Finally, in the very last week of our study, Blackaby brings up the church and God speaking through it. Titled simply enough, God Speaks Through the Church, we’ll spend the week studying how believers join together with Christ to accomplish His purposes.
I’m not sure that Blackaby is on solid Biblical grounds with his commentary today. His text is ironclad that a Christian is supposed to meet in a local church but the Scriptures he used, 1 Cor 12:27 and Eph 4: 12-16, do not speak to that at all. Rather, they speak to Christ being the head of the church in a global sense.
While I think personally that it is critical that believers gather together in a formal sense, it is more of a practical belief than a Biblical one. I personally do not understand how a believer can stay connected with the Church (entire body of believers) without the comfort, edification and learning found in a church (local body of believers. But that’s just me.
Each of Blackaby’s points can be used in the local church but Biblically, they are a mandate for the Church. The entire Body, of which Christ is the head.
His exercises included listing a couple of people at your local church that have helped you and what they did for you. His purpose is to show you that the church you are in is worthy and is helping you. And that is true. At the same time, I can list hundreds more that have helped me that do not belong to my church. And of those many belong to no church at all.
While I may think that they are losing out on many of the benefits that come with joining a group of believers, I can find nothing in the Scripture that tells me this is a Biblical mandate. It is simply my choice, my preference.
Can a guy sitting under a tree fishing every week instead of meeting with a group of believers grow in his knowledge and maturity in Christ? Highly unlikely. Still, I can find nothing that says he must. In fact, if I were to tell him that, I’d be the one that was unbiblical and putting a legalistic chain around him that isn’t there.
So, yes, God definitely speaks the Body. And in the body. And to my way of thinking, He’s easier to hear when I’m worshiping with believers that I know and love. But Blackaby is just plain wrong (IMHO) when he says “One of the main descriptions of the local church is “the body of Christ”. I believe that “the body of Christ” represents the entire body of believers.
Perhaps if my view was prevalent, there wouldn’t be so much nitpicking going on between churches. Then again, if I’m wrong, I’m wrong.
1 Corinthians 12:27-30 Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it. And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helps, gifts of leadership, different kinds of tongues. Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they?ï»¿