The Benefits of a Church

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
I pray that God will bring understanding of His truth to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. As we read and hear His Word, allow the Spirit to speak to you and provide insight and direction as we trust in Him, and let Him minister to you.

How many of us know the real reason that we go to church? Only you can answer this question for yourself. Are you going to show your fashions or simply out of duty? Are you going to seek the Lord with all your heart?

Is coming to church beneficial to you? Do you understand its value and importance? Do you see how God is working in your life and in those around you? There really is something to gain in your participation. What are its benefits?

1. A church will teach you how to conduct yourself in life.

1 Timothy 3:15
But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

Do you see your relationship with God as joyful and all-inclusive in your life? A child of God is a member of His family, and you know how to behave and conduct yourself.

Philippians 1:27
Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel.

In church, you surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you. In comparison, the world does not care about you nearly as much. In your obedience, you see the presence, power and glory of God working through the church. God renews your mind and changes your heart to become Christlike in your actions.

Psalm 63:2-5
2 So I gaze on You in the sanctuary
to see Your strength and Your glory.
3 My lips will glorify You
because Your faithful love is better than life.
4 So I will praise You as long as I live;
at Your name, I will lift up my hands.
5 You satisfy me as with rich food;
my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.

2. In church you will gain understanding about life.

Do you know who you are in Jesus Christ? Have you asked about the advantages of being a Christian as opposed to living life as a sinner?

Psalm 73
God’s Ways Vindicated

A psalm of Asaph.

1 God is indeed good to Israel,
to the pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my steps nearly went astray.
3 For I envied the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have an easy time until they die,
and their bodies are well fed.
5 They are not in trouble like others;
they are not afflicted like most people.
6 Therefore, pride is their necklace,
and violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge out from fatness;
the imaginations of their hearts run wild.
8 They mock, and they speak maliciously;
they arrogantly threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues strut across the earth.
10 Therefore His people turn to them
and drink in their overflowing words.
11 The wicked say, “How can God know?
Does the Most High know everything?”
12 Look at them—the wicked!
They are always at ease,
and they increase their wealth.
13 Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
14 For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
15 If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed Your people.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
17 until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
18 Indeed, You put them in slippery places;
You make them fall into ruin.
19 How suddenly they become a desolation!
They come to an end, swept away by terrors.
20 Like one waking from a dream,
Lord, when arising, You will despise their image.
21 When I became embittered
and my innermost being was wounded,
22 I was stupid and didn’t understand;
I was an unthinking animal toward You.
23 Yet I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will take me up in glory.
25 Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.

When you look at life for what it is, the blessing is more about doing the right thing as opposed to doing what your flesh desires to do. There is often hardship in following Christ, including persecution. You will find yourself making choices that will separate yourself from some friends and acquaintances, and it won’t be easy to do. There may even be some envy or jealousy over what others may do, but your love for God and your desire to please Him keeps you from sinning against Him and seeking righteous living. Please know and remember that there is are good consequences of faithful living and there are dire consequences of unrighteous living. The love of Christ strengthens you and builds you up, while ongoing sin only corrupts the mind and the heart of the perpetrator. In church, you learn about this and the clear distinctions between the two.

3. In church you learn reverence for God.

Psalm 5:7
But I enter Your house
by the abundance of Your faithful love;
I bow down toward Your holy temple
in reverential awe of You.

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