Thursday, December 22, 2016
The Benefits of Christian Community: The Church
Image: Fellowship at the Grace Evangelical Church, Hong Kong
This post continues notes from my sermon preached on December 11, 2016 on "The Benefits of Christian Community" from Ecclesiastes 4:9-16.
We need the benefits of the church (the brethren in the local, visible body of believers):
Jesus taught in the New Commandment that his disciples were to love one another (John 13:34-35). In Hebrews 10 we read the exhortation:
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Charles Bridges observes:
The live coal left alone soon loses its vital heat. But heap the coals around it, and we have a genial atmosphere. The most lively professor left alone is in danger of waxing cold in selfishness. But the precious ‘communion of saints’ warms the Christian from the very centre (Ecclesiastes, p. 91).
He later adds:
This principle also rebukes the religious solitaire—that isolated being, who belong to no Church, because no Church is perfect enough for him….. Surely it is better to belong to an imperfect (not heretical) Church than to none (p. 91).
Psalm 68:6 says, “God setteth the solitary in families.”
It is a “social obligation” of every believer to be part of a local church.