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).
Falsehoods about the Bible
Read Psalm 116:1 through 118:29
Published: May 29, 2017
The web page read: “Shortest chapter in the Bible— Psalm 117. Longest chapter in the Bible—Psalm 119. Center chapter of the Bible—Psalm 118. Center verse in the Bible—Psalm 118:8.” The post then suggested that if someone wanted to find God’s perfect will for their life, point them to the center verse of God’s Word.
The Internet post is not accurate. The center of the Bible varies depending on the translation, but it is not Psalm 118, regardless of the translation, and verse eight is not the center verse of the Bible. Also, verse eight is a statement of truth, not God’s will for someone’s life.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans (Psalm 118:8).
A glut of “information” about the Bible is available throughout different forms of media and personal opinions. It is imperative to determine what is actually true. Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), therefore claims need to be verified by the Bible itself.
Challenge for Today: Search the Scriptures to discover what is actually true by comparing claims to the original source.
Quicklook: Psalm 118:5–9