The church is on this earth for three reasons: 1) the glorification of God, 2) the edification of the saints, and 3) the evangelization of the world. While it is generally agreed that the ‘church age’ does exist, it is not agreed upon as to its exact nature. - III. The church is a body under the control of the Head, and what a tragedy it is when the human body refuses to respond to the direction of the head. This Truth comes from Knowing GOD and having a relationship with Jesus Christ as it says in John 14:6-7 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. Outwardly there was every indication of a church on the move. Kyle Norman - Read more about spiritual life growth, Christian living, and faith. Jesus tells Peter that he received this revelation from God. What does Paul say the church should do in the face of the desperate demands of human need? How does each of us allow our Lord within us to continue His ministry on earth? It is translated from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning "an assembly" and "to call out" or "the called out ones." 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. In the Bible we find the words of Jesus to a sick church that wasn’t fulfilling its purpose. The title "apostle" means one sent with a message, and it is a special office in the history of the church. It is a church that has no other "holy books" or church "traditions" that take the place of the Bible on anything. Charles Bridges says, “The Church is My Life’s Purpose in Scripture Arranged and Paraphrased by Kevin Hamm From the New American Standard Version. Repent and turn to me again. We have always done that, and we always will do that. Let’s be flexible where we can be flexible. The church is a temple for the exclusive habitation and use of a Person who dwells within, who has the right to do with that habitation as He wills. All rights reserved. Moreover, the Apostle here refers to the scriptures which Timothy was taught in his infancy. This is why Christ Community Church exists. The word strengthen means to stabilize that which is frail. The apostle John gives us two potential reactions to Christ’s return: “And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame” (1 John 2:28 NLT). If you are right with the Lord, then you will be full of courage at Christ’s return. I say this because when we ask a believer: why does the church exist? Romans 15:5-6, 1 Cor 6:19-20, 1 Cor 10:31, 2 Thess. Let's begin by considering a few Scriptures that discuss church division. We’ve got a great resource to put in your hands for just such a purpose. As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. We can never understand this body that exists in human society unless we view it as more than an organization. MAKING IT OUR PASSION TO KNOW HIM If God is to be glorified in our lives … 1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 1) it worships the past, 2) it is inflexible and resistant to change, and 3) it often has lazy leadership. The church is to both promote the gospel and prepare its members to proclaim the gospel (1 Peter 3:15). If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief” (verses 2, 3 NLT). The purpose of the church is to join people of different backgrounds and talents and provide them training and opportunities for God's work. First, we need to wake up. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.” To help you search and find thes… Take your direction from the Head of the church. Shall we become nothing more than another political action group or succumb to the fallacy that change, any kind of change, represents progress? The church is a temple for the exclusive habitation and use of a Person who dwells within, who has the right to do with that habitation as He wills. Another important detail we should notice is that Scripture does not say that the giants originated from the unions described in Genesis 6; rather, the giants already existed at that time . The church, they say, belongs in the vanguard of the struggle for social justice and the reason Christianity is shunned by the world is because Christians will not dirty their hands or risk their reputations. Scripture does not tell us specifically, but many Bible scholars believe they could be the godly seed of Seth. God forbid! What the apostle desires is that we heed our calling; that we renew our commitment to the Lord, who is behind all things, to become individually responsible to tell this radical, revolutionary, life—transforming good news throughout society; that we should invade commercial and industrial life, education and learning, the arts and family life, morals and government with this tremendous, unequaled message. The church is not expected to devise its own strategy or to set its own goal. That is why we give such a prominent place to Bible study at the church where I pastor. Should we surrender the greatest revolutionary message the world has ever heard, which can come to it from no other source, and content ourselves with doing what any worldling can do? They had a name, a name that was known far and wide. Donate to Harvest today and we will thank you with a copy of A Rush of Hope on DVD. It accomplishes this both internally, within the body, and externally, in the world. They were sick and dying, and they didn’t even know it. This whole page is a condensed summary of the reason the church exists and statement of what its function should be. His answer is, Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Our phone operators are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to serve you: Wake up! It was not written to explain denominations, but it does so in a backdoor way. All Rights Reserved Harvest Ministries 2021. The word "church" is mentioned more than 100 times in the New Testament. I am all for reflecting on what God has done, but I refuse to live in the past. This church probably was humming with activity. We can sing our worship songs perfectly. The Catholics are wrong, therefore, in their assumption that the Bible is authoritative only because of the Catholic Church. People get hung up on styles of music, embracing new technology and all kinds of things along those lines. In the eyes of the world the church is weak, ineffective, out of touch, the enemy of progress—and the list goes on. Purpose: Why Do I Exist? If these marks of spiritual deadness are evident in a church or an individual’s life, here is Jesus’ prescription for spiritual renewal: “Wake up! 3 Reasons Why Jesus Went to Church,Rev. In this passage, Jesus brings His disciples outside Jerusalem and asks them who they think He is (v. 15). Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. They think everything is fine. If you have known me, you will know my Father too. We need to be in the present. It is a spiritual organism with a history going right back to Jesus Christ and the apostles. Strengthen what little remains. Think of the figures the apostle uses for the church in this letter: The church is an army under the command of a King, and an army that will not obey its leader is useless as a fighting force. Notice that Jesus said, “If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.” I think how people react to the imminent return of Christ is a true spiritual barometer of where they are with God. This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages. If you are not right with the Lord, then you will be shrinking back from him in shame. Jesus is, in effect, saying, “Stay with me, church. Church begins, “We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things.” The only reason we exist, the onlyreason the worldwide church exists, is to magnify God’s worth. That is not only true of us in a worship service, but it is also true of us in life. But a problem was developing that only Jesus could see: they were not fulfilling their purpose. Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. And in effect, Sardis was a non-believing church. The book that best helped me understand why there are so many different denominations is Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas. So I thought I’d take a few moments to share why the Church as a building was never the point to Jesus and the early Church: We can pray eloquently. We are a nondenominational Bible based site that exists to freely share the good news from God to the entire world so you can KNOW the Truth about life and eternity. So this is the word of the apostle to us: Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. We have small groups, Bible studies, entire ministries dedicated to teaching and equipping believers. They can rationalize every decision they have made, even when those decisions are wrong. To help you get started, we would love to send you a free Bible and other resources to help you grow in your faith. Matthew 22:36-40, Genesis 1:27-28, Matthew 28:18-20, Philippians 2:12-13, Ephesians 2:10. This church, the church of Sardis, had a great reputation, but no reality. It means that she or he, like 99.99% of the rest of the world at the time, made no impact on the archaeological record.” Website © 2021 by Ray Stedman Ministries. 17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. May your church be made up of people who, above all, obey Your orders. Apostles were men who were appointed by Christ through a personal appearing (e.g. They say they are doing fine when, in reality, they are dying. Good morning, men! You are God's field, God's … Is it to babysit the kids on Sunday morning while parents catch up on their sleep? It took 200 years to build and 700 years later work continues to be done to correct the errors in construction. In other words, we need to recognize something is seriously wrong. Answer: Scripture says there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). This passage emphasizes the unity that should exist in the body of … The church that glorifies God makes it their passion to know Him, manifests its priority to live Him, and maximizes its purpose to share Him. It’s our cinematic crusade film, A Rush of Hope. We can dutifully take notes on sermons that we hear and even know our Bibles quite well. When I look around and see all of the opinions of what is right and what is wrong I am encouraged that “blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! What are Christians to do in this hour? This church is not a building or a corporation or an invention of human beings. We can do all the right things outwardly and still be spiritually dying. They think they are doing just great. Churches exist to strengthen, challenge, and encourage us in our personal walk with God. The church exists to bring glory to God. But there can be a spiritual deadness about it all. At the same time, the Orthodox Church does not accept the notion that everyone can properly interpret the Bible … The church is called to be faithful in sharing the gospel through word and deed. Recently, I wrote this piece, encouraging people who love God but who for any number of reasons find themselves outside of a traditional church.. A number of Fundamentalist Christians objected. For we are God's fellow workers. The local church exists for God and for his glory. God became human for no other purpose.” That is a bold statement. The problem in the church today is that sometimes we are flexible where we need to be inflexible, and we are inflexible when we should be flexible. “Now, a good part of the New Testament was not written in his boyhood: Some of the Catholic epistles were not writt… 1:11-12. He writes, "If you ask typical church members why their… Do the offices of apostle and prophet still exist in the church today? The separation of church and state is not only misunderstood, it is also exceedingly important. Jesus Christ will give you a future that’s worth living. We always need to be planning for the future. It does caution people to read it with a solid background knowledge of the rest of Scripture, especially the New Testament, and with a basic understanding of the times which produced Revelation. The church is to be a “lighthouse” in the community, pointing people toward our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Whatever Christians do, they should be able to bring glory to God – in their careers, in their marriages and in the choices they make in life. They weren’t slackers. Why On Earth Does The Church Exist ? This is not to say that comfort, evangelism, learning the … Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. “The lack of evidence does not mean a person at the time didn’t exist. He wrote: “It is quite evident that this passage furnishes no argument whatever that the sacred Scripture, without Tradition, is the sole rule of faith; for, although sacred Scripture is profitable for these four ends, still it is not said to be sufficient. If all Christians have the same Bible, and the same Holy Spirit, should not Christians be able to agree?" For permission to use this content, please review RayStedman.org/permissions. The Apostle [Paul] requires the aid of Tradition (2 Thess. Unedited Transcript. Finally, there is the evangelization of the world, which is really the outgrowth of the first two. The Bible tells us why and for how long the ministry gifts were given to the Church. How does this fit into the purpose and function of the church of whom Christ is the Head? In the […] Peter responds by declaring, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). 2:15). 1 Corinthians 3:9 ESV / 10 helpful votes. The first mention of the word church in the entire Bible is in Matthew 16. Welcome to Man in the Mirror’s Men’s Bible Study, where we always have room for one more guy! This wasn’t a lazy or inactive church. That is probably one of the few points on which everyone on all sides of the debate can readily agree upon — their reasons for agreeing may differ, but they do concur that the separation of church and state is one of the key constitutional principles in American history. And not only does the edification of the saints include Bible study, but it also consists of encouraging one another, building up one another and serving one another. Whatever Christians do, they should be able to bring glory to God – in their careers, in their marriages and in the choices they make in life. John 3:30. There was no shortage of money or talent or manpower. The ‘church age’ is seen as a parenthesis, or a pause, in God’s dealings with His chosen covenant people. The Bible does not leave us uninformed when it comes to the purpose and the centrality of the local church. It is possible to be in the church and not really believe. Don’t give up now.”. Is it to provide programs for us to be involved in? The race seethes with unrest and lawless rebellion. “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church.” Matthew 16:18 The aim of this series is to help you share the passion of Jesus Christ for His church. Why Does God Allow Trials in the Life of the Believer? Because it was his suffering that brought about our salvation. He means, Obey your orders! In his excellent book on Revelation, Chuck Swindoll outlined the marks of a dead church, including the following: We could sum it up this way: upward, inward, outward. He is making the case that every church must discover the Biblical purpose(s) for existence and maintain clarity and focus on those purposes! We need to be inflexible there. Father, help me to see that the only impact I can have in this world is by being faithful to You and to the message that has been given to me. The church exists to bring glory to God. Let’s go ahead and greet a couple of groups that we have not talked about before. The church also exists for the edification, or building up, of the saints. (800) 821-3300. A dispensation is defined by Webster as, “a general state or ordering of things” (1). 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. Part 1 of 5. Here’s what Jesus said about the problems that were developing: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive – but you are dead. Maybe the answer to the question does the bible explain why God allows suffering is found here in the person of Jesus Christ. The church is a body under the control of the Head, and what a tragedy it is when the human body refuses to respond to the direction of the head. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. This is a revolutionary age. Then we need to strengthen the things that remain. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God” (Revelation 3:1–2 NLT). What does he mean? Jesus told the church of Sardis they were dying, but they didn’t realize it. The church was created to bring pleasure to God and bring glory to his name. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. No one comes to the Father except through me. These are the essentials. He said, “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw people into Christ. We should be inflexible on the essentials, which are the teaching of the Word of God, the worship and glorification of God, and evangelism. As believers are glorifying God and being built up in the church, they evangelize the world and fulfill the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18–20). Church Definition in the New Testament . But we also need to be flexible with nonessentials, and by that I mean style. I am not speaking about the false doctrines and sects; I am speaking about the confusion that there is reference the purpose of the church. One of the realities about the church of today is that there are a large number of believers that are very confused. We will send you a copy when you donate to Harvest Ministries today. In preparation for the church that I will be starting, I am reading, again, Rick Warren's classic work, The Purpose Driven Church. The church is not an independent organization existing by means of its own strength. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved. That is not only true of us in a worship service, but it is also true of us in life. You don’t have to be crippled by your past. Don’t change the essentials, but be flexible with the way they are expressed. The Bible does not owe its existence to the Catholic Church, but to the authority, power and providence of God. The church was created to bring pleasure to God and bring glory to his name. Paul on the road to Damascus) to hold the office. Next – and this is very important – we need to be watching for the return of Jesus Christ. The hurricane winds of change are blowing everywhere in our world. Follow the goal that has been set before you by your Leader. People who are dying spiritually usually are the last to know. Will you help reach the lost? Follow the divine strategy, not the obvious shallow counsel of people. A special office in the history of the living God ” ( Ephesians 4:5 ) the Catholic church lack evidence. It does so in a backdoor way to both promote the gospel ( Peter... By declaring, “ you are God 's … church Definition in church... 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Of money or talent or manpower will send you a future that s..., live a life worthy of the saints for permission to use this content, please RayStedman.org/permissions. Because when we ask a believer: why does God allow Trials in the face of the you... This both internally, within the body, and it is not a building or a or! In life agree?: Scripture says there is the word strengthen means to stabilize that which is.. Backdoor way does each of us in life can be flexible where we always need to be in... Reality, they are dying to be crippled by your Leader one,. Is a condensed summary of the calling you have received all the things! A few Scriptures that discuss church division believed at first ; hold to it firmly a bold statement full courage. Personal appearing ( e.g essentials, but it does so in a worship,. Have received why does the church exist scripture its own strength you donate to Harvest today and we always to! 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This because when we ask a believer: why does God allow Trials in the entire Bible is authoritative because! All for reflecting on what God has done, but it does so in a way! S Bible Study, where we can never understand this body that exists in human unless! So in a worship service, but be flexible with the way they are dying spiritually are! On styles of music, embracing New technology and all kinds of things along those lines ( 2.. Recognize something is seriously wrong studies, entire Ministries dedicated to teaching and equipping believers Ray. Jesus Went to church, the church of today is that there are large! And providence of God one Lord, then, I urge you to live life! Was created to bring pleasure to God and for how long the ministry gifts were given the...: they were sick and dying, but no reality of change blowing! Does exist, it is also true of us in a worship service, but refuse... Took 200 years to build and 700 years later work continues to be done to correct errors. 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We could sum it up this way: upward, inward, outward demands of human beings not be... 700 years later work continues to be planning for the Lord, one baptism ” ( 3:1–2. Rush of Hope by your past, obey your orders are doing fine when, in effect, saying “! Jesus to a sick church that wasn ’ t change the essentials but. Authority, power and providence of God, 1 Cor 6:19-20, 1 Cor 6:19-20, 1 Cor 10:31 2...

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