To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse…. – Colossians 1:2
“…in Christ which are at Colosse”
This here intimates at the reality and divine recognition of the local church within the embrace of the universal church.
The local church is the assembly of saints under the leadership of a pastor or elder in a particular place. The universal church is the body of Christ in its entirety – spanning time, geographic place and spiritual location. When a man is born again, he is immediately immersed into this universal body of Christ… “for by One Spirit you were all baptised into one body even Christ”.
The key-note to be struck here is that God’s agenda recognises both – the child of God in the Body of Christ (the universal church); and the child of God in the local church too. I believe this is Truth we must all embrace and walk in. For it is the design of our Heavenly Father to place us in particular local assemblies to achieve His purposes – for us and for the body.
The child of God who does not actively belong to a local assembly is missing out on the full load of the Father’s provision. For in the local church, the Father has placed Pastors and teachers and prophets and elders etc to aid the child of God to be built up fully… to be all that he ought to be.
Without the fellowshipping with other Believers in the local assembly, there is much that the child of God will not be able to fully build into himself. Divine attributes like love, patience, kindness, longsuffering are truly tested when the child of God avails himself to active fellowship with the brethren in the local church.