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Wherever God’s spirit is working he is working to build a local body that functions as a reflection of the New Testament practice.
Acts 5:12, 1 John 2:19 – There is a lot of definition here – either of us or not of us. The requirement to be “of us” is to continue with us and among us.
1 John 1:6; Mathew 18:15-20
How would we apply this thing of submitting to our brothers and sisters, which is clearly stated in scripture, without the context of a church brotherhood?
Romans 14:17 – We tend to apply this to the “weaker members,” it is, however, directed to the one who feels at liberty to do “these things,” not the one who doesn’t feel that freedom.
Many commands in scripture are irrelevant if we don’t have a brotherhood in which to practice them. Washing each others feet. Communion. Etc. We need a brotherhood to give us a context for so many of these things.
One person can never accurately represent the body of Christ. It takes two or three. God works in individuals, but brotherhood participation opens us up to a richer experience that isn’t available otherwise.
Ephesians 3:21 – The brotherhood is much like a marriage, the deeper the commitment the deeper the satisfaction.