‘from whom [I.e. The Head of the ekklesia, the Lord Jesus] the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love.’ Ephesians 4:16.
Please note that it is the WHOLE body, not just one or two parts of it, that PROMOTES the building up/edifying of the entire body.
This is why we must not neglect fellowship –and so much the more as we see the day of His return approaching.
‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ Hebrews 10:25.
It is also the reason why traditional, institutionalised and organised ‘church’ is so alien to the New Testament. It is, in fact, pagan both in its origin and practice. It owes nothing to the New Testament and everything to ancient pagan Rome and the worship of the false gods of the ancient world such as Mithras, Zeus, Jupiter and the whole pantheon of demons who have masqueraded as ‘gods’ from before the flood. That’s why the writer to the Hebrews wrote,
‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,’ 2 Corinthians 6:16.
Please note the context, ‘the temple of God’ and ‘idols’! The true ‘ekklesia’ of God is a simple gathering of Bible believing followers of the Lord Jesus who meet to encourage and edify one another in a ‘family’ context, usually, but not always, in private homes without form or ceremony to: 1. stay faithful to the doctrine/teachings of the apostles, 2. Enjoy fellowship, 3. break bread (eat together and remember the Lord’s Supper) and, 4. prayer. Acts 2:42.
The word translated ‘exhorting’ in Hebrews 10:25 above, is the Greek word ‘parakaleo’ and contains the thoughts of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, consolation, encouragement, and strengthening. As we meet together we do so for this express purpose –to allow the Christ within each one of us to minister to each other and build us up with faith and encouragement so that we will remain faithful to Him in our daily lives. Once again, please note that this is not a Bible study as such, but should certainly include reference to the Bible because that is the source of our inspiration and encouragement.
So, please bring something that the Lord Jesus has used to bless and encourage you so that you, in turn, can bless and encourage each other. Don’t leave it to someone else, allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you. Be a blessing to each of us. We need each other. If you truly love the Lord and one another, you will want to do this because, the love of Christ ‘constrains us’ (2 Corinthians 5:14). For a list of the sorts of things we should bring to edify one another check out 1 Corinthians 14:26.
The matter of Giving
In this context, I feel I should mention the matter of giving. We do not practice tithing in our fellowship because it is not a NT doctrine. But, we do give and the purpose of our giving is to fulfil the NT admonition to care for one another. This means that when we have someone in our fellowship who is in need in some way or going through some hardship, then we need to be able to give them something to help get through that difficult moment. Over the nearly four years we have been in fellowship we have been able to do that often and we look forward to continuing to do so. I mention this so that we all know that this is something we do for one another and so that we will all know that there is provision for that within our fellowship. Every time we gather together there is usually a box placed somewhere for folk to drop something in as they are able. Please join us in sharing in this way.