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In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:22 – ESV)
Church is about fellowship, yes, and it is also about worship, yes, and worship in the context of fellowship is good and right. However, church is also about discipleship, and this takes leadership. All of this is necessary for the proper stewardship of a church through its members. There is no Internet site for all of this. There is no radio program that can get all that done. There is only one place that this all happens, the local church. The TV may have different channels on a religious dial, but for live action, it has no sanctification station.
Let’s look at some negative and positive reasons for attending a local church. To those who say they don't need to or have to go to church, or ask the question, "Why do I have to go to church?"
Going to church honors God, does your absence?
Preaching helps build the building (edifice - edification - preaching) and it is essential for the exhortation and comfort of believers, in addition to their regular feeding on the Word. Also, most that I have observed who give the excuse that they don't need to go to church to be fed and led aren't actually feeding on Christ at all, or very little at best.
When you avoid church, you are avoiding the community of believers that need your gifting, 1 Corinthians (12-14) speaks plainly to this. Romans 15:14 / Colossians 3:16 – you cannot admonish and edify others without fellowship! In other words, you are being selfish, and you are ripping me off personally! He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit; that is, one with Christ, AND ALSO, one with each other. Are you really part of the Body of Christ?
It is the fellowship of the church where we find Jesus Christ. Jesus is active in His Church. Yes, He is active in individual lives, but those lives find more power in the context of the local church.
It is the fellowship of the church where we find protection from the demonic forces of evil and sin in this world. We call it a sanctuary for a reason, folks.
It is the fellowship of the church where we find encouragement in life. We can't keep on the path with Christ without the help and support of other Christians.
It is the fellowship of the church where we become Jesus Christ to the world.
The church is where we can find the best vehicle for our growth. We hear the Word preached and taught, and it stimulates us in our own private devotional and study times.
That, in the “spiritual bodybuilding” aspect, is like “taking your vitamins” The second part of “getting big” is to engage in resistance training. In accordance with this idea, the environment of the church provides two important features of growth producing conflict:
Authority who will challenge you with truth and correct you when you are wrong.
The environment of believers who are imperfect and whose rough edges will serve as sandpaper to smooth out your wrinkles. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17). Hurt feelings are probably the greatest reason why people leave churches, but deepening your roots in Christ and His Word can immunize you against such tenderness. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).
If you think that all your need for ministry is being met by the television, you are wrong. The TV can never allow you to tune in to the sanctification station.