The Church is meant to be a salvation community. This assumes two things: salvation and community. Salvation, although it has some corporate aspects, is primarily a matter between the individual and God. However, salvation automatically makes us members of a community. Salvation places each of us in a real relationship with others who also count on Jesus as their Savior; making us members of the Church.
The local church is a part of this larger salvation community. It is supposed to be an affirming, safe, growth-producing place; a place where the Gospel is preached AND lived.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of you has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:1-5
The church is very much like inoperable Siamese or conjoined twins. We act independently to a certain extent, but we are inseparably joined together. We share the same blood – and we cannot survive alone.
III. Many Yet One
A. Individual responsibilities
B. Corporate responsibilities