Modern day advances in technology has made spreading the Gospel worldwide through multiple platforms possible. There are social media sites, Internet streaming, and more Christian channels airing on radio and television now more than ever. Using our smartphones, tablets, and our computers we can tap into live streaming worship services, podcast, or pre-recorded services from any location. Consequently, one may ask, “Who still wants to go to church anyway?”
While it is true that technology has made hearing the Word more accessible it is not a replacement for being a part of a church community. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us that God commands us, His disciples, to congregate together. The Apostle Paul elaborates on this matter of godliness in Romans 12. God expects us to….
- Surrender ourselves to Him (2 Corinthian 8:5): In order for us to fulfill the will of God we must surrender ourselves to Him. Our best efforts are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
- Present ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1): To present ourselves as “living sacrifices” requires the avoidance of sins committed with or against the body. In response to what God has done for us, we willingly are prepared to be persecuted, engage in worship, be instruments of righteousness, and glorify God with our bodies. Our bodies in conjunction with our spiritual lives sincerely devoted to God is a “living sacrifice”. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
- Be holy (Romans 12:1): Every sacrifice presented to God must be holy. To be “holy” means to be “set apart”—sanctified, consecrated, hallowed. We are encouraged to abandon old mindsets, habits, and lifestyles prior to our salvation and focus on our spiritual development and walk with Christ. (1 Peter 1:13-16)
- Our minds must be transformed (Romans 12:2): The worldly system, our flesh, and Satan have influenced the way we think and live. To live a life pleasing to God requires our minds to be renewed. We develop new dispositions and inclinations, new sympathies and antipathies; our consciences are softened, and we are enlightened through the practice of spiritual disciplines and walking with God.
- Avoid self-righteousness (Romans 12:3): Even as we mature spiritually, we must remain humble and continue to grow. Ever good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17).
- Be unified (Romans 12:4, 5): Our local church community cultivates an environment of fellowship, spiritual discipline, worship, and prayer. Pastoral covering provides access to godly counsel, understanding of Biblical foundation, and mentorship. For the Believers, participation in local church communities is not optional but imperative for spiritual growth and yielding eternal benefits. There are many members but only one body in Christ. Each member has unique talents and gifts that are required to edify, encourage, and to serve. We need each other.
Our local church community cultivates an environment of fellowship, spiritual discipline, worship, and prayer. Pastoral covering provides access to godly counsel, understanding of Biblical foundation, and mentorship. For the Believers, participation in local church communities is not optional but imperative for spiritual growth and yielding eternal benefits.