“Lies Christians Believe: Lie #4”

LIE #4: I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian.
 
All of us have heard the clichés meant to offer comfort in a difficult moment, but don’t realize they can hurt when they prove unreliable. In this series we want to tackle some of the most common “Lies Christians Believe”, and discover the truth that sets us free and will never let us down.
 
LIE: I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian
TRUTH: I need a local church because…God says so -Worshiping Jesus together is powerful -we need Christian community -we grow better together BOTTOM LINE: If I’m going to follow Jesus, I need a local church
 
Further Conversation
1. Why don’t some people like attending or connecting to a church?
2. Read Hebrews 10:23-25 List out the commands in this passage. Summarize in your own words what the writer in suggesting.
3. Read Proverbs 27:17 & Ephesians 5:20 How do these two commands work together to help a Jesus follower grow?
4. Read Jeremiah 17:9 How are we sometimes our own worst enemy? How have our hearts lied to us?
5. Read Matthew 18:15-20 What does this passage suggest is a role of the church? How do you feel about this for your church?
6. Why is accountability a challenge for us today? How do people creatively avoid accountability, especially in spiritual matters?
7. How is your commitment to the local church? Where are you struggling? Why do you think this is an concern for you? How could Christ Church help you more faithfully follow Jesus?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
You matter! Comparison is a deadly game, especially in the church. We don’t serve because we feel intimidated. We’re afraid of commitment. We lead busy lives. Yet, if Paul can be trusted, you and I matter to the Body of Christ, the church. The Body will never be fully healthy if we’re not obedient and committed to Christ and the church. Those who have lost limbs can lead productive, even inspiring lives. But its never quite the same as a fully healthy and complete body. The church needs us at our best and at our most. And we need the church. (A body part is dead – and gross – apart from the body.) How are you connected to the church? What is your commitment level to your spiritual health for the sake of others?
Pray: LORD Jesus, remind me that I belong your body, the Church. Help me commit my whole self, healthy and complete, to you.
 
Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
I’m a passionate football fan, especially for my Pittsburgh Steelers. A few years ago the Steelers cut a very productive and popular player. Everyone was shocked until it came out how this player’s behavior was negatively affecting the locker room. A team committed to their goal must eventually remove a person who holds them back from that goal. Paul challenges the church in Corinth to do the same. A person committed to sin is a person not committed to Jesus. The church holds people accountable because the goal of Christ is worth it. Paul doesn’t say the person is banished forever, only until their allegiance to Christ is renewed. Accountability is a gift for the church and the person. How do you feel about accountability? Are you fully committed to the goal and glory of Jesus Christ?
Pray: Loving God, accountability is hard when its my sin. Help me and the church be passionately committed to your holiness & glory!
 
Wednesday – Matthew 5:12-16
Have you ever driven up to an intersection where the lights aren’t working? I approach with extreme caution because I never know when someone might go or turn. The light protects us. Jesus wanted the same said of the church. We’re meant to give light (guide & protect) and salt (flavor & preservative) to the world. When we give into sin and fail to live for Jesus, that light goes dim and the world becomes more dangerous. The church is important. How am I affecting the church? How do I brighten the light within me?
Pray: Holy Spirit, help me see how important the church is and how I can grow in my faith and obedience, brightening the light within.
 
Thursday – 2 Timothy 2:15-26
We try hard to impress those we respect and admire. We dress to impress for job interviews and first dates. We put our best effort into pleasing the boss, hoping for that next promotion. Even kids act out to gain the attention of those they love. Paul challenges Timothy, and all Jesus followers, to do the same for God. “Work hard to present yourselves to God…” We have God’s unconditional love. But how do we respond to God’s love? Do we give God a feeble effort or are we straining to restrain and present ourselves holy, obedient, pure, godly, honorable, etc. How we choose to leave is evidence of how we expect to approach God’s throne. What are you planning to present to God? What would God want for you?
Pray: Heavenly Father, forgive me when I take your love for granted. Help me present to you my best because you gave me your best.
 
Friday – Acts 7:54-60
We first read about Stephen in Acts 6. Stephen’s love for Jesus and his commitment to serve in the church are recognized. Eventually, Stephen’s faith conflicts with the Jewish leaders in the community. As Stephen is about to be murdered because of Jesus, he has a vision. Jesus is standing at the right hand of God. Everywhere else in Scripture Jesus is said to sit at the right hand of God. But as his faithful servant is about to die, Jesus stands. We stand to show honor. Jesus said the goal of a faithful follower is to hear the LORD say “well done good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:23) I like to think Jesus is clapping, giving Stephen a standing ovation that screams with pride “well done!” None of us aim to die for our faith. But the question is, are we really committed to living our faith. I know one thing. I would love to hear the words “well done!” Today, I will aim for the applause of heaven! Will you?
Pray: LORD Jesus, I confess I have lived for the applause of many others. But today, and every day hereafter, help me live for you.
 
Saturday – Matthew 7:13-14
We must chose the path we will take. The wide way is popular and easy. The narrow way of Christ is hard and less traveled. Its not easy to follow Jesus. One of the hardest parts is admitting how hard it is and confessing that we need help. We need each other to faithfully follow Jesus. Prepare yourself today for church tomorrow. Go open to ask for help, confess your missteps, and offer your hand to another. The church is our traveling partners on this narrow way.
Pray: Loving God, thank you for the church, these fellow followers of Jesus ready to help me along the way of Christ.