The Bible knows nothing of the solitary saint—the “holy hermit” who seeks the quiet solitude of the monastic life. To be sure, we are all saved individually, but we are saved to community. Christianity is a team sport!
Let’s see what Scripture has to say on the subject.
Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:12-13, 19-22)
When God said it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), He was not speaking only of marriage; God is instructing us as to the importance of community and fellowship in the family of faith. As my friend Steve Brown says, “Everyone who belongs to Jesus belongs to everyone who belongs to Jesus.” Because “the church” is a body and not a building, we need to stay connected to each other if we are truly going to be the church Christ died to form.
As a pastor, I have noticed that one of the very first symptoms of spiritual deficiency and decline is the inconsistency of attendance at worship services and other church gatherings. And what starts as an infection (missing an occasional worship service), winds up a disease (missing months at a time). We must keep the truth before us that we have been called by Christ to do more than believe; we have been called to belong to His body. When we withhold ourselves from His body, the entire body is diminished.
We need each other! One of the best ways to discover your personal role to play in the body of Christ is through relationships with others already serving in the church. Remember, the church is God’s Almighty Agenda for the world. We have been saved for service; as a community of believers, we are to be influencing and impacting the community around us. Holy hermits hold no hope for making this happen!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!