It is well understood that when we refer to one of the many religious denominations in existence, we use the term,
“church”. We also use this word to define or describe a building in which a congregation meets for their religious
services. However, when we consider a reference to a church in scripture we understand that it is, by definition, a collection of people, a group of believers who are drawn together for worship, fellowship, service and mission.
Therefore, we would describe the Lubbock Seventh-day Adventist Church as the people who are members of this particular body of believers. Membership in this church identifies us along with a group of people who espouse the same beliefs, who understand and accept the same doctrinal statements, and who have accepted the gift of salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, there is one very important distinction in the definition of “church” that many members miss, there may very well be a huge difference between membership and involvement. This involvement includes actively participating in the fellowship that is experienced by being, and doing, church together.
In the New Testament Church we come to understand the importance of experiencing community … worshipping, working, and serving each other, and the greater community, in the context of a vibrant relationship with fellow believers. This level of engagement actually increases and strengthens the benefits that are experienced by those who faithfully choose to commit time and presence to each other in service to God.
This week we will begin a brief series of studies in the purpose, value and importance of the “church” as the Community of Faith as presented by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. May God bless us as we share this experience together.