The church is a community of believers learning to love one another by living with one another.
– Pastor J
“Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
A common misconception among many modern day Christians is that we can have our own relationship with God without the need of each other. This completely defies everything the scripture teaches, and that Jesus Himself taught us. In fact, our relationship with one another is the witness of our relationship with God. Our relationship with God is affirmed by our relationship with each other. It is impossible for us to say we love God and not love His people.
Jesus said, “If we love Him we will obey what He commands.” Jesus commanded that we love one another as He loved us. This is impossible to do if we are determined not to fellowship with one another. People avoid church for many reasons. All of which are based on the lack of relationship, and our failure to love one another. Whether they are reasons of offense, inconvenience, time, hypocrisy, etc. our lack of fellowship with one another is an indictment against our relationship with God.
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen? And God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too.” 1John 4:20-21 (NLT)
“And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him. And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.” 1John 3:22-24 (NLT)
Love is not a priority when our Christian brothers and sisters are not a priority, and if they are not a priority our fellowship with God is not a priority. Because a body whose members become dismembered are no longer connected to the head, and as for the church the head is Christ, and we are all members of His body.
Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)