Monday, July 21, 2014

Purpose and Function of the Church

Matt. 16:13-18 - Church = called-out gathering of people - not necessarily a religious term at this time.

Peter's confession - Christ's church -
On one hand = 1 church - Eph. 4:4-6
On the other hand are many local congregations, ie. churches.

BUT, point today is NOT church's size, growth, numbers
         Point is church's purpose and function.

PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH = to glorify God.
Definition of glorify = to make Him known, declare His glory, show forth His character, etc.
Psm. 19:1-4 - nature, the creation

AS nature does generally, the church can do Specifically!!   Ex.  Eph. 3:10
Nature can tell us God is incredibly wise, organized, powerful, etc., but will never be able to convey the Jesus Christ is His Son, sent to earth to die for our sins, that we might be saved and live with Him in Heaven for all eternity.

Question???  WHY?? - (ie:  why make Him known)
Answer:  when God's person, character, nature - purpose, intent, will - is make known - MAN BENEFITS - socially and individually, temporally (here and now) and eternally!

So, How  is this accomplished??  What is The Function of the Church

Note:  IF these = the function of the church,  THEN = function of individual members and will only be accomplished as individual members do it!!

A ___________ church is made of ___________ people.  (fill in the blanks with same word:  ie:  warm, cold, friendly, happy, growing, etc.)

4 functions of the (NT) Church

I.  Evangelism - ie:  connecting people to God
         2 Cor. 5:17-20 - lays ministry in our laps.
On one hand - beyond our ability - John 6:65
However - clearly called to partner in this  (Not just as corporate body, BUT as individual members!!)

II.  Nurture - feed, nourish, provide for, care for
Christian sense - promote spiritual growth and well being - to assist on journey to maturity.
Matt. 28:19-20 - this is more than an introduction to Messiah - means to "disciple"
Col. 1:28 - perfect meaning complete, grown up, etc.

III.  Ministry - help, aid, assist Any/All people - may be physical need, emotional need, spiritual need, relational need, financial need, etc.
Acts 10:37-38   Gal. 6:10  - We are called to do good for people - all people
Do it ... 1)  in God's name
             2) in hope of eternal results

IV.  Worship - ascribe worth to, declare value of ...
Examples:  sing/praise/thanks/prayer/give time, money, attendance ...

Worship is more about giving that receiving - Deut. 16:16-17
The Irony  = in so giving, you receive and others receive also!!

In all the above,  IF = function of the church, THEN must = function of individual members!

Question/Challenge directed toward -
A.  Your understanding of this

B.  Your commitment to this.   Commitment meaningless without participation.

C.  Your participation  (involvement) in this.  (Hands and feet)

God has blessed us beyond description, and He calls us to worship and declare Him.

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