Living the Christian Life – Chapter 7: Church—Life with Other Believers

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries4 Minutes

Something that many modern Christians have forgotten is that our faith grows out of Old Testament Judaism, which is a religion of community. The Jews lived in fellowship with one another and with God. This was God’s plan from the beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This was God’s plan when He instituted the concept of a weekly Sabbath. It’s still His plan for us today.

That is why the writer of Hebrews declared:

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT).

Attending church regularly and being an active part of Christian fellowship throughout the week is essential for growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ. But it’s important to remember, no church is perfect. You have to begin your journey with this in mind so that you don’t become disillusioned when people disappoint you—because they will, just like you will likely disappoint someone else at some point in the journey. Someone once said, “There is no perfect church—I know that because both you and I are here.”

So why does God want us to commit to ongoing Christian fellowship? There are several reasons, but let’s begin with the first and second commandments of Jesus.

The Pharisees were a group of Jewish leaders who lived during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Sadly, many of them were jealous of His success. They were afraid that the people would eventually reject them, and then they would lose their political power. So they often tried to trap Jesus with difficult questions in an attempt to have the people turn against Him. One day a group of Pharisees approached Jesus and one of them asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

Jesus answered:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great
and first commandment” (Matthew 22:34-38 ESV).

Then Jesus took their question a step further and coupled the love of God with the love of other people.

“And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as
yourself. On these two commandments depend all the
Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:39-40 ESV).

By making church attendance and Christian fellowship a priority in your life, you are honoring both the first and second commandments. You honor God by setting aside one day every week when you worship Him for His love and for who He is. You give Him praise for His faithfulness in your life. And you pour out your petitions to Him in prayer.

You also fulfill the second commandment to love others by building relationships with people in the family of God. By doing so, you grow through your exposure to the knowledge and experience of others—and they grow from the gifts and talents you bring to the relationship. As these friendships mature, there will be times when you will help others, and there will be occasions where others will help you.

And remember, obeying the Sabbath to keep it holy is one of the ten commandments. This is the original list of God’s priorities for mankind, and we will do well to heed all ten—including a day set aside for worship and rest.

Here are some of the reasons God wants us to make consistent fellowship a part of our lifestyle.