The Church – God’s Plan For Community
The church is a group of people coming together to love God, love people, and change the world. Jesus is building His church and invites us to be a part of it. It begins by joining a community that is following and obeying Jesus together. When you become a child of God, you become a member of God’s family, the church. The church is not a place of worship or a special meeting. The church is a gathered group of people who believe in Jesus. Jesus promises to be with us when we meet together in His Name. This means that when two or more people gather to worship Him, The Holy Spirit brings God’s presence. The people of God are described in Scripture as the “Body of Christ.” This means that the church is called to represent Jesus to the world.
Acts 2:42-47 gives us an example of what the church is supposed to be like.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
(see also: Matthew 18:20; 1 Corinthians 12:27)
Obeying Jesus In Community
Water baptism is a public declaration that you believe in Jesus. Baptism is not optional, but the first command Jesus has given new believers. Water baptism is a symbolic act involving immersing someone in water and represents becoming a ‘new creation in Christ’ (2 Cor. 5:17). Baptism is a statement to the world saying, “I am not ashamed to identify with Christ and His family.”
(see also: Acts 2:38)
The Bible also teaches us to take Communion and to give. Communion was something Jesus taught His disciples to do in order to remember His death on the cross. Giving is a test of our love and obedience to God. God asks the church to be a giving community. Everything we have is from God, and He is our provider.
(see also: Luke 22:19-20; Malachi 3:8-10; Acts 20:35; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
HOW CAN YOU RESPOND?
If you are saved from sin, then nothing can separate you from God’s eternal love and forgiveness. However, if you choose to disobey God’s commands after being saved, you lose your opportunity to receive eternal reward in Heaven. Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 to learn more about rewards in Heaven.
Where Can You Go From Here?
Have you been baptized? If not, schedule a date with a church leader today.
Obey Jesus and His commands.
Take communion to remember Jesus’ death on the cross.
Pray through your budget and ask God how much He has for you to give.