80s Christian Metal Blessings,
Ephesians 2:19 (BSB) "Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household,"
God doesn't want you to be an orphan--a child without a family. When you became a disciple of Jesus--God adopted you into His Family (Eph. 1:6, Gal. 4-5). And He designed the church, the ekklesia, the body of Christ, to be your spiritual family.
I want to encourage you today; if you are in Christ, he's your lord and your savior, then you are part of the universal body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV) "For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body--whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."
The New testament is also filled with examples of local congregations in places like Jerusalem, Corinth, Philippi, and Ephesus, etc. And there are loads of verses that provide us with awesome snap-shots of what life in the early church looked like.
Acts 2:42 (NIV) "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
DEVOTED: a steadfastly (through the good and bad, easy and difficult), intentionally selfless (It's not about me--it's about Christ and others) commitment.
Romans 12/5 (NLT) "so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other."
Dude, in the same way that your finger, and right ear and left knee-cap--all "belong" to the same body, and depend on each other--the folks in your local church--even though they are all very unique and different from you---are all part of that local body--and you are called to "belong" to and "depend" upon each other!
The New Testament is filled with scriptures like this. We are called to belong, to be devoted, to love, serve, teach, exhort, encourage, etc one another. There are over 50 "one another" commands in the New Testament! "One another" is a reference to fellow Christians.
Think about this, you CAN'T OBEY any of these commands apart from a church family! That's a huge deal! Attending church services doesn't make you a Christian, but receiving Christ is Savior and Lord makes you a part of the church, the body of Christ--a member of God's household.
It's not just about believing---it's also about BELONGING, and participating in the life of the body; being DEVOTED to it. As you plug in and worship, serve, pray, interact, listen, study, etc. with fellow believers--God USES all of that to grow you up!
When a brother hurts or disappoints you--you grow in the spiritual fruit of patience and mercy. When a sister shares a testimony about God's goodness and deliverance, you rejoice with her and glorify God together. When times are tense and hard--you grow, together with your church family in the spiritual fruit of faithfulness--as you stand firm together. As you study a passage together in a small group--you bless others with your insights about what God has taught you and you are edified and encouraged by others. Etc...... We need each other!
I hope you have a church family that you are worshiping and serving and connecting and growing with! I'm so glad you're part of the Pastor Brad Rocks Family and I will always do my best to encourage you and help you any way I can. But nothing can take the place of a tangible, local, church family of real people who love Jesus and you.
If you don't know how to go about finding a good church---let me know, I'd be happy to help!
80s Christian Metal Blessings,