Some people want Jesus without a relationship with his people – the church. But the two cannot be separated. Why not? Why is the church so important to God?
The church is God’s new family.
The Triune God freely chose to create so there could be more beings who freely love each other. After humanity rebelled against him, we incurred the penalty of death. Yet God still loved us and wanted us to be a family with him. So the Father sent his Son to become a man to establish a new family – with Jesus in charge. Being a Christian means being a member of Jesus’ family and learning the ways of God’s household. The word we use for God’s family – including all of our brothers and sisters in the family – is the church.
The church is a diverse body.
Like living with people in any family, life in the church can be challenging because there are so many different kinds of people, with diverse interests, backgrounds, and personalities. Yet they are all part of one family. This diversity is one reason why the Bible compares the church to a living body.
1 Corinthians 12:12 The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does.
All the parts in a living body – like ears, spines, and livers – are different and do different things, but each is necessary. Likewise the family of the church needs all kinds of parts to be complete.
The church is Jesus’ representative in the world.
Another reason the church is like a body is that through the church, Jesus carries on the work of the Father in the world. Through the church, Jesus is present in the world. Through us, he is still healing, teaching, and sacrificing in the world. If the church is Jesus’ body, then Jesus is the head of the church. Some people like the head (Jesus) but not the body. But heads are not meant to live without bodies. Others like being part of the body (the church community) but don’t like obeying the head. But a body without a head can’t live. To be part of God’s family, we have to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and part of the community of true believers, continuing Jesus’ work in the world.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- What are some ways people minimize or disrespect the church?
- In what ways is the church like a family?
- In what ways is the church like a body?
- Why is the church important to God?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you value the church? Explain.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.