Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ~ Acts 2:38
Growing up in churches of Christ, I heard this verse almost every Sunday! A phrase frequently emphasized was ‘every one of you’ – letting us know that this teaching of the Apostles was for everyone who would express faith in Christ.
Obedience to the Gospel is to be followed by a life in the church! Most churches are packed with immensely talented people! God has gifted every one of us with abilities that are to benefit the church. He truly has equipped “the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). You are enabled to contribute to the good of the entire body.
When you use your gifts to bless the church, then “the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16). The church is a community of faith that is dependent upon the service and involvement of every one of its members.
What would happen to your body if one day your leg decided it didn’t have to participate in the day?
What if your arm decided it needed to do something else instead of be a part of the body? What if the body failed to accomplish its mission because many parts refused to cooperate with the rest of the body?
One thing is for sure – the body will never have to operate without it’s head: Jesus! “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). It is our obligation to mature in our functioning in the church – and not excuse our absence and inactivity.
Upon how many of your body parts are you depending? Every. One.
Upon how many members of our congregation are we depending? Every. One.
How many ministries could benefit from more participation? Every. One.
How many empty pews should be filled at all of our gatherings? Every. One.
Who should be praying about this and contemplating their involvement in the church? Every. One.
Thanks for reading, JD