The Bible’s timeline for sanctification is from new birth (regeneration) to a new body (glorification). The primary contexts for your salvation and ongoing sanctification to happen are the family and local church. In this devotional, I am addressing the dearest place on earth outside your home: the local church.
If you want to experience daily change, several factors must come into play. I will share three of those things in this devotion, but this list is not exhaustive.
Affection – The first perspective that you must have if you want to change is a high view of the local church. Your love for a local gathering, which is a manifestation of Christ’s body, is vital to your sanity. Do you have affection for your local church?
Training – The second factor for your long-term soul care is the resources for your sanctification. Your church should be providing contexts and training to help you change. Do they give these things to you?
Community – Finally, Christianity is not a spectator sport; you must be an active participant, which has a twofold effect: it will help you mature, and you will help others. You must always be working within your church community of friends. Are you an active participant in your local church?
Sustained change does happen at a point in time but through many years of hard work. If you want to experience continuous change, you must be involved in a biblical community. If your church is not able to provide you a practical, transformative community, you have two options: (1) you help to change your church or (2) find a church that does these three things.
Do not become a silo Christian who detaches from the community life that the church offers. Don’t fall for the cyber-community temptation. Real relationships in real-world contexts are the two things you need to mature in Christ.
Time to Reflect
1. Is your church the right disciple-making context for you? How do you know? If you’re thinking about leaving, do not do it without getting advice.
2. Rather than thinking about an exit strategy, how can you help your church become a disciple-making community? If they are already, how can you make it better?