Daily Bible Reading for Wednesday, January 24th:

It Takes “One Another” To Make a Strong Church

Elders and deacons were prescribed and defined as an essential element in building a strong congregation of worshippers. The interesting thing about the qualifications of these positions (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5ff) is that they aren’t intended just for the leadership – all of them describe commandments and goals of Christians in general. (Obviously I am not talking about the ones related to marriage here.)

It takes everyone

Christianity involves one another more than self

Christianity involves one another more than self

Since every member of the church is required to grow and mature, (Hebrews 6:1-3) it follows that it takes every member working together to make a strong church. When I talk about a strong church, I am talking about just a few basic things:

  • The membership enjoys being together
  • Members are all inclusive and do not tend to clique
  • A high percentage of the membership meet at every opportunity
  • It is easy to find willing contributors
  • The focus is God and not the programs

There are no “perfect” congregations because the membership is made up of people. The point is that each one is doing everything they can to try to become perfect.

New Testament Examples of our Responsibility to “One Another”

Paul made extensive use of the idea that we are responsible for “one another” and depend on “one another.” In the context of strong Christianity, here are a few things he said about the people involved:

  • We should prefer one another (Romans 12:10 KJV)
  • We admonish one another (Romans 15:14 KJV)
  • We have forbearance for one another (Ephesians 4:2)
  • We are kind to one another(Ephesians 4:32)
  • We are forgiving to one another (Ephesians 4:32)
  • We are to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

The focus of Hebrews on the Membership

Since the whole point of Hebrews is to change the mind of the Christians backsliding to Judaism – or just outright falling away, the writer spoke directly to the membership to warn and remind them of the part they play in Christianity.

While leadership in the church is important, it is not the only thing required to keep a group together and motivated. It takes the involvement and example of each and every member of the body. As such, relying on one another is a recurring commandment in the New Testament, as I listed above, and as the Hebrews writer did in at least three places:

  • We are to exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13) – Christians are to rely on each other to get through our weaknesses and temptations. So many of our sins are hidden from our own eyes through their own deceitfulness.
  • We are to provoke or stir up one another to love and good work (Hebrews 10:24) – It is very difficult to attend a worship assembly of a close knit church and come away with no refreshment. The desire to know each other more and to work together grows at every meeting.
  • We are to encourage one another through our attendance (Hebrews 10:25) – It is impossible to be an influence to fellow Christians if we are not there to influence them! We should take advantage of every opportunity to meet with the saints, whether it is a scheduled formal worship or less formal opportunities to study and work together.

The church is not the preacher.

The church is not the leadership.

The church is each and every one of us. The strength of which depends on each and every one of us.

About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention on the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2018 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according to their wishes.

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