Today’s reading is drawn from Hebrews 10:24-25.
Do Christians Really Need to Attend Church?
Yes! The Bible stresses the need for Christians to be part of a local church and have significant relationships with other believers (Ecc 4:9 – 12). Christians who are not involved in a local congregation are inevitably stunted in their spiritual growth and their witness for Christ to others.
Most important, Christians must be part of a church to please our Lord. In John 17:20 – 23 Jesus prayed, [May] those who will believe in me . . . be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Together we are Christ’s body in this world. Our unified presence — as we actively love each other and fulfill our particular functions in the body — honors and delights the Lord. What’s more, our life together as his church makes the Lord visible to the lost world. And our unified prayers and decisions have the power of Jesus’ own presence (Mt 18:20; Jn 20:22 – 23).
Jesus also ministers to individuals through other believers in his body. The mutually edifying use of spiritual gifts (Ro 12:3 – 8; 1Co 12:4 – 31) builds all Christians up as each one does his or her part. Furthermore, we carry each other’s burdens (Gal 6:2), encourage one another in worship (Eph 5:19), admonish one another with all wisdom (Col 3:16), submit to one another (Eph 5:21) and consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb 10:24). We do all these things because of the deep spiritual unity we have in Christ: There is one body and one Spirit . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all (Eph 4:4 – 6).