Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The church plays an important role in our sanctification.”
As we conclude our thinking about the second stage of the salvation process known as sanctification, we need to consider the role the church plays. It has always been God’s plan that His people would congregate in groups, as a community of faith. There are no examples in the Bible of Christians being alone, out of fellowship with other Christians, and it having been a good thing. Jesus was in the desert alone, but that was only for forty days. John-the-Baptist lived in the wilderness, but great crowds of people went out to be with him – they had church in the desert!
As Hebrews 10:24-25 teaches, God wants us to gather together on a regular basis in order to look out for, love, support, and encourage one another. Our time together is also to be a time of teaching, equipping, group worship, and planning for works of service.
Sanctification is all about growing in spiritual maturity as we become more and more like Jesus. The church plays an important role in our growth as a Christian. Church is where we most often engage with our preachers, teachers, counselors, and friends.
The role the church plays in our lives is often subtle, and the benefits of it are realized a little at a time over a long period of time. You may have heard the story of the elderly deacon who encountered a younger man who had been absent from church for a long time. The deacon asked him why. The man replied that on most Sundays he just didn’t feel as if church attendance was doing much for him. He said: “In fact, I can’t even remember most of the sermons I’ve ever heard.” The deacon wisely replied, “You know, I’ve been married for 55 years. My wife has prepared a meal for me every day of those 55 years, but I can’t remember most of them. However each one of those meals nourished my body and helped to keep me healthy. If I hadn’t eaten those meals I would have been malnourished and physically sick. The same is true for every sermon we hear. It nourishes our soul and helps to keep us spiritually healthy.”
We need to be in church. It’s an important part of the transforming work God is doing in each of our lives.
We will now move on to the third, and final, and best stage of the salvation process – the consummation! We will spend the rest of our time this month exploring it.