The Purpose of the Church
Text: Acts 4:31-37
The church is the institution that Jesus built. He would establish an organization that would be about living Him and telling others about Him.
The early church, once they took a hold of that vision went about the task at hand but as the years have come and gone, we now live in a day and age where the status of most people in the church is about ME!
Win Arn, a church consultant, surveyed members of nearly a thousand churches asking the question: “Why does the church exist?” Of the members surveyed, 89 percent said, “The church’s purpose is to take care of my family’s and my needs.” For many, the role of the pastor is simply to keep the sheep that are already in the “pen” happy and not lose too many of them. Only 11 percent said, “The purpose of the church is to win the world for Jesus Christ.”
Then, the pastors of the same churches were asked why the church exists. Amazingly, the results were exactly the opposite. Of the pastors surveyed, 90 percent said the purpose of the church was to win the world and 10 percent said it was to care for the needs of the members.
Is it any wonder we have conflict, confusion, and stagnation in many churches today?
Nothing precedes purpose. The starting point for every church should be the question, “Why do we exist?” Until we know what our church exists for, we will have no foundation, no motivation, no direction, and no unity.
I think that both those observations are right but we must make sure we do that within the confines of what Christ intended. So many churches are about mission and evangelism and they miss the needs of the people. So many churches are so about the needs of the people/homeless about them they forget the needs within the church. I think the church should be about choices…
Hear me out…
It begins with the choice to get up or to continue sleeping. What clothes to wear, if we are going to have breakfast or not, to pray or not to pray, all types of choices at work, where to eat and what to eat for lunch etc.
The same is true for the church. We have to decide daily that we will follow the fourfold purpose Christ gave His church. If we are going to follow His will, then we must know the desire of His heart. What is his purpose for the church
Can I this morning give you three?
First this morning the purpose of the church is to…
I. Promote the Gospel! Acts 4:31-33
THIS MEANS EVANGELIZING THE LOST Matthew 28:19 “go ye, therefore, and teach all nations,”
Why? Because the of the unsaved people in this world and their:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. II. Corinthians 4:3-4
- They are blind and bound.
- They are dead in trspasses and sins.
- They are at war with God
Because of these things that have…
The condemnation of God on them!
John 3:18‑19 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”
The lost have a knowledge of God but they do not always seek Him. It is up to the saved of God to tell them of thier condition.
I have had the opportunity over the years to be in the room with others who had been told they had a disease, (Terminal or not) and these people truly think that their life is over.
For many who fall into that hands of death without a saviour. For those who are relying on some form of good work to get them to a celestial place called heaven, because we desire to tell God what we did to get ourselves here… Can I tell you they are condemned.
The Bible makes it clear that there is only one way to heaven… There are not multiple avenues but there is a lie being perpetrated by Satan that there is and so many believe it. That is the reason so many answer the question with this answer.
- Q – If you died today will you go to heaven?
- A – I hope so!
Ephesians 2:8&9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
One of our duties should be about the lost, by “Promoting the Gospel!”
but we also should somehow…
II. Provide for its Membership! Acts 4:34-37
We must be willing to provide on multiple levels. It is not just providing for those who can not provide but also for the church to provide the member with the spiritual as well.
This one thing I know… People need to have their spiritual, emotional and physical needs met. We are living in a crazy world today.
More and more children are growing up in broken homes, unemployment is on the rise and Christians are sinking deeper into debt like never before. Many churchgoers are struggling to make ends meet in their everyday lives, and we feel the pinch of reality just like everyone else.
The church’s function is to ESTABLISH THE SAVED!
Everything that Calvary does is about establishing, equipping, and edification of the saints.
Colossians 2:6‑7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Educating & Teaching…
- Students how to learn
- Leaders how to lead
- Teachers how to teach
- Worshipers how to worship
- Christians how to be Christlike ‑ prayer, Bible Study, giving, singing,
2 Timothy 2:2‑3 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:11‑12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
But I believe that we must also be willing to meet the need of those believers within our ranks that need help. I get calls all the time about helping but I am just one man.
Listen to our text this morning…
First… Promote the Gospel!
Second … Provide for its Membership!
Lastly I want you to know that we should be about…
III. Pursuing Godliness! Acts 2:41-47
Have a good and Godly day. For of what lasting value is a good day if it is not also a godly day?” Dr. Woodrow Kroll
WE MUST AS CHRISTIANS EXEMPLIFY THE GOSPEL Matthew 28:20 “teaching them to observe”
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Ephesians 5:15‑17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].
1 Peter 2:21‑22 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
Our life must be living Christ so others around us can see Christ. I know that there are those who want to quite, to give up.
Paul told Timothy, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. ” 1 Timothy 6:11.
Among these many items which Timothy was to pursue, the central item is godliness. We need to pursue godliness to be a man or woman of God. Actually, godliness is just “God-likeness.” To be godly means to be like God, to express God.
In other words, godliness is to live God out. Someone who lives God out is a man or woman of God. Because he lives God out, he is like God. He bears God’s likeness, so he is a manor woman of God. A Godly person has to pursue, to seek after, God-likeness is simply LIVING GODLY IN CHRIST
2nd Timothy 3:12 speaks of those who “desire to live godly in Christ Jesus.” To live godly means that our life must be a godly life.
Can I reminds you of what we started off with… Have a good and Godly day. For of what lasting value is a good day if it is not also a godly day?” Dr. Woodrow Kroll
This morning I have one question for you…
In the church are you a part of it or a problem in it.
When’s the last time you have helped to…
Promote the Gospel! Acts 4:31-33
Provide for its Membership! Acts 4:34-37
When’s the last time you…