[This is a series of posts from Desiring God Ministries on the Local Church. We will post them over the next several weeks on the Crossway Blog].
Today is the first installment of a seven part series on the local church. Every day this week we will look at a different Bible passage, seeing how it shows the local church to be vital to the life of a believer.
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:12-14)
In this passage we have wonderful assurance and firm warning. The wonderful assurance comes from the last sentence: For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Said another way, if we have come to share in Christ, we will persevere. True believers will never fall from grace and be disqualified from their inheritance, period.
On the flip side, this passage comes as a firm warning. We are exhorted to seek out the means that God has appointed to keep us from falling away. Namely, the local church. Not only as an institution or formal assembly, but as friends and encouragers—brothers and sisters battling for each other’s sanctification and perseverance. This regular and honest interaction with other believers is a means of grace that God has appointed to counteract the self-deceiving, heart-hardening sin that would otherwise lead us away from God.
God has designed for our perseverance to be realized in authentic community—living and dying together in the gospel of Christ.
Posts in This Series
- The Local Church: For Your Perseverance
- The Local Church: Training You for Ministry
- The Local Church: Helping You Grow Up
- The Local Church: People to Suffer With
- The Local Church: People to Rejoice With
- The Local Church: A Safe Place to Be Judged
- The Local Church: Indispensable
HT: Desiring God