The picture above is the Primitive Baptist Church my Great Grandfather who fought for the south in the Civil War, belonged too. And now, over a century and half later, I’m a member of a racially diverse church in the deep south.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. – (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)
“The church was first known as the people of the Way (Acts 9:2). The “Way” these people embraced was the way of Jesus— the way of power in weakness for the sake of love. This was not a loosely connected group of individuals, a social club of sorts, but a family united in Christ (Eph. 2:19).” 1
While many in our culture have given up on the Church, God hasn’t. The Church as flawed as it presently is, is God’s vehicle to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. The Church is where the people of “the way” live out the life of the Kingdom together. Gathering together with a group of imperfect people is God’s plan to help us to grow up in Christ. And one of the fruits of a gospel-centered church is racial reconciliation.
Gathering together with a community of believers is a demonstration of Gods power to form a supernatural people. That is why both Jesus and Paul urged us to gather in corporate worship. As we gather in Jesus name to sing songs, hear the public reading of Scripture, we are testifying to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies to Satan’s ultimate defeat.(Eph. 3:10)
Holy Communion is the most neglected part of church life among many Evangelical churches. The power of the Lord’s Supper is not fully grasp by most.But this seemingly weak act, celebrates the death, and resurrection of Jesus, which defeated Satan and his evil cohorts. Every time we partake of the elements the devil is reminded of his fate. If we could see what happens at the weakest church service in the spirit realm, we would desire to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus even more!
“A rejection of the church is a rejection of Jesus’ way. Christ made this known: His way of power continues to pour forth in this world by the Spirit through the church. When we come to think that the Christian life is about our own development rather than about our calling in Christ as a family of God, we inevitably confuse the church for a secular entity. The church simply becomes the sum of its parts, which need to be slick, skilled, and led by a guru with a strong vision. Too often people give up on the church because, as a secular entity, it is impotent! But the church is a different sort of venture, on a different sort of mission, with a different power system up and running. People reject the church because they have failed to grasp what it is.” 2
(1) The Way Of The Dragon Or The Way Of The Lamb, Jammin Goggin and Kyle Strobel, page 167.
(2) ibid, page 166.