Christianity Explained, 8 - Other Believers
Here is the 8th part of the Christianity Explained study in a question-verse-answer format as described in the introduction.
Someone asks the question, and someone then reads the bible verse, ideally aloud, to then discuss the answer between them - the written answer is only read afterwards to tie together.
Question - What Must We Do With Other Christians?
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Although being a Christian is a personal belief and only yourself can truly put Christ first in everything, God has made it essential to have other believers around us so that they can help us and we likewise help them.
Therefore, it’s important to regularly meet with believers in order to build each other up in Christ Jesus. This isn’t just to focus on each other, but by truly placing Jesus Christ at the centre of our attention together through reading the bible and God's Word, prayer, worship, and serving other's needs. Then there is a spiritual unity and friendship that is different to just usual family and friend connections.
“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
Question - Who is in Charge of the Church of Christian Believers?
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." - Colosians 1:18
Jesus has arranged it this way, that He is the cornerstone and head whilst in heaven, and the Holy Spirit now assembles us to live together, often with very different talents and personalities in order to have a balanced group.
Each Christian is a valued part of this ‘body’ of believers, with new spiritual gifts as well as natural gifts which are issued and led by the Holy Spirit to the glory of Jesus Christ.
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." - 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Question - What Different Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Mentioned For Different Believers?
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” - 1 Corinthians 12:7-10
There are different types of spiritual gifts mentioned, which only God issues to people by the Holy Spirit and which people my have more than one of at different times. They shouldn’t be fake or selfish, and always to bless God and others with.
Question - What Fruits of the Holy Spirit are Mentioned?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” - Galatians 5:22-23
The overall good is actually for each believer to become more like Christ in their character as they now follow Him and apply His free-gift of grace and righteousness in their lives.
The previously mentioned gifts are meant to build up these fruits in people, not be an en din themselves.
Question - What Different Roles Has Christ Given Different Believers?
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” - Ephesians 4:11-12
God then appoints people to help organise and lead His believers in various posts and roles. Everyone is still equal and each local congregation gatherings having the right balance to help individuals grow-up as a Christian personally, and not to become say a selfish power-preacher that people often see.
God likes it when individuals submit to Him by submitting to this God-ordained organisation of believers. Even though an individual leader may be out of line, by people still submitting to the authority there that God Himself has ordained, that blesses God, with other ways of accountability and checks being in place in order to then correctly deal with any included issues.
“Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” - 1 Peter 2:12-14
Question - What Should We Do With What God Has Given Us?
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” - 1 Peter 4:10-11
On a practical level, there will be a local church and congregation where people live which is where God wants them to be part of day-to-day. This is real-life worship, service, and submission in a God-ordained post.
If you take an example of eating food, the majority of this is done at home and by cooking yourself; just like with your own personal walk with Jesus. But then it’s important to eat with others whether at family occasions or a restaurant, and where it’s more than just functional eating, but a conversation and sharing between each other - that’s like Christ and His Word richly shared at your local church.
And finally you can sometimes have takeaway food which is a quick and easy and a helpful boost, but not meant to be long-term or continuous. This is like visiting other churches or conference for further study material - a good boost for the right input and time, but only complements your own personal food and Jesus-journey, and restuarnt-style local-church fellowship.