That said, none of us is ever going to either perfectly figure out what the church should be or live out what we have discovered. Despite our attempts, we will still fall short of the ideal. Sin has a nasty way of distorting even our best intentions.
In light of these failings, I'm thrilled to remember that Jesus' work on the cross covers church life. In His grace, God forgives our mistakes, failures, and disasters in church life. His showers His great mercy down upon all Christians as we sort of take "two steps forward and one step back" in the church. We all desperately need this grace.
No matter if we are a part of a denomination or not, a house fellowship or not, a mega church or not, a missions team or not, etc., we need God's grace to cover our church practices. Even if we try as best we can to selflessly serve others as Christ did, we will still fall short of Jesus' perfect example. Even if we strive to carry out the "one-anothers of the bible" as we read them, we won't be perfect (or even close).
Thank the Lord for His great grace! I need it in all areas of my life - including the church. The more I study the church in scripture, the more I see how much I still don't understand and how much more I fail to live out. This is not a blog post based in false humility. This is reality.
As we live today and every day as the church, let's bask in the grace of God. We should certainly try to be as biblical as we can regarding the church (and we will certainly have differences of opinion about what some of this will mean). At the same time, let's take tremendous comfort in God's gracious attitudes towards our failings.
His grace is greater than our sin! He is indeed worthy of our praise.