The church is the assembling of God's people; a concept created by God to enable his people to serve him and accomplish his will on earth (Hebrews 10:19-25).
Scripture reveals three fundamental purposes of the Church:
MINISTRY TO GOD
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). This love finds its expression in worship. This is the primary purpose for which God delivered his people from bondage (Exodus 7:16; 8:1 & 20; 9:1 & 13; 10:3), and God's Word continues to call his people together for this purpose (Psalms 95:6; 100:2; 132:7; John 4:23-24; Ephesians 5:19-20). In light of the contemporary church's tendency to equate worship with music, it should be noted that Scripture reveals worship to be a way of life (Romans 12:1). Songs of worship are a "sacrifice of praise" (Hebrews 13:15); and like all sacrifices they are acceptable to God only when they are an expression/celebration of a worshipful lifestyle (1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 6:19-20; Hebrews 13:16; 1 Peter 2:5).
MINISTRY TO THE CHURCH
Jesus said that there is a second commandment which cannot be separated from the imperative to love God: "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:38). The Church is instructed to do good to all people, but "especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Galatians 6:10). Thus, loving one's neighbor must begin within the church. When God's people assemble, there is a special manifestation of God's presence (Matthew 18:22). This enables believers to build each other up by using the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14). In this way God uses the Church to accomplish his desire to mold a body of believers into the image of his son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:12-16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31).
MINISTRY TO THE WORLD
As the Church is transformed into the image of Christ it is enabled to reach out to the world. The Church's ministry to the world is manifested in two basic purposes:
(1) To share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. The final instruction that Jesus gave to his followers (known as the Great Commission) was to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Believers are instructed to always be ready to respectfully and gently share the reason that they place their hope in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). The Holy Spirit is promised to assist God's people in this endeavor (Acts 1:8; Luke 12:11-12).
(2) To show God's love through acts of compassion to anyone in need. The Great Commission should not be emphasized to the point that it eclipses God's desire to minister to the physical needs of the world (Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 10:25-37; James 1:27).
Read 2 Chronicles 35:1–27
Published: Jul 21, 2017
In sixteenth century Tudor England, churches had to follow royal religious policy changes and one of these was how altars were to be equipped. At times a church had a highly decorated cross, candlesticks, or holy pictures, and at other times the ornaments were to be simpler and fewer. When elaborate elements were again allowed, many churches just brought out their hidden items and re-established them on their altars.
He said to the Levites . . . “Put the sacred ark in the temple that Solomon son of David king of Israel built . . . . Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel” (2 Chronicles 35:3).
Since Josiah’s predecessors had been apostate, the ark had probably been hidden to preserve it. However, it was eventually returned to the temple. What had been secret could now be restored to glorify God for the Passover.
It can be the same in our lives. God’s Word that we hide in our hearts can be shared through our lives at the right place and at the right time.
Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you might consistently be ready to share God’s Word from your heart.
Quicklook: 2 Chronicles 25:1–5