One of the biggest misunderstandings in the church today is how some people believe a personal relationship with God is a private matter. To follow Jesus does mean to follow Him into a personal relationship.
We placed our faith in Jesus and His work on the cross because we wanted to be saved. We knew we were a mess and needed God to personally and powerfully impose Himself into our lives so we could be transformed.
Though there were many options to choose from, we learned how Jesus was the one and only choice which would work (John 14:6). We asked the LORD to redeem us from our guilt and sin. From here, our highly personal and intimate relationship with Jesus commenced.
Personal, not private
It is an amazing thing to be able to enter into a relationship with God Almighty and to be affected by that relationship. This is the most profound personal relationship you can have, but it was never meant to be a private relationship.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
To become a Christian is to become part of a body of believers–other people who have made the same decision to be followers of Christ. The Father is collectively transforming all of us into the image of His Son.
This means when you become a Christian you are called to get personal with other believers in the body of Christ. This implies more than a weekly cooperate meeting at a church building which can constrict and limit relational possibilities.
Did you know God has called you to an everyday, personal relationship ministry? His desire for you is to become an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands. The LORD not only gives you a personal relationship with the Trinity, but He also gives you a communal one His body.
There are over 30 one another passages in the New Testament. Here’s a list of most of them. You are your brother’s keeper. You are a person in need of change who is called to help other people in need of change.
The church is a sanctification center
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. – Hebrews 3:12-13 (ESV)
There is a strong appeal from God’s Word for you to have an everyday, every person ministry. The Hebrew writer warns us with sobering clarity what can happen to us if we don’t obey God this way. We live in a deceptively sinful world and none of us are able to withstand the hardening effects of sin if we isolate ourselves from the community of faith.
You are called to bring biblical counsel to your fellow believers regardless of how long you have been born again. The essence of biblical counseling is a person who understands he/she is called to help a person who needs help and seeks to help them.
This is the essence of Christianity. All of us are called to help others in their time of need (Hebrews 13:3). The Gospel is about going and affecting lives (Philippians 2:6-11). Soul sanctifying care is one powerful way we can imitate Christ (Ephesians 5:1).
When times of trouble comes to a person or when someone is discouraged and is in danger of being overcome by their circumstances, people within the body of Christ should automatically mobilize to help.
The church is a sanctification center where each person within the church is called to bring care to each other (Romans 15:14). If we don’t do this every day through personal ministry there is potential for some of us to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
In nearly every situation when a person comes to me for counseling they have been disconnected and isolated from the local church. Many of these people regularly attend, but they do not properly engage their church or community.
When this scenario is in play, you can guarantee the deceitfulness of sin will begin to rule their minds. We’re all vulnerable. As long as we live in Adam’s body, we will be tempted to sin and be deceived by sin.
If we are not properly addressing these temptations in a community setting, you will be susceptible to a hard heart. This is why it’s imperative for the church to understand the potential of drifting from the LORD.