Q: Isn’t Church a Good Way to Come Together to Do God’s Work?

A: Only if you think God’s work is something you do away from home, office, and all the other places you normally spend your time.  And only if you think God’s work is something that requires group effort.  God’s idea, on the other hand, is that we make our individual lives a daily work for Him.  This is what the life of Jesus Christ reveals to us.  His work is loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself – where you are.

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17 Replies to “Q: Isn’t Church a Good Way to Come Together to Do God’s Work?”

  1. Hi Mike,
    You’re presenting a false dichotomy. Of course God wants us to live unto Him in every area of our personal lives. But there are other aspects of God’s work that are away from our “normal” activities, such as missionary activity, distributing Bibles to Bible-less regions of the globe, gospel meetings, “servant evangelism” to the needy, etc. which work well when we pray and are coordinated with fellow members. Coordinating with others exposes our opinionated-ness, individualism, self-righteousness, self-confidence, self-delusion. According to the principles mentioned by the apostle Paul, not all of the spiritual supply we receive from the Head comes from the Head directly (vertical fellowship) but much of it comes from the Head through the other members (horizontal fellowship)–Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12:12-31.

      1. Is it better to have it over the internet than in person? And if in person, is it better to coordinate with believers in Christ or non-believers if we’re talking about missionary activity, evangelism, distributing Bibles, corporate worship (e.g. Lord’s table), etc.? And if with believers, is it better to have this kind of fellowship consistently, or just sporadically or once in awhile before we return to our private concerns? And if consistently, how close already are we to having a communal life of the church?

        Not every congregation has a really outward notion of “church” that treats “church” as having a name on a membership list and going to a building on Sundays.

        1. When I said “iron sharpens iron” I was not speaking of the internet, though that, too, could apply. I was speaking of everyday life that we experience with family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers. The priest and Levite passed by the wounded Samaritan on the Jericho Road. People are passing all kinds of wounded Samaritans on their way to church.

          1. I agree that our hearts should be open to all the people we meet and interact with in everyday life. My point is that there are certain aspects of fellowship and the Lord’s work (examples mentioned above) that practically need the communal life of the church. This is according to God’s plan that we would not just be moral and spiritual individuals but participants in corporate expression of His Body, the church, in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

              1. So let’s have fellowship with Christ and with one another unto Him, such that the supply in the Body fills our ordinary, daily lives. Is it individual, self-contained units or the Body of Christ corporately that will persuade the world (cf. John 17:20-23; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 14:23-26; 1 Pet. 2:9-12)?

                  1. Where did a person of “the greatest generation” say that the principles of the Body would be replaced by the kingdom in the first century?

  2. Sometimes it’s enough to cry to the Lord, “I need You”, and then we get help, be that from the Lord Himself or by another believer who is part of the invisible church (the spiritual kingdom of God), or part of the visible church.

    It’s no problem either for our Lord to provide (surprisingly!) any help by any means we cannot predict to be chosen by Him (for example being helped by unbelievers).

    Jesus is always the ‘lovely’ center of the universe (with church bells ringing or without). 😉

  3. It’s of course more sincerely and so personal to meet face to face, particularly when believers love each other constantly for (eternal) life, that is, LOVING their sister (and brother 😉 ) earnestly from a pure heart (1 Pt 1:22). Won’t they feel a strong ‘longing for meeting’ just as Paul did (Phil 4:1)?

    1. I agree, sister Susanne. That spiritual impulse makes meeting as the church, practicing the Lord’s table, and coordinating together something organic (a matter of life in the Spirit) rather than something of dead ritual or outward legality.

          1. We all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. If I misrepresent Him, it will not escape His notice or His wrath (Deuteronomy 5:11). On the other hand, if I remain silent of good news He has made known to me, I shall suffer for that as well (2 Kings 7:9). Each of us is responsible for the measure of truth apportioned to us (Matthew 25:14-30).

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