Over the past few months, the articles have focused on the fundamental tasks given to the church in Scripture. Thus far, biblical corporate worship and the communicating of the Good News of Jesus Christ has been presented as those which mark the church as a body of true, authentic believers. A church that intentionally promotes and enables spiritual growth gives further evidence that it adheres to the biblical model of a church.
From the first verses in Genesis to the final chapter of Revelations, the Bible cries out for the people of God to have a deep, abiding, growing relationship with Him. In the book of Hebrews, it declares, “…let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity …” (Hebrews 6:1). Although the believer is ultimately responsibility for the deepening of his or her relationship with God, the church is one of the principal instruments through which God brings this understanding. Consequently, one of the main duties of a scripture-based church is the building up of the church body. In a world that is forever drifting away from God and His precepts, the church is the institution that is meant to weather the storm. As a church drives its members deeper into the faith, it creates a believer whose faith is grounded. If a church fails in this mandate, it allows believers to remain as, “…children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Ephesians 4:14)” On the other hand, if a church is intentionally facilitating and encouraging the growth of its members, it is creating Christ-followers who are, “… speaking the truth in love...” and corporately, a church that “builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16).
If the aforementioned is true, the logical next questions is, am I part of a church body that purposely creates opportunities for its members to grow into mature, scripturally-grounded Christian? After self-examination, the church must respond in the affirmative or it a church in name only. Millen Baptist, let us not be church in name only. Let us critically analyze each aspect of our church and ask, is it bringing another closer to Christ? If the answer is not yes, let us being willing to choose to be radical and let us cut loose even the oldest program for the cause of Christ.