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I believe, as I’ve said to a question or two before, that prayer is vital to drawing near to God. I believe Bible intake—reading it, meditating on it, studying it, memorizing it—is vital to drawing closer to God. I also believe that being a participating member of a local church is vital to being drawn closer to God.

To grow as a believer, I need to be under the authority of shepherds in a local church and be fed a consistent diet of God’s Word. I need to be in fellowship with other believers so that I am having others stir me up to love and good works (Heb. 10:24–25). There is a level of maturity, service, and obedience that I will not reach unless other believers are stirring me up. Exercising the gifts that God has placed in me for the building up and edifying of others is also part of that process of my own spiritual development.

I keep mentioning prayer and Scripture, but I don’t believe that if I have Jesus and the Reformation Study Bible that’s all I need. I need to be practicing spiritual disciplines most definitely, but I need to be a participating member of the body of Christ, for my own growth, for my witness, and for obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and the instructions of His Word.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with H.B. Charles Jr. and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.