Church—Definition and Purpose
2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…
Often people make references to the Church as being a community that serves the community. Those words sound nice, but the word “community” cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament writings. The Bible never defines the Church in reference to “community.”
So, what is the Church. The Greek word that is translated “church” in our Bibles is ecclesia, and it means a gathering of people who have something in common. In the case of the Church, we are a gathering of people who share a true belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. That is the Biblical definition of a Church.
But that leads to another question. What is the purpose for that gathering? Scripture is clear. The Church gathers for three reasons: to worship our Lord, to be taught His word, and to fellowship with like-minded believers who will encourage us. Those are the primary purposes of the gathered Church.
But what is the Church’s purpose outside the gathering? Many would say it is community service: feeding the hungry, providing clothes and shelter… Others would say it is solidifying a moral political agenda for the community around us. Still, others would say our purpose is to promote social justice. None of those are Biblically correct.
The Church has one primary purpose outside its doors. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Our purpose is to reconcile people to God by leading them to saving faith in Jesus Christ. When a church makes its purpose anything other than worship, teaching and learning, fellowship, and evangelism that church has lost its purpose and really isn’t a church at all. So let us be the Church we are supposed to be.
Have a God Filled Week,
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