What is the First Sign of Spiritual Decline?
“Love your spiritual family.” (1 Peter 2:17 MSG)
I’ve mentioned before that the Church is a Body, not a building, and an organism, not an organization.
For the organs of your body to fulfill their purpose, they must be connected to your body. The same is true for you as a part of Christ’s Body. You were created for a specific role, but you will miss out on it if you’re not attached to a living, local church. You discover your role in life though your relationships with others.
The Bible tells us, “Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we?” (Romans 12:4-5 MSG)
If an organ is somehow severed from its body, it will shrivel and die. It cannot exist on its own, and neither can you. Disconnected and cut off from the lifeblood of a local Body of believers, your spiritual life will wither and eventually cease to exist (Ephesians 4:16).
This is why the first symptom of spiritual decline is usually inconsistent attendance at worship services and other gatherings of believers. Whenever we become careless about fellowship, everything else begins to slide, too.
The Bible says, “Love your spiritual family” (1 Peter 2:17 MSG).
Membership in the family of God is neither inconsequential nor something to be casually ignored. The Church is God’s agenda for the world. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18 NLT, second edition).
Talk It Over
What is the difference between an organization and an organism?
How is your walk with God affected when you miss church or small group or other gatherings with believers?
What changes do you need to make so that you can put more time and effort into building relationships in the Body of Christ?
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