“And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,” – Philippians 1:25 NKJV
The fundamental purpose of school is to ensure that you receive basic education as well as build essential social skills. The importance of the church can be likened to that of the school. But beyond that, the church isn’t just a structure God created for mere religious gymnastics; it is a vital aspect of the life of a believer.
It is God’s desire that we grow and mature in the faith. However, such growth can be effectively attained through continuous devotion. The church is God’s structure for this. As members of the body of Christ, we are all part of the church (1 Corinthians 12:27). The church was orchestrated to deepen our knowledge of the word, foster brotherly love, and make disciples (Matthew 28:19–20, Acts 2:42).
God wants you to grow in the faith. By progress, Paul in our anchor verse meant maturity. The church is a channel through which a believer can be established and groomed to maturity. Continuous hearing of the word and fellowshipping with other brethren strengthens your faith and deepens your knowledge of the word (Romans 10:17). By doing this, you become not only a recipient but also someone who can rightly divide the word of truth and preach it to others (Hebrews 5:12, 2 Timothy 2:15).
Just like how education doesn’t cease as soon as you are able to write or read, progress in the faith doesn’t stop when you are able to speak in tongues, work miracles, or complete reading the Bible. It is a continuous walk in the life of a believer. Pastors are God’s gift to us that guide and shepherd us (Ephesians 4:11–12). Through their preaching and teachings, we grow in knowledge, have our convictions strengthened, and we progress in the faith.
When we progress in our knowledge and understanding in the faith, we also rejoice. Paul refers to it as “joy in the faith”. Through the church, we can fellowship with other brethren; encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25); strengthen each other; and strive together in the faith.
For the sake of God, the church will go through trials and tribulations, there will be strife and opposition from the world. Nevertheless, we would count it all joy. As a body, we stay united, always progressing and rejoicing in the faith (Ephesians 2:19–22).
What a joy it is to fulfil God’s purpose on earth together. We get to make Christ known to the world, and more people get to join the family. What a joy it is that we are saved! What a joy it is to know that God hears, loves, and knows us! We are not in this world alone; we have the spirit of God residing in us. What a joy it is to have a family in Christ! God desires your progress and joy personally and in the assembly of brethren. Glory!
PRAYER: Father, I thank you for my local church and for the progress and joy I experience there. Help me to recognise my church as your structure for my growth and stay committed.
Bible Reading Plan: Jeremiah 46-48