In this post, I'm continuing down the train of thought I began with the post entitled "What Does GOD Want from Me?"
We've considered GOD's purpose for us individually and looked at some things the Scriptures teach us to be incorporating in our life.
Today, we attempt to answer the question, "What is GOD's purpose for the church?"
As I stated in "What Does GOD Want from Me?," I greatly prefer the simple to the complex, and I believe the answer to this question is simple.
GOD wants to change the life of each person—from what they were when they came to Jesus (or, in the case of the non-Christian, what they are today) into the image of Jesus. The church exists to aid in that process.
The church exists for the purpose of helping to change the lives of people.
[Related Post: Who is Jesus' Church?]
Recall that the church is simply Christians. It's just people who have answered Jesus' call to die with Him to their sinful past and be reborn so that He lives in their stead.
In the New Testament, we learn that the church is a family—an assembly of people gathered under Jesus' kingship and shepherdship, sharing life together.
In my study, I have found 6 specific things that the church is called to accomplish:
- Encourage each other (Acts 14:22; Phil. 3:12-16; Heb. 10:24-25).
- Strengthen each other (1 Cor. 14; Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 2:18-19).
- Provide for the needs of evangelists and elders who preach and/or teach (Phil. 4:10-20; 2 Cor. 11:7-8; 1 Tim. 5:17-18).
- Organize and provide aid for needy people (1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9).
- Convince unbelieving visitors of GOD's presence and acceptance of us (1 Cor. 14:23-25).
- Remove unrepentant brethren living in sin from among us (1 Cor. 5:4-13).
It's important that we avoid getting so focused on details that we lose sight of the big picture.
When it comes to the church, the big picture is GOD using people to transform other people into the image of His Son.
We should make choices and decisions with this purpose continually in mind.