Look around your community. Is there only one ‘Christian’ church? Some Christians do the church-hopping thing. One church one Sunday and another the next. They never make a commitment to the Lord or to honouring the truths of Scripture. They never benefit from being identified with a local community of believers.

Have you ever thought about what all believers have in common? Sadly, over the centuries, Christians have been fractured and splintered in many ways. Christians have disagreements over doctrine. Christians do not always agree on what constitutes essential bedrock truth that goes beyond conscience, customs, preferences and practicalities. Some divisions were caused by powerful personalities. Other divisions were caused by scandals. And no doubt some by familyitis. Be sure of this – no such friction, schisms or splintering was or is the work of the Spirit of God.

What do I have in common with a believer who attends the church three blocks away? Quite a few things! Read the list of what’s common to all – as given by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Ephesus:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is (1) one body and (2) one Spirit – just as you were called to the (3) one hope that belongs to your call- (4) one Lord, (5) one faith, (6) one baptism, (7) one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:1-7

The body of Christ is one. How and where Christians meet every week depends on their appreciation of New Testament teachings or on their mood. Be sure of this – the New Testament teaches that there are to be local churches gathered to the lovely Name of the Lord Jesus – local fellowships of believers that operate according to New Testament teaching.

In making your own selection, the rule of thumb should be, not what’s the best-fit for you but rather, what’s the best-fit Scripturally.

The reality is – some Christians may choose not to go where you go on a Sunday. That is a matter between them and the Lord. Does that mean we have nothing in common with those believers? Every true child of God is a vital member of the body of Christ and can never be severed from that Body. There are no 2nd class Christians or B-rated believers.

The same Holy Spirit lives in every believer no matter where we meet. And every single believer has available to them the fullness of the Spirit of God. We all have Him in His completeness. Every Christian has the same hope – to be with Christ, to be like Christ and serve Christ for the eternal ages.

Unlike sororities, fraternities, fellowships, and clubs, and unlike the levels achieved in frequent flyer programs, Christ has no Diamond, Platinum, Gold or Silver members in His Body – not even those who fellowship where you gather and go.

Every Christian is indebted to the same Lord – Christ who gave Himself for us and lives to keep us. There is only one faith – the body of truth preserved in the Scriptures. And there is only one baptism by the Spirit that places every believer in the Body of Christ.  And only one baptism after salvation to publicly express our allegiance to Christ. And, we have the same God and the same Father.

Never forget how much you really do have in common with fellow believers wherever you meet them. We should snub no one. And for sure, we should never snub another family member or condescendingly patronize them for what they understand from the Scriptures. We have the same Father.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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