The Church, Part I: How Important Is It?

“And you are the body of Christ, and members in part. ” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

The Bible says that the church is the body of Christ. As such, it is his “arms, and His hands, and His feet” for carrying out God’s purposes here on earth. There are many people and “job functions” within the church, ranging from carpet sweepers to eloquent orators. None is less than the other, and none is greater, in God’s eyes. We are all called for a purpose, and with a specific “role” in mind (though we may, from time to time, and as God sees fit, carry out more than one role). More often than not, the church is God’s medium, or means, by which He carries out His purposes here on this earth.

There are times, however, when God may not use the church to carry out His purposes. For example, in the book of Numbers, we read of a time when God used a donkey to impart a message to one of his (rather disobedient) prophets. In various parts, as well, we see that God has used (and continues to use) angels to carry out his purposes. But, from a practical, logical standpoint, really, the church is the primary means by which God is able to — rather, has chosen to — “carry out His business” here on earth. After all, it makes sense that even talking donkeys and angels that bring messages may well have done so because one or more of God’s people — belonging to His church — decided to pray and ask God for help (e.g. Daniel). Thus it is that the church is God’s primary means by which He carries out His business here on earth.

Having discovered how important the church really is, it then makes sense that each truly committed believer in Christ ought to make it one of his or her primary duties to be properly incorporated into “the church.” What do we mean by this? By this, we mean, “the local church.” For example, all believers, by virtue of their faith, are naturally already “a part” of God’s universal (world-wide) church. Yet, sadly, not all of these same believers have yet decided to commit themselves to a local assembly, so that God can use them there. It is imperative that this be done, however, if God is going to be able to use His people in the way that He wants. We will discuss more about this tomorrow.