Basics of Spiritual Maturity 103
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb. 10:24-25)
As we continue discussing the four basic elements for reaching spiritual maturity, the third element is fellowship. While this seems very elementary, there is this dangerous idea that has been moving like wildfire throughout evangelical churches during the past half century that seeks to undermine this vitally needed ingredient, that is the idea that we don’t need anyone else to worship God and be in a right and healthy relationship with God, that all we need is a Bible in our hands and the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and we’re doing just fine. This idea has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic with many churches having to provide Sunday services online, now that the pandemic is lifting, many Christians are thinking they’ll just continue “doing worship” at home. It’s convenient. It’s easy. And it works just as well as being in church in person. The only problem is that it’s not biblical and it’s not healthy. Attending church in person is not optional. It’s commanded. However, we never want to follow God’s commands solely out of a sense of obligation. But it is worth noting that when God issues commands to his people, they are what is best for them. God’s commands are good and helpful to us. Thus, in Hebrews 10:24-25, scripture says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Notice how we are to consider, think about, stirring up one another, encouraging and motivating one another, “to love and good works.” By “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some.” When the author says, “not neglecting to meet together”, he is not speaking about mid-week home Bible studies or getting together for lunch. In New Testament times, ninety percent of the population was agrarian. In fact, the idea of a forty-hour work week was non-existent. Most people worked their farms from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. However, Christians began breaking away from their farms on Sunday mornings to gather for worship. Thus, when scripture commands us to not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but instead to encourage one another, it is specifically talking about corporate worship on the Lord’s Day. But this does not mean we should limit our fellowship time with the saints to just Sunday’s. Scripture tells us in many places that if we walk with the wise, we will become wise (Prov 13:20), iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17), we should look out for each other (Gal 6:1), and we need and are dependent on each other (1 Cor 12:12-26). Regular fellowship (i.e., friendship with believers, hanging out with Christians) is incredibly important to reaching spiritual maturity.
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