Last couple of days I have been sharing thoughts on the church. One reason this is important is that we want our children engaged in a community for reasons and expectations that are informed by the Bible and not the culture. If that is not the case, there is a probability that they will at some point drift away from engagement with that community.
So far we said the purpose of church is not to feed us but to equip us for the work of service. There is another element that we need to acknowledge, the building up or edifying of people. Ephesians 4:11 – 16, as we saw yesterday, tells us that the gifts given to the church are for the building up of the body. In this passage Paul mentions three or four gifts, depending on how you count pastors and teachers. But in I Corinthians 12:4 – 12 and in Romans 12:3 – 8, Paul lists several other gifts and states in both passages that the purpose of these gifts is not to enhance our lives but the lives of others, and specifically to build up one another.
In Romans 8:9 – 12, Paul tells us that if we are believers we have the Spirit, He has given us gifts, and those gifts are to be used, stewarded, to build up those around us. As believers we have an obligation to serve those with whom we come in contact. Paul describes the obligation in Galatians 6:9 – 10.
Is all this working in your community? If so why? If not, why not?