In Matthew 16:18 Jesus Christ said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
It is very important for us, as a church, to know what Jesus Christ is presently doing so that we can cooperate with His good and perfect will.
Some say He is involved in national reform. Others would say He is involved in social reform. Still others would say He is involved in political reform.
But Jesus clearly indicated in Matthew 16:18 that He is building His Church.
In Ephesians 5:25 it says Jesus loved the church and gave Himself for the church. Since these things are true, it is vitally important to understand what the church is and what it should be doing.
The New Testament makes it clear that the church is not a building, or an organization, or a social institution. It is a group of people who have trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The true church is made up only of those who know Christ as their Lord and Savior. Since that is true, Christ has the right to say what the church should be and do.
The book of Ephesians is all about the church, the body of Christ. In the book of Ephesians we see at least three primary reasons for the church's existence. They are:
- TO BRING GLORY TO GOD
Ephesians 3:21 says "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end."
The primary reason the church exists is to glorify God. This is the responsibility of every member in the body. We glorify God when we worship Him, when we praise Him, when we proclaim His Word, when we live His Word and when we spread His Word.
- TO GROW
- In strength - In Ephesians 4:11-16
In Ephesians 4:11-16 Paul makes it clear that the Lord desires strong, mature Christians.
Verse 12 speaks of being perfected or matured. Verse 14 indicates that the Lord is displeased if we remain as "baby Christians". Verse 16 talks about being "built up" in love.
Christians should continually be growing stronger spiritually. This is so important that in Matthew 28:18-20 when Jesus gave His great commission He only gave one command in those verses, "Make disciples." Just adding numbers to the roll call is not the goal; the goal is baptized, instructed, mature disciples.
The church's goal should also be to help them become disciples. The Lord's desire for His people, the church, is spiritual maturity. As Ephesians 4:12 indicates "...maturing...for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
Every Christian is to be a minister in the sense that he is to be involved in ministering to others. Being a spectator falls short of God's perfect design for every member of the body.
- In Size. The universal church, which is made up of every believer on the planet (not just those attending any one local church), is not only to grow in
strength but in size as well. Ephesians 2:19-21uses the
of a building to describe God's people.
Chapter 2:21 indicates this building “grows.” It
grows stronger, as we have just seen, but
it also grows in size as new people (“bricks”)
are added when they receive Christ as their
- In strength - In Ephesians 4:11-16 In Ephesians 4:11-16 Paul makes it clear that the Lord desires strong, mature Christians. Verse 12 speaks of being perfected or matured. Verse 14 indicates that the Lord is displeased if we remain as "baby Christians". Verse 16 talks about being "built up" in love.
- To Be Pure
Ephesians 5:26 and 27 says Christ gave Himself for the church “that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Jesus Christ desires a pure church. Therefore, every Christian should be vitally concerned about living a pure life. But when a Christian doesn't live a pure life, the Lord requires the church to discipline that individual to maintain the purity of the church. (Matthew 18:15-20, I Corinthians 5.)
Only a pure church brings glory to God.
These are our objectives as a church. If they are your objectives also, please join with us in accomplishing them. We need each other.