Four Things I’ve Learned about The Church

God has shown me some beautiful and freeing things about His children the last several weeks. At first it seemed like a bunch of individual lessons—but today, I realized that each “lesson” falls under the heading of the Church, the Body of Christ.

Pews

1. If you’re a true follower of Jesus Christ, nothing makes you better than other believers.

No teaching, group, or denomination that I can ever be a part of will make me any godlier than my fellow believers. In fact, if I take what someone says about the Bible more seriously than what the Bible says, there’s a problem. We are sinners justified and being sanctified purely by the blood of Jesus. If we are children of God, we all have the gift of the Holy Spirit to understand God, and we all have the ability to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can discern His will. We have the Word of God, and nobody’s going to get any more special revelations equal to it. If I box myself in with some exclusive teachings, I will miss so, so much that God is showing the rest of His people.

2. Focus on unity, not differences.

Because we’re all so different anyway, it’s my natural tendency just to see the differences between me and my brothers and sisters in Christ. And my focus on differences inevitably leads to comparisons. And comparisons lead to judgment—and the conclusion that I’m better than everyone else.

How wrong that is. God has made us all different, but sin makes divisions sharp and ugly. But the Gospel is the only thing in the world that can join us. Jesus earnestly prayed that His followers would be one, just like He and His Father were one. “There is one body and one Spirit” (Ephesians 4:4, ESV).

Several evenings ago I was gathered in prayer with some wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. We pray differently. We come from different homes. We listen to different kinds of music. We dress differently. We talk differently. We enjoy different things. But there God reminded me that we were all His children saved by the cross of Jesus Christ. That’s what changes everything, and the love that we are to have for one another will make all those differences fade away.

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)

3. Talk with fellow believers, not about them.

Being so different from all my fellow believers gives me a lot to talk about. Good stories, right? Talking about them helps me figure them out. But wait … is that understanding them or judging them? I admit that usually, I’m placing a false verdict on someone—because I don’t really know. But when I talk with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I understand them better. When I talk with them, it softens my heart to their perspective. When I talk about them, I tend to see the bad and try to make up some good. When I talk with them, my eyes can be opened to how God has gifted them.

4. Be concerned with what God has called you to do instead of comparing it to what other believers are doing.

Earlier this week, I was really upset because of some things another believer had done and set that seemed to fly in the face of what I believed something that God wanted me to do. I couldn’t rejoice with those who were rejoicing or thank God for what He had done.

But God is so faithful to show me the truth when I look to Him. He kept reminding me of 1 Corinthians 3. We are all workers in His field, and whatever our efforts may be, He is the One who determines the outcome, and He brings the outcome. Not only that, but any good that I do is really from Him. It’s not my job to tell another believer, “You can’t do that! That’s my job!” Well, maybe God does want them to do that. I may not know why He doesn’t let me do it, but a slave doesn’t ask “why” or micromanage. A slave does as he is told, all the while trusting that his Master is working it all out to perfection.

I pray that this will encourage you in your walk with Christ and relationship with other believers. May we never stop thanking God for what He has done for us!

~Rachel Sue

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/zionfiction/9252626788/”>r.nial.bradshaw</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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