And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24-25
The New Testament knows nothing of the lone Christian–the man who claims to be a believer, but who deliberately or carelessly allows himself to drift from the local church. Just as the wolf will prowl outside the flock of sheep, looking for the one that strays from the shepherd, so Satan prowls around the church, looking for those who stray from Christian fellowship. Every Christian is dependent upon the local church and we neglect it to our peril, for it is in the church that we powerfully experience the means of grace God gives us–the Word, prayer, and the ordinances. We cannot thrive or even survive without them–neither should we expect to survive without them.
It is also within the church that we uniquely experience the joy of imitating Christ in putting aside our own desires in order to love and serve others. And so, my brother or sister, don’t simply go to church–be an active, serving, participating member of your church. Do not expect that you will be able to put sin to death or pursue holiness with the local church.
– Tim Challies