Let the Church Do It
Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
Too many Christians today have the idea that they can be pleasing to God simply by being a member of the church, and then sitting back and letting the church do the work that has to be done in obedience to the great commission. The feeling seems to be among some, that as church members we do not have to tell the story of Christ to our neighbors, because the church has that responsibility in our neighborhood, and therefore I as an individual am relieved of this responsibility. If everyone could only understand that the church is only as strong as its individual members, because the individual members are the church. If they would but realize that when they say, "Let the church do it," that the meaning of the expression really is, "Let us do it," because we are the church, we would solve the above problem.
God did not ordain the church to take away individual responsibility, but rather as a cooperative of His people whereby certain tasks, which are too big for one person alone, can be carried on, and as an encouragement for the individuals comprising His body. From I Timothy 5: 16 we have an example of a work which can be engaged in through the cooperative efforts of the several Christians within a local church. This is an example within the realm of benevolence. From Philippians 4: 15 we have an example of a church--as a collective body --sending financial assistance for the preaching of the gospel. Of course we unite one with another to worship God, as we learn from such passages as Acts 20:7 and I Corinthians 11:20-34. From Hebrews 10:23-25 and 3:13 we learn that we are to receive encouragement for our labours as Christians from the gathering together of individual Christians in a church. Notice especially verse 24, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." This shows very clearly that the attitude we are to have as a result of our assembly with fellow-Christians in the church is a sense of renewal so that we go to our individual tasks with a greater determination to be pleasing to God and to accomplish something for Him, as we are told in Ephesians 2:10, " . . . we are . . . created . . . unto good works . . ." or in Titus 3:8 "... they which have believed in God . . . be careful to maintain good works." We are not therefore to leave the assembly feeling that we have discharged our duty to God and now it is up to the church to do what needs to be done in preaching the gospel, helping the needy, encouraging some weaker brother or sister, or that we have discharged all the worship that is expected of us. We might liken the church assemblies to a service station, which keeps our batteries charged, and our tank full of fuel so that we can carry on in good shape in the service of the Master.
Remember, the church is not designed by God to take away individual responsibility, but rather to be an encouragement to the fulfilling of our individual responsibilities.
Truth Magazine IX: 11, p. 1