Inspiration

Why Believing Includes Belonging

“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5 NIV)

You are called to belong, not just believe.

We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purposes by ourselves. The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship.

The Bible says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together, and we will be caught up together (1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 2:21-22, 3:6, 4:16; Colossians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).

You’re not on your own anymore!

While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intended for it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity. The Bible says, “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5).

C. S. Lewis noted that the word “membership” is of Christian origin, but the world has emptied it of its original meaning. Stores offer discounts to members, and advertisers use member names to create mailing lists. In churches, membership is often reduced to simply adding your name to a roll, with no requirements or expectations.

To Paul, being a “member” of the Church meant being a vital organ of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the Body of Christ. We need to recover and practice the biblical meaning of membership. The Church is a body, not a building; an organism, not an organization (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 6:15, 12:12-27).

God’s purposes for his Church are identical to his five purposes for you. Worship helps you focus on God; fellowship helps you face life’s problems; discipleship helps fortify your faith; ministry helps find your talents; power helps fulfill your mission.

There is nothing else on earth like the Church!

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Talk It Over

  • What do you think a church should expect of its members?
  • How are you fulfilling your purpose as a member of the Body of Christ in a local church?
  • Why is it sometimes difficult to choose community over solitude?
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