The pearl grows only when it remains in vital contact with the oyster. Christians can only grow spiritually as they remain in contact with their Savior. God’s plan is for individual Christians to meet together in a local church for spiritual growth, including collectively remembering His work on our behalf, prayer, fellowship, and outreach to those outside the Church.
A healthy church is characterized by unity and what we do together has eternal consequences. Churches are organized as non-profit organizations; however, an ineffective church becomes a non-prophet organization and has lost its purpose.
Pearls are delicate and much more easily damaged than other gems. The best way to care for a pearl is with water. Oils from our skin and even mild detergents can cause serious harm to the value of the pearl. Water is the safe and effective cleaning agent.
The one precious pearl is sanctified (cleaned) by the One who gives “the water of life” (John 4:10-11) from “the spring of the water of life” (Revelation 21:6). Regular involvement in a local church is one of the primary means God intends for us to be cleansed, remain clean, and continue to grow.
~ from “ONE PRECIOUS PEARL: God’s Design for His Church, pg 102(ISBN:9780741462329)