The Church in our nation is having an identity crisis. She has failed to grasp what it means to live fully Christian lives. As a result, the Church fails to understand both her extraordinary blessings and her call to bear astonishing fruit.
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians that “in Christ,” God is bringing everything together. The Church is not only the agency of the proclamation of God’s reconciliation, she lives as a community that already experiences it in her life together. First, having received the love of God we are devoted to His family: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”” (John 13:35, CSB) It is only through this work of God in His people that we can be come a community that lives out that reconciliation.
Second, the Church has been called together into mission. Mission is impossible as the act of individual Christians truncated from the whole. Christ has called His Church into being that we may each utilize our individual gifts as a part of the work of the whole body. We are all called into service to use our individual gifts that the great call of the Church may be accomplished. Where the mission of the Church is forgotten or ignored, the Church becomes absorbed in “navel gazing” and we lose sight of God’s priorities and focusing instead on our own desires. The Church loses its mandate and becomes self-seeking.
Finally, there is no replacement for the Church. Parachurch organizations, individual bible studies and the like may be fruitful when they come alongside the Church but are never a replacement. As the reconciled community of Christ Jesus, we demonstrate for the world the gospel by our life together. If we are to be faithful, we will be committed in regular attendance, the use of our spiritual gifts, our tithes, and our prayers for the Church. If we love Christ, we will love and serve His bride.