By Pastor Lanre Alonge
Date Published on SCC & You Bulletin: 24th March, 2013.
The local church refers to a gathering of believers in a particular location and is a part of the universal church, the body of Christ which consist of believers in every part of the world (Romans 12:5, 1Corinthians 12:12, Eph 2:12). Finding a local church, as simple as it may sound requires the wisdom of God’s word and so does getting and staying committed there. The issue will not be to locate the venue of one especially since there’s almost one or two on every street nowadays. Deciding on which local church to identify with is a serious matter and should be done PRAYERFULLY AND PURPOSEFULLY. Its closeness to your place of residence, a common consideration with many people today would be unwise, because many travel sometimes all the way abroad to study or to get medical attention, which is an indication of a desire for the best available, therefore the same attitude should be employed for something as important and eternal as locating a church to attend. If you take your Christian life seriously, you should choose to attend the best local church around you. While it’s easy to get carried away by GOOD MUSIC, SHORT MESSAGE & SERVICE (SMS) AND NICE LOOKING USHERS and FIRST TIMER GIFTS AND FOOD PACKS.
Some are even carried away by activities, they are not learning the word of God or growing up spiritually in the church they play the keyboard, play the drums, are in drama group etc. They would rather be involved in activities than grow up spiritually. Others yet still are in a particular church because “It’s our family church”, “my friends are in the church” or “I have connections there”. All these considerations though may make sense to the carnal man, have no spiritual benefit. Before you choose a local church, ask yourself these questions:
- DO I WANT TO GROW SPIRITUALLY?
If yes, then you must choose to attend a local church where the teaching of God’s word is given first place and every member is closely mentored and monitored to understand every bible doctrine.
WHY? Because spiritual growth will only come with growth in the knowledge of God’s word-Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5, 9-16, 1Peter 2:2, Acts 20:20). Spiritual growth will come by the revelation of who Jesus is, all he has done for us and all we can do because we are in Him (Col. 1:9, Eph 1:19, 3:16-19, Philemon 6).
- DO YOU WANT TO CONSISTENTLY SEE GOD’S DIVINE HAND IN ALL YOUR AFFAIRS IN LIFE?
If yes! Then you must attend a local church where a lot of time is devoted to prayer and particularly praying in the spirit (in tongues)
WHY? Because prayer is a demonstration of our trust in and our dependence upon God. By prayer, great power; God’s power is made available for everyone in life situations and circumstances, thus the bible teaches us to pray fervently (James 5:16) and to pray always in the spirit (Eph 6:18) praying in the spirit is praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, 15, 18, Jude 20).
- DO YOU WANT TO WALK IN THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOUR LIFE?
If yes again! Then you must choose a local church that Is in the will of God. And how can you tell? It must be a local church where EVANGELISM and reaching the lost is not treated with levity or taken as a pastime but, is approached with a deep sense of purpose and responsibility and is receive, as a commission of JESUS CHRIST, the head of the church (Matthew 28:18, Mark 16:15-20).
WHY? Staying in the will of God for your life starts with obeying God in general instructions and paying attention to light in His word with which comes more specific instructions (Romans 12:2).
- DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FAR ABOVE THE FORCES OF DARKNESS OF THE WORLD?
Again, if Yes! Excitedly so! Then you must attend a local church where there’s an atmosphere of LOVE, JOY AND FAITH IN GOD’S WORD.
WHY? Because the system of this world is ruled by the god of this world, the devil (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph 2:2).
The believer will only win in life all the time by putting on the whole armor of GOD (Eph 6:10-18) How is that Possible? 1John 5:4 a faith filled life.
- DO YOU WANT TO BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS AND FLOW WITH THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT?
Sure, Yes! Then you must attend a local church where room is given to each one to express things of and things pertaining to the spirit, tongues, interpretations of tongues, prophecies, among other (1Cor. 14:12-15).
WHY! Because things of the spirit will only improve with practice (1Cor.12:31, 14:39, Hebrews 5:14).
Staying committed to this local church must be with the understanding that the local church is God’s plan for the believer, a place where he has a pastor who teaches and trains him spiritually, who is responsible to bring to him correction, reproof, and instructions in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). The local church therefore has spiritual leaders who have Christ’s authority to lead you (Heb 13:7) and your response to them must thus be submission in love and obedience as unto God (Heb 13:17).
Have a great week, We Win!