—by Ida Ploug Pahus
This week I want to address a topic I think is really important to know the biblical answer to: Should we as Christians attend church regularly? What is the purpose of church? Can we not just do faith on our own and let our devotional time be enough? What about those who say they love Jesus, but don’t love the church?
One thing we learn in the Bible is that we are the church. It’s not man-made buildings that are the church, but you and me (Acts 7:48 and 17:24). The church is also referred to as Christ’s body (Ephesians 1:22-23 and 4:11; Colossians 1:24; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). So we are literally the presence of Christ on earth. Our role is crucial in this world as the church. So since we as Christians are the church, there is no possibility of quitting the church. Yes, you may quit attending the services on Sundays, but you still are a part of the church.
And we as Christians are meant to live in community just as the first church we hear about in Acts did. It is through our community and unity as Christians that we reflect God and show the world the love Christ has for us.
So our love for each other is a reflection of our understanding of Christ’s love for us. The church will never be perfect as it consists of us, human beings, but don’t ever think you can quit the church when you are a Christian. Hebrews 10:25 says it this way: “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” We need each other.
I love how Bob Goff says it in his book Everybody Always: “I spoke to a guy once who said the church has hurt his feelings, so he was leaving it. I told him, ‘You can’t leave the church, you are the church.’ That guy is a part of our church. Your church is part of our church, too. Even if you don’t think you go to a church, you’re a part of our church. At our church there is nothing to join, just Jesus.”
More food for thought:
“The church needs its different parts just as one body consists of different parts, all with their own functions.” (Romans 12:4-6)
“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (Ephesians 5:23)
“After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.” (Ephesians 5:29-30)
“The way our church will return to the loving and accepting place the Bible talks about is by keeping our eyes on the Groom instead of one another.” (Bob Goff, Everybody Always)