a body worth belonging to. We are not like any other organization or club. We are bound together by the grace of God, which overflows from us to each other.
We’re Called to be Righteous.
One thing that often prevents us from being a strong, sturdy bridge for others is sin. We know from scripture that everyone sins from time to time and that there’s grace for us when we do. But that doesn’t give us license to continue in that sin. Of course, we know we need to ask God to help us get rid of that sin, but we also need to seek help from our fellow believers.
You see, the reason why non-believers often call Christians hypocrites is because they see us proclaiming freedom from sin in Christ and then see us making mistakes. Too many times, we want to pretend everything is fine and not address the sin directly. We say we’ll be fine and we’ll overcome it next time. Everyone sins, we tell ourselves.
But the world is watching.
Do we have to be perfect? No. But we have to be genuine. Everyone struggles. This is true. So be honest about it. Let the world see that yes, we do mess up, but thankfully we serve a God who forgives us and doesn’t just leave us stranded in that sin with no way out. He sends the Holy Spirit to walk beside us and guide us through overcoming that sin. He sends us fellow believers to help hold us accountable but also offer help, prayer, and encouragement.
The world needs to see that the church is a safe place for sinners. Yes, we all sin. But God doesn’t leave us there. He calls us to change and helps us overcome. We don’t have to do it alone. That’s what the world needs to see.
If we can reveal to the world this Christ-like acceptance of each other as sinners…if we can show that we’re not afraid to be open about our struggles and that we’re willing to let God and the church help us through those struggles…then we are truly showing the world Jesus.
And when we show the world the true Jesus, people will come running.