There are times where you may not feel like you need your local church, but understand, by design, the local church needs you.
Recap: In Part 1 of Fellowship & Oneness I discussed the ideas from 1 John 1 from the point of view that “fellowship” is akin to intimate oneness that is often found in marriage. There is a unity, where 2 things become one in marriage and similarly, we are united with Christ, if we are believers.
John calls this uniting fellowship and it is of the same essence that God the Father is one with His Son, Jesus.
So the relationship we see between God and Jesus, is the model or picture of what our relationship is to God, through Jesus. Furthermore, that same relationship is to be found in the Body of Christ, the local church.
There is something that happens spiritually when a couple engages physically. Likewise, there is something spiritual when the church gathers physically.
Conclusions: If we follow this line of thinking and mapping of relationships onto one another, then what if we started to look at attending a local gathering of the church not just as a place where we gather physically, but a place where we are spiritually joined; united as one, in Christ?
And, if divorce in marriage is a breaking of a spiritual bond, something not to be taken lightly or flippantly, than leaving a church would also be breaking a spiritual bond. There is something deeper that happens when physically leave one church for another.
Coming to a new church or leaving a current church takes on a whole new level of responsibility and prayerful decision making, in my mind. It no longer is a thing where I get mad, get bored, get annoyed and just split because there is no way I would do that in a marriage.
Questions: If God brings two people together to unite, is it so different to think He is bringing people together in our local churches to unite in Him?
If you have to invest in your marriage to keep the relationship fresh, what does that mean about your church?
What are the spiritual implications of divorcing your church?
What would it look like to renew your vows with your local Body?
Encouragement: I am encouraged that God has uniquely designed the local church to re-present Him to the world. It is crazy intimidating to think of that responsibility but it is exciting to be asked to partner with Him in this endeavor that is way bigger than the trajectory of only my life.
Similarly, it is extraordinary to think that God shares his unity with Jesus, with us, through Jesus. And that an intimate unity occurs spiritually that manifests itself in transformed lives that are being made holy and unified through Christ, by his Holy Spirit!
I hope you find encouragement in this, as well! That you do not simply come and go to a local church without it making a difference, but that God will unite you spiritually to become one with Him and His Body.
The body operates best with all of its parts, a marriage is what it is supposed to be when both people are sold out to each other, and the church is who it was intended to be when everyone is surrendered and unified in being on together on mission for Jesus. There are times where you may not feel like you need your local church, but understand, by design, the local church needs you… if it is going to be all that God intends it to be.