We Need Each Other
Read Hebrews 10:23-25 (ESV)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
According to today’s verses, what are some things that a Christian community should do?
Some people claim that they don’t need to go to church. They can read the Bible for themselves and they can access solid Biblical teaching online. Why even bother getting involved in a church? Churches are full of people and people are sinful. People mean relationships and relationships can get messy. Why is it so important to be involved in a local church?
Well, when we go back to the Bible in Hebrews today, we see the purpose of the community of believers—encouraging one another.
The author of Hebrews is unknown but his purpose for writing the book of Hebrews was to encourage the Jewish Christians to “hold fast” to their newfound Christian faith and not return to the Jewish religion. Throughout the book, he explained how faith in Christ was superior in every way to the religion of the Old Covenant. Because of Jesus and the hope that He offers us, we should “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” We know that God is faithful to deliver on all of the promises that He made through Jesus Christ. The Old Covenant pointed to Christ but “all the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises! How sad it would be to reject Him and return to a religion that is still looking for a fulfillment that already came!
We may not be in danger of falling back into the Jewish religion. But we are all vulnerable to letting go of sound doctrine and embracing heresies. We need to encourage each other to stand firm in the “confession of our hope” which is the teaching of Jesus Christ and we need to hold each other accountable to reject any teaching that raises up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The author of Hebrews also urged us to think about how we can encourage each other to do good works out of love for one another. We are the family of God and families take care of each other. Galatians 6:2 says that we should “bear one another’s burdens.” James 5:17 exhorts us to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other.
Finally, today’s verses highlight the importance of corporate worship. We shouldn’t neglect gathering together with other believers. The early church is not described in the New Testament as separate individuals who worshiped God alone in the privacy of their homes. Instead, it is described as a body of believers.
Acts 2:42-47 gives us a picture of the early church in action: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Friends, we are not called to walk out our faith all alone. We are called to be in community with other believers. We need accountability in the corporate teaching of sound doctrine, we need the encouragement found in fellowship and love, we need to take care of each other’s needs and bear each other's burdens, we need to pray for each other. It may be the habit of some to stop gathering together. But the Bible is clear that the community of believers is not something that we should neglect. We need each other.
Father, thank You for the body of believers. I know how important it is for my faith to be in fellowship with other Christians but I know that within that fellowship I have the responsibility to also be an active member who is a blessing to others. Help me to stay committed to attending and serving my local church. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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