Believers have several relationships. We have our individual walks with the Lord and we have our relationships with each other. We also have a third relationship. Paul wrote ‘we are called as one body.(Colossians 3 v 15)’ We, together, as a church have a relationship with the Lord.
This is a rare relationship in the modern church. So many places are limited to individual relationships between isolated believers and their Lord. We are told what we as individuals must do. But the Lord called us as one people. This is not just a mystical truth without practical effect. It has a meaning and a clear, simple one at that. It us a meaning which is seen throughout the New Testament as the Lord deals partly with individuals but again and again with churches.
Paul wrote 9 letters to churches and each one is addressed to the church as a whole. How many times in acts does the church, in Jerusalem, in Antioch or elsewhere have a voice? In page after page the church takes action. Even when apostles or leaders take steps it is with the whole church. When the apostles appointed men to handle the practical distribution of food to widows and orphans the men were chosen not by the Apostles but by the whole church.
The early church knew what it meant to live as a people and to seek the Lord not as individuals but as a people.