A topic of great discussion in the United States is that of health care. Much of the discussion concerns Health Maintenance Organizations, or HMO’s, and Preferred Provider Organizations, or PPO’s. If I understand correctly, (and this may be a gross over-simplification), an HMO exercises near absolute control of a client’s medical care. In other words, the client has little room for negotiation and little personal control with reference to health care providers and services that may be performed. On the other hand, one who belongs to a PPO can see any doctor he chooses, but there are some doctors who are “Preferred Providers.” That is, they have contracted with the company for the doctors’ services and limitations of payment for most services. One may choose not to see a preferred provider, but does so at the risk of not receiving the full insurance benefit.
Many in the Lord’s church today view the church as nothing more than a PPO. They might be heard to say, “One church is as good as another, but I prefer this one because this is the way I was raised.” Or, “I feel more comfortable here than at another church.” To them, where one chooses to worship and what is taught is of no real consequence. “Whatever makes me comfortable” or “whatever suits my needs” is the measuring stick regarding where to attend.
In reality, the church is God’s spiritual HMO. That is, He exercises absolute control over it, and members are not at liberty to change the rules or alter the standards according to their every whim.
The standards of compliance are rigid, and have been clearly manifest. If one would enjoy true spiritual health, then he must belong to God’s HMO, the church.
For example, only a saved individual enjoys true spiritual health. The church is made up of those who have been saved to the exclusion of all others. Acts 2:47 says, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” When one is saved, the Lord adds him to the church. He does not apply for admission into it nor does he join it. All saved people are de facto members of the church. Therefore, human preference plays no role in whether or not one is a member of the Lord’s church.
Finally, for one to enjoy spiritual health, he must enjoy the provisions of spiritual blessings. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” If all spiritual blessings are in Christ, then it stands to reason that no spiritual blessings dwell outside of Jesus Christ. That should make one give serious consideration to the question, “How do I get into Christ wherein dwell all spiritual blessings?”
Paul answered this question beginning in Galatians 3:26, “For you are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Unfortunately, many will stop at this point and teach that one is a child of God and in Christ at the point of faith, the teaching of James 2:24, “You see then how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only,” and a host of other passages that teach similarly. To properly understand Galatians 3:26, one must read verse 27, for in it Paul explains what he wrote in verse 26, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ has put on Christ.” Therefore, I cannot be in Christ, wherein dwell all spiritual blessings, until I have been baptized into Him (cf. Rom 6:3-5). When one obeys the gospel, he becomes a member of God’s spiritual HMO, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you a member of this all important spiritual health plan?