By Daniel H. King
The word of the Lord recognizes how much we need each other. The church was purposed in the mind of God before time because the All-wise saw the need for it in human relationships. Loneliness can be a terrible and destructive thing. Other human contact, especially if it is with like-minded people with a desire to do the right thing, can be entirely wholesome and good. This is what the church as an organization and agency in human society is mostly about. As the Scripture says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up” (Eccl. 4:9-10).
So, two are better than one because when one falls, the other can help him again to stand. We must remember this, when we consider why the church must be a part of our lives, and why we must not let this precious coopera- tive relationship slip from us by abandonment.
Two are better than one because one may help to bear the burden of another. How many times have you heard someone say, “This is almost more than I can bear.” Often we can sympathize that what they must bear is nearly more than one person can deal with alone. But the wonderful thing is that we never ought to have to bear our burdens alone. Of course, we know the Lord helps up at such times. But it is a great boon to our souls to know that we have brothers and sisters in Christ who share our grief and pain, and help to love us through those trying times. As Paul wrote: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). Observing the law of Christ involves sharing the burdens so heavy upon our fellow Christians.
Two are better than one because the prayers of one may benefit another. Those who pray for us are our “help- ers.” They may be confined to a bed or wheelchair, but if they are supportive of the work we are doing through their prayers, then they are friends of the first order. Paul spoke of the prayers which the Corinthians uttered on his and his fellow laborer’s behalf, with fond appreciation and deep love: “Ye also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift bestowed upon us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf ” (2 Cor. 1:11).
Two are better than one because the great work of the gospel is too much for any single individual to ac- complish. Paul spoke of the work that he and Apollos did together, even though they were at Corinth at different times and under wholly different circumstances. Still he viewed himself and Apollos as working together toward a common goal. Paul had converted the majority of those whom Apollos later instructed: “I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6). “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).
Two are better than one because there is moral and spiritual strength in numbers. The presence and encour- agement of our brothers and sisters in Christ is a source of spiritual strength to those of us who attend the wor- ship activities with regularity. One who is a member of the body of Christ feels that he is a part of something wonderful and good. There is a feeling of belonging to something important. And there is a feeling of being associated with someone (Christ) who is worthy of all of our praise and admiration. Being a member of the church is a thing to be thankful about, grateful for, and ever overflowing with thanksgiving because of. As Paul stated: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ” (1 Cor. 12:12).
Two are better than one because when we work to- gether with one another in the church, we are working together with God. At times we tend to view the church as a wholly human relationship, a segment of the overall community or society that we live in. But it is not so. The church is his fold, his holy temple, his royal priesthood of believers, his blood bought and Spirit filled body. It was his intent that through this means men and women might enter into covenant relation with the Father and serve as spiritual stewards in common cause with the Lord himself: “And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1).