Watch Out

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus – he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh) – and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:19-25, CSB (emphases added).

Have you ever heard a believer say, “I can be a Christian all by myself,” or something similar? “I can worship God alone on the lake just as well as I can worship Him in church.” Or maybe, “I believe in Jesus, but I have lost faith in the church.”

Real experiences and real pain always undergird such statements. The church is made up of real people who have real problems, just like you and me. Real people with real problems bring real relational complications to every social interaction. Sometimes it feels easier to just step away and do the Christian thing alone. But that is not God’s design or God’s desire for you.

Your Christian brothers and sisters need you, and you need them. When you repented from sin and confessed your faith in Christ Jesus, you became part of a spiritual family. God gave you gifts that your spiritual family needs, and He gave them gifts that you need. By design, we are saved from sin individually, but we can only grow up in Christ together.

Humans are created for community. We are designed to desire one another, and to be with one another. No doubt, sin-scarred inter-relational dynamics complicate the matter. But the truth remains: we are creatures of community.

“Humans are created for community. We are designed to desire one another, and to be with one another. No doubt, sin-scarred inter-relational dynamics complicate the matter. But the truth remains: we are creatures of community.”

The Bible instructs us to “watch out for one another.” Life is too hard to do alone. We must do it together. I need you to watch out for me, and you need me to watch out for you. There is danger in isolation, but there is strength in community. The Christian community is uniquely designed by God to provoke one another to “love and good works,” in a world that is often hostile to these things. To withdraw from Christian community is to rob yourself of your built-in support system, and to neglect your God-given responsibility of watching out for your brothers and sisters in Christ.

“The Christian community is uniquely designed by God to provoke one another to ‘love and good works,’ in a world that is often hostile to these things. To withdraw from Christian community is to rob yourself of your built-in support system, and to neglect your God-given responsibility of watching out for your brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Instead of falling away from one another as the days progress we should be gathering more and more frequently. The longer a Christian traverses the traps of the sin-scarred world, the more desperately he or she leans on the fellowship of the saints. Encouragement is necessary. And God has built it into the Christian experience, within the Christian community.


Not that the Christian experience can be sufficiently reduced to a series of catchy, didactic statements. But what a gift is ours, that God’s Word simplifies what often seems so complex! As we walk with Jesus and with one another on our way to Heaven, let us give our attention to the biblical author’s three-fold exhortation.

Draw near. Hold on. Watch out.

Grace and Peace,
Tony

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