by Steven Chan
The church was bought with the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28; Eph 5:25) and “Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” (Eph 5:23) We need to appreciate the importance of the church and conduct ourselves in the appropriate manner as our Lord requires of us (I Tim 3:15), so that He will be glorified in His church (Eph 3:21):
”I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”(1 Tim 3:15)
The Bible does not refer to the physical building or meeting place of the believers as the church. Jesus did not die to purchase a physical building. He died to redeem sinners (I Pet 1:18-19) so that all who are redeemed may have “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:4).
The church is the precious body of Christ. It needs to glorify Him (Eph 3:21) in all of its activities and the manner in which they are conducted.
In fact, the Bible tells us in Eph 2:19-22 that Christians in the church are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit:
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
In Christ, we are members of the family of God, and being joined together, we are to grow into a holy temple of God.
According to the Bible those who are being saved are “added by the Lord to His church” (Acts 2:47); we are “joined together” so that we can “grow into a holy temple of God”. The church grew in numbers in the first century:-
- “And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (Acts 5:14);
- “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith”(Acts 6:7; 11:30)
- “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” (Acts 9:31)
But more importantly, Christians, as members of the church of Christ, are to grow unto maturity in Christ (I Pet 2:2; Heb 5:12-14):-
- “we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ-– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”(Eph 4:14-16)
When every member of the body of Christ does its share of supplying what is needed in the body, it will result in the growth of the body (the church) for building itself up in love. Note the importance of the role of each and every member in the church:
- “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased” (1 Cor 12:18)
- “But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Cor 12:24-27)
As members of the body of Christ in Klang we need to ensure that we are “doing our share” of supplying what is needed for the growth of the body into one that God is pleased to dwell in. We need to resolve to save our own souls and those of others by living by His Word (Matt 4:4; 2 Tim 3:15-17) and preaching the Word, the gospel of Christ in love (I Cor 9:16-27; 2 Tim 4:2; 1 Tim 4:16; Eph 4:15) by doing the following:-
- Preach the gospel and “by all means” win at least one soul for Christ (Matt 28:18-20; John 15:8; I Cor 9:22) and help our fellow brethren win souls for Christ too;
- Be an active student of the Bible so that we can be edified and transformed by the renewing of our mind (Acts 20:32; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:10);
- Make every assembly of the saints a special time of praising God and edification, by our attendance and active participation in the bible study and worship activities (Heb 10:24-25; I Cor 14:26; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16). Let’s “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”(Heb 12:28-29). Would one be worshipping God with reverence and godly fear when one is not in the assembly when the worship or bible class starts?
- Welcome everyone who visits our assemblies without showing partiality (James 2:1-4) and conduct our assemblies in a “decent and orderly manner” (I Cor 14:40) such that an unbeliever will acknowledge that “God is truly in our midst” (I Cor 14:25). Clearly, paying attention to our mobile phones or ignoring our visitors by not greeting them would not make our visitors feel welcome (Rom 16:16).
- Stay connected with each other and supplying each others’ needs by visiting those who are in need (James 1:27; Matt 25:34-46; Acts 2:41-47; Eph 4:16)
Let each one of us contribute towards the church of Christ being a growing and God-glorifying church. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”(1 Cor 10:31-33)