His Purpose/our purpose?

To Love The Lord, John 4:23-24 & Ephesians 5:18-20.

To Pray For Worldly People, See Isaiah 56:7 & Mark 11:17 & Matthew 9:37-38, Romans 12:12.

To Teach Truth & Proclaim Christ, Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 3:8-11.

To Serve The Disadvantaged & Oppressed, Matthew 25:34-46, 1st John 3:17-19.

To Train The Faithful, 2nd Timothy 2:2, Ephesians 4:11-13.

Obviously there is not one single Christian that can do all of these things really well, that is why we are a body with several members. However, every Christian can fulfil God’s purpose. So in which of these purposes do you really succeed? There is a list of gifts which God describes the church sharing in, read the entire chapter of Romans 12. Surely there are a few things you can excel in, and/or at least try each of them. 

Romans 12:4-21

The Purpose of Christ for the church in…

…PROPHECY, v6, is to show our faith in his second coming and our resurrection.

…SERVICE, v7, 11,  is to show integrity & enthusiasm.

…TEACHING, v7, 

…ENCOURAGEMENT, v8

…GIVING, v8, 13

…LEADERSHIP, v8

…KINDNESS, v8

…LOVE, v9-10

Every single gift given to us as Christians, individually members of the church, has a purpose. God’s love (agape) should be seen in that gift and/or talent, see 1st Corinthians 16:14. Agape is a much celebrated word, found in over 47 verses of the Gospels, and in over 32 verses of the Epistles and the Revelation. However, it is surprising that there is not a single verse in Acts which has the word agape! Why? Simply because God’s love is seen in action throughout all 28 chapters of Acts. Love is not just talked about in the church, love is shown in the church. Family, we should not be loving in just word, but in deed! From the first chapter in Acts, God lovingly gives the apostles His promise and a new apostle in Matthias, to the last chapter wherein God lovingly gives an imprisoned Paul the strength to preach & teach the gospel of Christ to “all” who came to him, both military & civilian. So today the love of God continues to be spread by each Christian through the living message, acting out the grace and knowledge of Christ in you. How do you fulfill the purpose of Christ in your daily life? See 1st John 3:18

HIS STORY, our history?

The earliest shadow of our reality as the Church can be seen in Genesis 14:17-20. When Melchizedek appeared to Abraham, he gave the work of God a glorious and futuristic hope in providing a link or bridge back for the lost state of humanity to our Creator. The unique nature of Melchizedek’s priesthood was in his Kingship. His Kingship held the power to promote peace between humanity & God, Hebrews 7:2. In contrast to the first priesthood of Melchizedek was the Jewish priesthood of Levi, one of the Great-grandsons of Abraham. The Levitical Priesthood would never be royal, it’s glory was not in gold & power to promote peace physically, but rather blood and incense to promote peace spiritually. Their work would merely provide one nation with annual peace, between annual sacrifices, whereas Melchizedek’s peace was present and promised secure forever…

We as the church have that peace in Christ, because He is our peace, Ephesians 2:14.

Another great gift from God in the prophetic work of  Melchizedek’s priesthood was the meal he offered Abraham, Gen. 14:18-19. There is a message for us in the bread & wine. It was obviously a celebratory mark of victory God gave Abram over his enemies. Today in the Church we remember the victory Christ holds over death in the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. His body and blood is where the victory was won and when He is represented in our communion, we rejoice in this bitter-sweet fulfillment of Melchizedek’s prophetic royal priesthood. The reality of Christ’s resurrection is powerful in that it was both physical and spiritual. Critics of Christ to this day falsely claim that His resurrection was spiritual, not bodily. But if it wasn’t a bodily resurrection, where is the real power over death, where is the evidence?

Remember who Abram rescued? Righteous Lot, 2nd Peter 2:7. This is why our history is important to learn. If Lot could be counted righteous by the standard of morality God gave them, then how much more righteous is everyone in Christ? Therefore, ANYONE in Christ can be rescued, not because of the righteousness of any human, but because of Christ’s righteousness. This is good news!

There are at least 15 messages recorded in Acts, a couple more depending on how you count and list them. What do all of them have in common? The word Christ and/or Messiah is used at least 28 times in Acts.

Acts 2:14-14 Jesus Christ is the Son of God; Repent & be baptized for the remission of sins.

Acts 3:12-26 Jewish people should repent for Crucifying the Christ

Acts 4:5-12 The power of Christ healed the crippled man 

Acts 7 Review of Jewish history & that the Jewish leaders murdered the Christ 

Acts 10:28-47 Christ can save the Gentiles also like the Jews 

Acts 11:4-18 Gentiles can now be saved by Christ 

Acts 13:16-41 Jesus was the Christ & the Old Testament is fulfilled

Acts 15:7-11 Salvation by the grace of Christ is available to all 

Acts 15:13-21 Circumcision is not required of Gentile converts to Christ

Acts 17:22-31 God will hold all people accountable for their response to Christ 

Acts 20:17-35 Remain faithful to Christ in spite of false teachers and various persecutions 

Acts 22:1-21 Recounts his conversion to Christ and his ministry & mission to the Gentiles 

Acts 23:1-7 Paul’s defense, declares himself a Pharisee believing in the resurrection of Christ

Acts 24:10-21 Righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come with the resurrected Christ

Acts 26:2-23 Recounts his conversion and evangelism for the gospel of Christ

What does the church today emphasize in our preaching and teaching?

God’s Word on The Church

  1. His Story / Our history
  2. His Purposes / Our purpose 
  3. His Names / Our name
  4. His Gift / Our gifts 
  5. The Church’s State and End-Goal

Most Christians understand and believe that we are baptized into the body of Christ which is the church, (1st Cor. 12:13, Eph. 5:23, Col. 1:24) Right? Helping the world understand what the church is, is a huge task, kind of like helping a toddler understand what a computer is, he can see it and enjoy it, but he finds it impossible to understand how to interact with it and really use it, all the toddler can really do is, spectate & speculate. If he tries to use it, the toddler ends up frustrated or breaking it. One of the first tasks Jesus gave His apostles was to make disciples, Matthew 28:18-19. Secondly, He commands baptism, then thirdly he tells them to teach them basically everything! So how do we make disciples before baptizing them, if they don’t even know how to relate to what the church is that they are being baptized into? That conundrum must be one of the biggest hindrances to disciples becoming Christians. I’m convinced infant sprinkling in some denominations, is maintained for that very reason. If you “baptize” a baby, you don’t need to worry about them making a choice, they can’t! It’s like labeling them a “christian” before they even have a chance to know what a disciple is, much less decide to become one. If it wasn’t so unscriptural, it would be hilarious. Jesus commands us to make disciples of Him, not us, the church. That’s great, considering most people in the world think the church is a building! Thankfully some people in the world think the church is a group of people, but they have no idea what God thinks of these people, or how He treats people, they call “the church”. So the best place to start with making disciples is to show them the Christ. If they will follow Him, they prayerfully can understand what God thinks of the people He calls the church. If they will follow Jesus for any length of time, they can not fail but to understand His love and morals. His love & morals should encourage them to be baptized and then they can start interacting as part of His body. Which is much more complicated than a computer but also much more beautiful, so they should grow and stay functioning as part of his body. The church is truly like a lampstand, not the light itself. The light is Jesus, the lampstand is the church, Matthew 5:14-15. But what is a light without a stand? It is like a city in the dark, dangerous! 

That is why it is very important to know God’s view of the church. He introduced it through prophecy. Read Micah 4:1-5 and see the prediction of a new nation with a judge that promotes eternal peace. There are many more Old Testament passages that prophesy about the church, so let’s learn and rejoice in God’s word/message about who we are and what He wants us to do, so that we might share it with people in the world that can see the love and morals of Christ.