Am I Required to Attend Church?

Firstly, we must understand that if we are saved by trusting the gospel of the grace of God then we are the church, the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor 3:16, 1 Cor 6:19-20). Read ‘What is the Church?’ for more information.

Wherever we are, the church is. By this understanding, you are always ‘at church’ because you are the church. However, this is not always the common usage of the word ‘church’. It is more often understood that when a congregation meets together this group is recognized as the corporate church, the Body of Christ.

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27

The purpose of the church is to edify the saints to equip them to go out and do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:12). Read ‘What is the function of the church’ for more information. We get edification from the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16-17)

God never requires of us in this dispensation to meet together with other saints. The Bible does exhort us to ‘Study to shew ourselves approved‘ and to give attendance to ‘reading, exhortation, and doctrine’ (2 Tim 2:15, 1 Tim 4:13).

If a church is operating according to its proper function, then there would be no better place to become ‘rooted and established’ in God’s word than within the congregation of saints, the pillar and ground of the truth (Col 2:6-7, 1 Tim 3:15). In those properly functioning assemblies there should be studied mature saints who labor in doctrine for your edification (1 Tim 5:17).

If you are participating in a church which is not helping you ‘come to the knowledge of the truth’ and is neglecting your edification, then perhaps that church is not functioning properly. It may be wise to locate another congregation of saints which does provide sound teaching from the Scriptures.

Favor with God
Some churches teach that going to church will gain you favor with God or may get you into heaven. This is simply false. The only way to gain eternal life and favor with God is to know that you are a sinner worthy of death, but that Jesus died in your place so that you could live forever (Romans 3:21-26).

When you trust in this you have eternal favor in God’s eyes because you trusted in His Son and His gift for you. If you are saved by God’s grace then you have already been given all spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3).

You have also been given a standing in grace, whereby when you were a sinner Christ died for you (Romans 5:2,8). If Christ died for you while you were a sinner, why would he neglect you if you ‘mess up’ or don’t go to church?

The Bible teaches that we have peace with God because of Christ (Romans 5:1). Since we did nothing to earn the peace, we can do nothing to get out of the peace of God.

We are reconciled to God by the blood of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:20-21).

Meanwhile, this does not mean that we should live in sin, or disobey God since once we trust in Christ our old man is dead and we are given a new man and a new life to live. We should live after the new life.

Doing what God made You to Do
If you are saved and are part of the Body of Christ, then you should desire to know God and His instructions for living a righteous life. This is why we should go to church.

Our flesh urges us to obsess and covet after worldly things. For example people will fawn, swoon, and lust after their favorite pop singers.

They will work for days to purchase tickets to hear them in person. They idolize their every move.

The Bible calls this type of strong desire for things whether it be pop singers, sex, money, or success as idolatry. It is an abomination to the Lord (Exodus 20:3-4). God wants his saints to transform their minds to do the will of Him that made them (Romans 12:1-2).

lnstead of living our lives desiring wordly things, we should live desiring to know God and His will (1 Tim 2:4, 2 Tim 2:15).

If you have no intrest for the instructions of God, then going to church will not profit you. However, the teaching of Scriptures are profitable for the ‘man of God to be perfect’ (2 Tim 3:16).

If you desire to study God’s word, attending a properly functioning assembly is helpful (Eph 4:12-16). We can benefit from the strength and experience of other members of the Body of Christ.

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Published: Monday, September 5th, 2005
Last Modified: March 23, 2016