Can I grow as a Christian without being part of a local church?
It’s a very relevant question, a very important question in post covid times. Can I grow as a Christian all by myself without the local church?
We are a big country. There are people all across India, who through various ways are hearing the gospel and coming to faith in Christ. And sometimes, it’s very difficult for them to find a local church. So, in one sense we can say, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are there for the believer in that far-flung place. There are many online resources, but really the kind of growth that will take place is, I think, very limited.
In comparison, along with those things to be part of a healthy church that is preaching the Word of God and having Christ-centered fellowship, and having the ordinances regularly and even having Biblical Church discipline, and having the prayers and the fellowship and the communion, all of those things are so vitally important. The Christian life can become very lonely and discouraging. You know, we are in a battle at the end of the day against the world, against our own remaining sin, against the enemy of our soul, and against the lies of the devil.
And to be all alone and try to grow in the Christian life in the midst of this kind of opposition is very very difficult and not the way God wanted us to grow. He wanted us to grow as a community of believers together.