Summary: Can a preson be a Christian apart from the Church?
"RIGHT WHERE YOU BELONG"
(19)"Consequently you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,
(20) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.
(21) In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
(22) And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."(NIV)
Can a person be a Christian apart from the Church?
It is good to belong !
To "Belong" means:
To be attached by birth, alliegiance, or dependency
What does it mean to be a member of the Church?
Can a person be a member of the Church of God without being a Christian?
When I become a Christian, God takes me from a place of bewilderment to a place of belonging.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
For some people, religion is like an artificial limb. It has neither warmth or life. And though it helps them to stumble along, it never becomes a part of them. It must be strapped on every day. We need to go from religion to relationship.
THE WAY WE WERE
All throughout this chapter God focus on the way we were…
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,…"
"…we were by nature objects of wrath."
"…you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without God and without hope in the world."
THE WAY WE ARE!
But NOW you ARE …
Not FOREIGNER , but FAMILY;(verse 19)
Not FOUNDATIONLESS , but FIRM ; (verse 20)
Not FRAGMENTED , But FITTING!
(verse 21 & 22)
AND WE BELONG TOGETHER!
1 Cor 12:14-27
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body?
Suppose the whole body were an eye-- then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything? But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, "I don’t need you." The head can’t say to the feet, "I don’t need you."
Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.
Your relationship with Christ is PERSONAL, but not PRIVATE!
In God’s Family we are CONNECTED to EVERY other believer FOREVER !
When one becomes a Christian,
He becomes a MEMBER of God’s Church!
He becomes a member of the Family of God.
Why would a BELIEVER separate themselves from the BODY?
The Church family
*INDENTIFIES you as a believer;
I cannot claim to be a follower of Christ without being committed to a specific group of believers.
*Keeps you from ISOLATION;
There are no hermit Christians! Hermit crabs, yes! The Church will keep you from backsliding!
*Will INTENSIFY your faith;
Faith has to be put to the test in real life circumstances!
*Will INVOLVE you in the work of God!
God has a unique role for you to play in the life of His Church!
You NEED the Church!
The Church NEEDS you!