In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul compares Christ-followers to a body—the body of Christ. Every Christian is a part of this body (vs. 27), every part needs the others (vs. 21), and every part should be concerned for the others (vs. 25-26). In addition, no part of the body—no member of the church—can claim to be a self-sufficient unit (vs. 15-16). Since the local church is the method God has chosen for us to join together and live like a cohesive body, church attendance is very important.
Although all Christians make up the universal church, God uses smaller local churches in very specific, important ways. The local church is where we learn about God (Acts 2:42). It's also how we build each other up through encouragement (Hebrews 3:13), exhortation (Hebrews 10:24), service (Galatians 5:13), honor (Romans 12:10), and compassion (Ephesians 4:32).
Church attendance is not a requirement. We don't have to go to church to be saved. But staying away from church is dangerous. When we avoid other believers and reject their encouragement, the world will influence our beliefs and thoughts more than the Word (Hebrews 10:25). In the church, however, God has provided people who can remind us Who He is and how much He loves us (Romans 15:14). Most importantly, we can grow in love for God and others (1 John 4:12).
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