23rd May 2021 – Connecting with the Local church by Pst Dennis Gitonga ~ Belonging Series
Hebrews 10: 24-25
What is a local church?
– It is a body of Christ-centered believers in an area pursuing Christ likeness and sharing a place regularly to worship God.
– A congregation of believers gathering in service and worship of God and service to one another.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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 (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV)
Hebrews 10:24- 25 presents an expectation of gathering with other believers. A call to plug in.
– A local church exists that God may receive glory.
– We come to church freely as an honour to God.
– God purposed from creation that there be a people worshipping Him regularly.
– We gather as a tower to light up the neighbourhood for God.
The word Ecclesia was used in olden church to mean people called out from the world.
– Jesus in reference to the term Ecclesia calls the congregation a church (Matthew 16: 18)- His followers.
– Church was used to refer to various congregations in early days- church of Ephesus, Corinth, etc
– Gatherings of people in given households
Acts 2: 46. The local church gathered in the temple but also house to house.
Ecclesia is a representation of a people under Jesus Christ- no other authority.
Importance of connecting to a local church:
1. It is expected of all Christians in New Testament that we exist in a local church. It is a place of connecting/fallback.
2. Local church is the medium through which God’s wisdom, power, purposes are exhibited (Eph 3: 9-11)
3. It is part of the greater and whole body of Christ. A family of believers around the world.
4. It provides a place of fellowship of believers (Koinonia). Body of Christ both spiritual and physical.
5. It presents opportunity to discover, grow and exercise talents and gifts.
6. So that we may be equipped for the work God gave us (Eph 4: 13- 16). Giftings become of use because local church is in place.
7. A place for discipleship and growth
8. Local church provides a great support system in many ways: physical, spiritual, emotional, etc
9. Avenue to see what God can do in his chosen people.
10. An avenue to be sharpened, to grow each other- iron sharpens iron
11. It teaches us unconditional love, grace and mercy as we interact with other imperfect people.
Failure to connect to a local congregation, is neglecting God’s plan for revealing His glory. We fall out of the will of God.
It’s not mere attendance but active participation: growth of the church, sanctification of the people.
Many excuses are given for not attending local church:
– I am the church, so no need to congregate with others
– As long as am doing what’s good I do not need to go to meet with other believers
– There is no good church
– Churches are only after my money!
There is no perfect church. Find the most biblical church, settle there, find a role to play. Let God use you and others for his glory.
Plug into a local church.
October 22, 2022