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Hebrews 10:23-25 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

What a great challenge from the Word of God! Here, the author of Hebrews is challenging the church (a gathering of believers) to gather together and keep each other accountable. These are two areas in which today’s church could use a renewed focus. First, we need the body of Christ to develop a healthy community, which is instrumental for our faith. Second, that community has an obligation to challenge, rebuke, and encourage each other toward “love and good deeds.” Unfortunately, this recent slogan of the western church that says, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship,” has damaged both of these key areas of growth and maturity. I understand that this relationship idea aims to avoid the dangers of legalism that tend to overshadow many faiths. Still, it also leads to the isolation and privatization of one’s faith. A religion is an agreed upon set of morals, values, and theological positions at its core. But, more than that, a religion is a community of like-minded followers who strive to work together toward a moral/relational goal. As Christian believers, we need brothers and sisters to walk by our side to keep our hearts and minds moving toward Christ-likeness. Yes, Christianity is a relationship, but it is also a religion that creates community and accountability. This passage reminds us that we need each other. We need community because this is not a path that we can travel alone. We need accountability because it is a narrow and challenging path and other believers help keep us focused on the end goal. Do you have that community and accountability? Are you being that community and accountability? I challenge you to get outside of your comfort zone and serve the body of Christ in these two primary ways. It will change your life and the lives of those around you.

David Miller, is the Associate Dean for the traditional program, assistance professor of Bible and theology, Director of the honors program.

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