Growing Together in Christ
How does someone grow spiritually? Bible reading? Prayer? Of course, reading your Bible and praying are wonderful! But there is another tool to help you grow closer in your walk with God. And it is a tool that is under-utilized by most people. The tool about which I am speaking is relationships--real relationships--with other Christians.
…from whom (Christ) the whole body, joined and knit together by what EVERY joint supplies, according to the effective working by which EVERY part does its share, CAUSES GROWTH of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Eph 4:16)
Ephesians 4:16 tells us that the whole body (each person in the church) needs to be joined and "compacted" or "knit" together. Every joint in the body--each person--needs to be supplying something. Every part of the body needs to be working effectively and properly. Then the body grows!
One of the ways that the Scriptures speak of Christians helping each other grow is that we are told to "edify" one another. The word "edify" simply means to "build". So when we read of the need to edify one another, in plain words it means that we should build each other up in the faith. Christians should build up the faith of other Christians.
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" (Rom 14:19). In this verse, the word for "follow after" in Greek means to "pursue". It means to pursue tirelessly and so it is also translated "persecute" in many verses (Matt. 10:23, Acts 9:4-5, Rom. 12:14, and many others). Christians ought to tirelessly pursue the building up of each other. Have you been making every effort to edify those you fellowship with?
It is time that people go far beyond merely attending one another's lives a couple times a week at "church". Instead, there is a great need that the people of God BE the Church. We need to BE to one another what God wants us to be. We need to help one another, building up faith in each other.
Could it be that many people are not growing in their faith because they are not closely connected with other believers that are determined to build God's household? I know people who may read their Bibles and pray and "go to church", but still they haven't grown much in many years. Why? It is time that we examine what we think "church" is all about. It is MUCH more than attending a weekly service, listening to a sermon, and singing a few songs. God's people are supposed to be actively and purposely building on one another every day! (I'm not talking about "hanging out" more or having more "social time", but considering how to spur one another on in the faith--Hebrews 10:24).
"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost..." (Jude 20).