And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (
Dr. Thom Rainer is the President of LifeWay, a Christian organization that produces books and resources for the church. His book, “I Am a Church Member” is a helpful one that we share with our new members at Pole Creek.
Now, LifeWay has produced a Bible study series based on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians which deals with this theme, “Connected: My Life in the Church.” I was requested to provide commentary on these lessons by a Face Book friend, and so this is it.
Being a Christian is about believing in Christ. There is a connection that is made—believing in Christ means being in Christ. We are vitally connected with Him. This would also mean we are connected with His Body—and that Body is the church!
As one of our physical parts could not live apart from connection with our body, so we cannot have life apart from connection with the Body of Christ. Believing in Christ and belonging to a church are inseparable.
Some may argue, “I am part of the invisible, worldwide church!” I don’t have to have my name on a membership roll somewhere and attend a place of worship. That is partially true. There is a universal, spiritual church made up of all Christians of all the ages and when a person follows Christ, they become part of these redeemed.
Yet, the local church is the visible expression of the Body of Christ. The New Testament use of the word, “church” is almost always used in speaking of this local assembly—the church at Thessalonica, the church at Rome, the church at Ephesus, and so forth.
We need to get connected. I have heard so many excuses in nearly forty years of leadership in the church as to why people don’t want to connect with a local body of believers. But, none of them hold up under scrutiny. They are flimsy attempts to justify a self-centered approach to life, and one must ask the question, “If your life is given to yourself, how can you have given it to Christ?” Where is the call of Jesus to deny yourself and take up your cross in refusing to connect with a local church?
Is it a big deal?
Just read the verses at the beginning of this post and meditate on the mind-blowing implications of church as the Holy Spirit has given them in this Holy Scripture. Then, you tell me.
But, you really know the answer to that don’t you?