Tied Up with the Local Church

Even the Old Testament has much to say about life in the local church. Consider Psalm 106:4-5:

Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people;
help me when you save them,
that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance.

Verse 4 says that our individual salvation is tied up with that of the church, much like Ephesians 5 says that Christ loved and gave Himself up not for individuals alone, but for individuals gathered as His church. The psalmist here cries out to be included in God’s people for His salvation. He sees his own salvation as tied up with the local church, the believing people of God.

Verse 5 goes even further to explain the biblical “heart” of the matter. It forces us to ask the questions:

  • Do I see my joy wrapped up in the local church’s?
  • Do I enjoy seeing their spiritual prosperity because God has chosen them?
  • Do I rejoice in their gladness? When they are glad in God, am I made more glad in God?
  • Do I glory in their spiritual inheritance in Christ? Are does seeing their future hopes bolster mine?

Questions like these are tough to ask, but they get to the heart of our joys, much as Psalm 16:2-3:

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land,
they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

A singular love for God Himself births a singular love for the people of God. Loving God walks in the shoes of loving our neighbors, primarily the local church. The enjoyment of God is never a closed course; we want to see everyone enroll and rejoice.

Scoffers may have a hard time with it (“Those Christians, only loving each other!”), but Jesus said it would be the mark of His people. Because of the cross, because of the resurrection, because of our together-inheritance in Christ, let us set our love on Jesus and our joys on watching Him work in the local church.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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