Are You a Faithful Church Member?
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
It “is the manner of some” Christians to forsake (enkataleipo; abandon or desert) the services and meetings of the local Church. “Manner” (ethos) in this verse refers to customary behavior or habits. Some Christians, willfully and habitually, avoid services and meetings of the local Church.
These Christians assume the right to determine for themselves whether they go to Church, on the bases of personal preference or convenience. Where the Bible has made God’s will known, choosing otherwise is a choice to disobey God’s word. (see v.26)
According to this passage, to forsake the assemblies of the Church is a refusal to participate in the love and good works designed to happen there. There are aspects of love and good works that cannot occur apart from our involvement in the services and meetings of the local Church.
The God kind of love is unique, in that it is placed in the heart by the Holy Spirit, only when a person becomes a Christian. (Romans 5:5) This love is modeled for us by Jesus, when He sacrificed His living and life for our salvation. This love is unselfish and focused on the needs of others.
Good works (kalos ergon) in our text, is the outworking of such love. By definition these are “morally excellent works that one is enabled and obligated to do by virtue of being created in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:10) Therefore avoidance of Church services and meetings is a violation of the nature and purpose of being “created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
Our text calls us to “consider one another.” As I am considering others, others are considering me. This is how the God kind of love is designed to work in the Church. This consideration (katanoeo) is a caring awareness and regard for others, that looks for the opportunity to be a blessing, in word and deed. (1 John 3:16-19)
We consider one another in this way when we respect the vision of Christ for our participation in the services and meetings of the local Church. (Ephesians 4:1-16) It is in our assembling together as a Church that we “exhort one another.” The term translated “exhort,” parakaleo in the Greek text, means to come alongside of one another, to aid, help, comfort, and encourage one another.
Attendance in local Church services and meetings is necessary if we are to be faithful to the model of Church presented to us in the Bible; a model of love and unity. And as we proceed toward the “Day of the Lord” this model becomes increasingly important.
We can only disobey God’s word to our own hurt, so let us obey the Scriptures in this matter; demonstrating our true discipleship and love for Jesus by assembling with the Church faithfully. (John 8:31; 14:23)
If you know these things, happy are you if you do them. – John 13:17