I have often heard that the Greek of the New Testament is a more expressive language than modern-day English. Despite the fact that current English vocabulary consists of over three times the amount of words, we can still lose some of the impact or meanings of the Greek because our words are insufficient enough to make word for word translations clear. I don’t think that any believer wishes to purposely misunderstand Scripture but, because of this wordplay, we can over time, be conditioned to accept certain positions that, though not incorrect, may be a bit lopsided. Taken to the extreme such errors of interpretation can lead to church schisms and cults.
Let’s take some verses and discover just what we think of when we read them. Two of the most quoted from Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount” are from Chapter 5, verses 13 and 14, “Ye are the salt of the earth” and “Ye are the light of the world”. How many of us as children remember the song that begins, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”, reaffirming the idea that these verses are a pattern of Christian behavior we, as individuals, need to model. And this assumption is not wrong, but before I elaborate further, let’s also turn to I Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Believers generally use these verses to support their abstention from alcohol or drugs, or any such thing that they would consider defiling, and I, too, would support that interpretation. But read it again with the idea that the “ye’s” and “yours” are plural, not singular, and the body is the gathering of the saints; your church body. This also becomes a call for the church, united believers, to pursue purity and to glorify God as a group. Thinking upon it this way, I may live cleanly and devoutly myself, but by myself, I can’t send and fully support missionaries in Africa, but a sanctified body of believers can. One light on a hill casts a little light, but many produce a glow that gets noticed. By myself I can only do so much to aid a friend or Christian brother who has been injured in an accident, but many can assist at different times filling a variety of needs. Think of the light that would be made if such assistance were directed to someone outside your church body, believer or not.
We are told in Hebrews 10:25 not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together and we should obey this verse for a very good reason. All the qualities desired of a believer can be both multiplied and amplified when the members of a church body are gathered together. A plurality of believers can produce a brighter light and bring greater honor and glory to God.