Jesus left a mission statement for his organization: He told us to make disciples of all nations. This mission is not something any individual can do alone, which is why we are organized into congregations, or what Paul calls partnerships…
Philippians 4:15 – And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.
Paul was obeying Christ as a missionary taking the gospel to the ends of the earth and the Philippians were also obeying Christ’s command, by partnering with him.
You aren’t obeying Jesus if you aren’t partnering financially with a church that is doing what he commanded.
The other way to contribute to the partnership is by serving.
1 Corinthians 12:14 – For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
What makes a healthy body is unity and diversity. Different parts pulling their weight and working together for the good of the Body.
When you sit for too long sometimes your leg falls asleep. If the doorbell startles you and you leap up to open for your visitor, you may find just what a hindrance to your mission a sleeping limb might be. It’s the same for non-contributing Christians, they impede the mission.
- Contend for the Purity of the Church
Paul penned the Corinthian letter to fix several messes. One debacle was that they allowed a man in unrepentant sexual immorality to remain in the church, displaying what they thought was abundant mercy. This risked the spread of spiritual infection to the rest of the body. Paul said to eject the bad leaven lest it corrupt the whole lump (1 Cor 5: 6-13).
Church discipline is the antibiotic Jesus prescribes to rid the body of infection.
It is a healthy church’s responsibility to expel impurities carefully, but decisively.
This is how the church maintains its purity and its witness to the world. Without members being put into the church, there is no putting them out either. Discipline assumes we know who is in and who is out.
If you are not a Christian—then you are not part of God’s building. Come to the Father, admit your sin and your need for the forgiveness he offers through the death of Jesus for you—and then take your privileged place in a local church.
Don’t let your ego make you a spiritual drifter, unclaimed and useless to the Universal Church of Jesus Christ.
This article originally appeared here.