Every day our baptism into Christ reminds us of who we are and who we belong to. We are God’s children and members of God’s family.
The Bible, God’s holy word, calls this baptized family “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27) or “the church” (Ephesians 5:29). God cares about the Church as a whole and the churches that make up this whole. However, there are many people today who want to dismiss the need to be an active member of God’s family in the local church. Many would prefer to “live together” with the church, to be friends with benefits rather than being a committed member of God’s family – a fully-devoted disciple of Christ living in Christian community.
This unwillingness to commit to a relationship with Christ and His family has not only impacted the church, but reflects a larger social problem. All around us are organizations that are in decline because of people’s reluctance to commit and get involved.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook suggested in a recent interview that groups like the church could be turned around and strengthened if only more people got connected through Facebook. His goal is one billion Facebook members.
This post will end up on social media like Facebook because many people have turned to this resource and other forms of media to meet their varied needs. One woman told me recently that she no longer went to church, but fed her spiritual life through radio and TV programs. Can media like Facebook really replace the church’s role in the Christian’s life?
Jesus commissioned the church to baptize, teach and preach the good news of Christ and administer the body and blood of Christ that we might know and have the assurance of Christ’s forgiveness, new life and salvation. Social media or any media cannot fully offer these gifts from God the way that the local church can.
Facebook may offer a certain amount of fellowship, but media is always abstract. It cannot replace the flesh and blood Christ that the church offers every time it comes together.
God came in the flesh and blood of Christ to bring the reality of His love and salvation among us. Every local church that proclaims the Gospel and administers the sacraments continues to make real this flesh and blood Christ.
The church in every one of its imperfect local expressions is God’s gift to those who have been called by Christ. In these communities we practice and are equipped to be the living body of Christ in the world and don’t let Satan fool you into believing anything else.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. – 1 Corinthians 12:27
Live in the real church rather than the one of your imagination!
– Pastor Tim