Why Attend Church Regularly?

Posted on August 10, 2017 · Posted in Encouragement, Faith, Praise and Worship

There are many reasons why there is not a commitment to church like there used to be, but there are some biblical reasons to reconsider if you are not attending church regularly, or if you only attend as a spectator.  If you are a follower of Jesus, you want to love what He loves, and Jesus loves the church.  God designed your life in Christ to be lived out in the family, in the church and in the world.  May the Spirit of God give you understanding from His Word of the necessity, relevance, and importance of the church.

The word church is Ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called out ones.”  After Peter declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, Jesus replied:  

On this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  Matthew 16:18

Jesus continues to build His church with each person who believes in Him as Savior and Lord and who has the Spirit of God as evidence.

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  1 Corinthians 12:13

All true believers make up the universal church, but the local church is where they are to worship, fellowship, be edified through the teaching of God’s Word, use their spiritual gifts and reach a lost world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Most of the New Testament was written to or about churches emphasizing the God ordained importance of the local church.  The earliest believers gathered together in the name of Jesus for teaching, fellowship, prayer and worship.

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42, 46-47

The early Christians met together regularly which attracted others who then believed and were saved.  Are you devoted to meeting together with your brothers and sisters in Christ?

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

We are stronger for Christ together than by ourselves.  God knows that we need each other, and even more as anti-Christian forces grow stronger.  We are prone to sin and unbelief, so it is important to stay in community with other believers to encourage and to be encouraged.  Neither can happen if you don’t attend church regularly.

Lesson:  You will never reach maturity in Christ living to please yourself. The Spirit of God is pleased when believers show their love for God by loving one another.

Reflection:  The church is important to Jesus so can you say that He is pleased when it is not important to you?  Ask God to rekindle your desire to faithfully attend and participate in a local church.

The Church is the Body of Christ

The Lord Jesus on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  1 Corinthians 11:23-24

Jesus is God in the flesh who died on the cross for the sins of all mankind and rose from the dead.  The baptism of new believers and communion are repeated sacraments Jesus gave to the believing church because they publicly testify to His death and resurrection.  The body of Christ is now the church!

God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:22

The head of the church is Jesus Christ and the church is to function as His visible body in the world.

No one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church, for we are members of his body.  Ephesians 5:29-30

Jesus sees the church in all her weaknesses and failures, yet He loves her as His own body and seeks her good.  Is it possible then to neglect Christ’s body, the church, and claim to love what Jesus loves?

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  1 Peter 4:10

One of the reasons the church body does not function properly is because individual members neglect to use the spiritual gift(s) given to them by Christ to build up His church.  It’s impossible to minister to others in the body of Christ when you do not attend church regularly or if you attend only to be served.

God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.  1 Corinthians 12:18

For a church to function properly, all its body parts need to be engaged.  When members use their spiritual gift(s), they become the hands and feet of Jesus as each believer depends on the Holy Spirit to serve, pray, build up, edify and exhort their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Sadly, too many churches are in decline as more and more believers ignore the call of God to faithfully serve Him in the body of Christ.  

Lesson:  Jesus is the head of the church and the church is His visible body.  The Holy Spirit gives every believer at least one spiritual gift that He expects to be used to build up other believers.

Reflection:  Ask Jesus how He wants to use the spiritual gift(s) He has given you to minister to others in the church body.

The Church is the Bride of Christ

Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:25-27

Jesus loves the church and sacrificed Himself for her.  Do you think he expects any less from you and me?

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  2 Corinthians 11:2-3

When we are too busy for spiritual things, our love for Christ cools, and our lives in this world take priority.  When enough members decide that church is optional, the body of Christ suffers, and the Spirit of God is grieved.

“Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.  ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’  Revelation 19:6-7, 9

Jesus is the Lamb of God and His bride is the church.  Believers make themselves ready to live with Jesus in heaven by doing God’s will by faith on earth.  Ask God to help you love the church as Christ loves the church. 

Lesson:  One day, Jesus Christ will send His angels to gather His elect, the church, to live in union with Him forever.

Reflection:  Are you prepared to live in heaven with those in the body of Christ?  What steps will you take now to be ready?

The Church is God’s Family

We are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.  In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.  Ephesians 2:19-22

Is your attitude toward the church thwarting God’s will for you to be joined together with other believers?  When believers join in community under the lordship of Jesus Christ, the church has the power to overcome darkness and advance God’s kingdom.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  Galatians 6:9-10

To do good to the family of believers, it is essential to have regular fellowship, so you will know them enough to meet their needs.

Serve one another in love.  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 5:13, 6:2

God’s commands show that Christians have special responsibilities toward other believers in the church family.  If you are not learning to love God by serving your brothers and sisters in Christ, you will be ineffective anywhere else.  Are you fulfilling the law of Christ, the law of love, in a church?

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  Romans 15:7

Because of sin, we each contribute to the church’s imperfections so accepting one another pleases God.  Believers are the church, so when we complain about the church, we truly judge ourselves.  Ask God to search for sin in your own heart instead of judging the church.

Lesson:  Believers are to love God and do good to everyone but especially to those in the family of God.

Reflection:  Have you been hurt or disappointed by people in the church?  Ask Jesus, who is the head of the church, to enable you to forgive as you have been forgiven.  Ask Jesus to heal and restore you so that His desires will be your desires. 

The Priesthood of the Believer

As you come to Him, the living Stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him, you, also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 2:4-5

Believers are ministers in the church of the living God by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in them.  Christ is the foundation and cornerstone of the church and each believer is a living stone who sacrificially serves God through Jesus Christ by faith with full access to His throne of grace.

Lesson:  Priests of God follow Jesus daily by faith. They minister to those in their family, in the church and in the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reflection:  What spiritual sacrifices are you offering to God?

Jesus Loves the Church

Christ is the Head of the Church

Christ is the head of the body, the church, of which He is the Savior.  Ephesians 5:23 

The Church is Christ’s Body

In Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  Romans 12:5

The Church is the Household of God

You will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.  1 Timothy 3:15

The Church is God’s Family

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.  Hebrews 13:1

The Church is God’s Flock

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.  Acts 20:28

The Church is the Bride of Christ

The wedding of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.  Revelation 19:7

If the church is so important to Jesus, shouldn’t it be important to you?  The church is the single most important institution on earth through which God advances His Kingdom so Christian organizations should never replace the church for your service and tithe money.  When the church is united, it is a powerful witness of the love of God to one another and to the world.  No wonder Satan and His minions attack it so fiercely.

If you have stopped attending church or you attend church only as a spectator, I hope that the Spirit of God has shown you that neither choice is God’s will for you.  Prayerfully ask God to lead you to a church that is committed to teaching and applying the Bible, the Word of God, and where you can use your spiritual gifts.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

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Bible study for “Why Attend Church Regularly?”

Week 1:  Matthew 6:18-21, 24; 16:13-19, 24-27; 18:15-20; 28:16-20; Luke 11:27-28; John 13:34; 17:20-26; Acts 2:36-47; 4:31-37; 6:1-7; 8:1-4; 9:31; 11:19-26; 12:1-1-17; 13:1-3; 14:21-28; 15:22-35; 18:22-23; 20:17-21, 28-32; Romans 1:7-12; 12:1-18; 14:10-13; 15:5-7; 16:1-16

Week 21 Corinthians 1:1-10; 3:1-3, 9, 14-17; 6:19-20; 10:16-17, 31-33; 11:17-34; 12:12-31; 14:1-5, 12, 23-28, 33; 15:9, 58; 16:1-2, 19-20; 2 Corinthians 1:1-2; 9:6-15; 11:2-3; 13:11-14; Galatians 1:1-5; 5:13-16; 6:1-2, 9-10; Ephesians 1:1-2, 15-16, 18, 22-23; 2:8-10, 17-22; 3:10-12, 14-21; 4:1-16, 22-25, 29-32; 5:15-33; 6:7-8, 17-18

Week 3:  Philippians 1:1-6; 2:1-5, 12-13; Colossians 1:1-4, 15-20, 24-25; 2:18-19; 3:12-17; 4:14-17; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3; 2:13-15; 5:12-28; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; 5:1-8, 16-22; 6:17-19; Titus 1:5-9; Philemon 1-3; Hebrews 3:12-15; 10:23-25; 12:14-15, 22-29; 13:1, 7-8, 15-17, 20-25

Week 4:  James 5:13-20; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2:4-6, 9-10, 16-17; 4:7-11; 5:1-9, 14; 2 Peter 1:1-3; 1 John 1:3; 2:3-6, 9-17, 28-29; 4:7-13; 2 John 1-6, 9; 3 John 4-14; Jude 1-4, 17-21, 24-25; Revelation 1:4-6, 9-20; 2:1-29; 3:1-22; 5:10; 19:6-9; 22:16-17, 20-21