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).
Be Prepared to Serve
Read Mark 10:32 through 13:37
Published: Sep 23, 2017
James and John came to Jesus with a request. One wanted to be seated on the right side of Jesus and the other seated on His left in His kingdom.
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38).
James and John didn’t understand what lay ahead for Jesus. They were thinking of themselves and what it would mean to sit next to Jesus. Jesus went on to tell them in the next verses that whoever would be great must also be willing to serve others.
People sometimes want positions that please them, without knowing the price that must be paid or the commitment needed for that place. They may not know what lies ahead if they accept that responsibility. They know it will look good on their record if they have the best jobs, but there’s a price to pay for commitment. Those who would be first must also be willing to serve.
Prayer Suggestion: Lord, help me have a servant’s heart, willing to serve others.
Quicklook: Mark 10:35–45