THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS
Perhaps some of you will remember the old Andy Griffith Show series.
In one of the early episodes, Andy had lost his wife, and Aunt Bee came to help with Opie.
Opie was not too pleased.
He didn’t really want someone replacing his mother.
Andy tried to help Opie and Aunt Bee have a better relationship.
He invited Aunt Bee to go fishing with him and Opie.
That didn’t work.
So, he invited Aunt Bee to join them catching frogs, and playing football.
Neither of those worked either.
<>P> Finally, Aunt Bee told Andy she would just have to go home.
As she was explaining in tears, Opie heard her.
Just as Andy is loading Aunt Bee and her things in the truck,
Opie ran down the stairs and out to where they were.
He said, “We can’t let her go, Pa, she NEEDS us!
She can’t catch frogs, take a fish off the hook, or even throw a football!
We’ve got to take care of her, or she’ll never make it!”
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
When a person is “born again,” he/she needs a new spiritual family to care for him/her.
The ole devil has many cohorts trying to keep the “children” of God from growing.
There are many “wind(s) of doctrine,” and “cunning,” crafty people, who “lie in wait to deceive”!
The “whole body” of Christ is provided with spiritual gifts.
Those gifts are “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Each new Christian needs to be joined to the family for continued growth.
And, each Christian should assume responsibility for helping new Christians grow and learn.
Each of us is called to be a “disciple” – a willing learner having an intimate relationship with Christ.
Each of us is given “gifts” in order to help others learn and to prepare them for ministry.
This is how the “body of Christ” perpetuates making “increase...of itself to love.”
Without being in church, new Christians cannot learn to “make disciples.” (Matt. 28:18-20)
Without being in church, older Christians cannot help the newer ones, and find support for ministry.
Church is a cooperative body working ministry both within and without itself.
ALL Christians need to be in church.
Else, in the words of Opie, we’ll “never make it!”