When a unified church is focused upon the evangelistic task at hand, the Lord will bless their combined efforts. A careful study of the Bible will reveal how much of the New Testament was written to show Christians how to live and work together in harmony. “One another” passages are scattered thickly throughout its pages. We are commanded to love one another (John 15:12), forgive one another (Eph. 4:32), pray for one another (James 5:16), to mention just a few. Besides the “one another” passages, there are many scriptures that relate to the corporate church, the work that it does, and the corresponding growth.
Read Ephesians 4:15-16. How does working together contribute to growth and edification of the church?
Paul tells us that it is God’s will that we grow into Jesus Christ. This shows that we are all on a spiritual journey, and, to a degree, it is our own spiritual journey. However, the text explains that each individual’s growth will affect the growth of the body both numerically and spiritually.
As believers grow up into Christ, something happens that is wonderful, even supernatural. They are “joined and knit together” through their personal contributions to the church as a whole. Optimum effectiveness of any church is achieved when every part does its share. According to Acts 1:12–14, what did the early believers do while they waited in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit? The answer should tell us a lot about what corporate worship meant. Indeed, it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit had come upon the early believers that they were ready for the task of fulfilling the gospel commission. This group, numbering about a hundred and twenty, were united in prayer and continued in prayer. No doubt it was Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit that united them and constantly brought them together for prayer as they waited for the power that would enable them to do the Lord’s bidding. We, as a church, should be doing the same.
As you think about your local church, ask yourself this question: How much time and effort does your church, as a corporate whole, spend in outreaching, witnessing, and evangelism in contrast to how much time it spends over internal issues, everything from liturgy, worship format, music, etc? Discuss the answer on Sabbath.