Secondly, let me say that the purpose of the church is to educate the saint by teaching the Bible. Our text tells us that we are to teach those we win to Christ the things that we have been taught. Paul commanded Timothy, his young 'preacher-boy,' in 2 Timothy 2:15 -"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." In the same book, and the same chapter, in verses 1 and 2, Paul told his young protégé: "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 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." In the book of Ephesians, chapter 4, verses 11 and 12, the Bible teaches that God has placed in the church certain men that are gifted to TEACH the word of God so that the church might grow in the knowledge of her Saviour. One of the purposes of the church is the educate Christians by teaching them the Bible - not the catechism, not the denominational handbook, but the BIBLE. It follows that if God calls some men to teach the Bible, then there are people that need to be taught. That is the purpose of church - to instruct Christian people in the principles and precepts of the word of God. According to 2 Peter 3:18, all of us that are saved are commanded to"grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." How do we grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? How do we increase our understanding of God? We must STUDY the BIBLE ourselves, and expose ourselves to good Bible teaching and godly Bible teachers. It was said of the Christian converts at Berea, according to Acts chapter 17 and verse 11, that "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." These believers learned the word of God from the apostles, then they searched the scriptures on a daily basis to confirm that what they were being taught was true to the Bible. They were FBI Christians - "Faithful Bible Investigators." Every born again Christian should be an FBI Christian! That is why Christians should attend a Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching church. That is why a Christian should go to Sunday School and Training Union, as well as the regular worship services at the church - so he or she may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of their Saviour. Third and finally, let me say that the purpose of the church is to exalt the Saviour. The church is to lift up the Lord Jesus Christ to the world, and to promote Him and His truth throughout all the earth. Our text tells us that ALL POWER is given unto Him. In another place, we are told that ALL AUTHORITY is given unto the Son, and that ALL JUDGMENT is entrusted to the Son. God has so highly exalted His Son that the Bible says that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. All glory, honor and praise go to Him who died for us and rose again that we might be saved. All the credit for our salvation and the blessings of life goes to Him. For all the good things this world has to offer, the credit goes to Him. All our blessings find their source in Him. The church is charged with the duty and privilege of magnifying God's Son. We preach about him from the pulpit. We teach about Him in the Sunday school. We sing about Him in the worship service. The church exalts the Lord Jesus Christ by proclaiming the truth of His deity and the truth of His salvation. The genuine Christian church glorifies Jesus Christ as God manifest in the flesh, and exalts Him as the only Saviour and the only way to Heaven. In the book of Colossians chapter 1 and verse 18, the Bible tells us that in all things Jesus Christ should have the pre-eminence. That means He should have first place, that He is greater than all, that He is above all. The world refers to her kings and queens as "Your Eminence." Our Lord Jesus Christ is not just a King - He is the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords: He is El Supremo, He is Numero Uno, He is truly "Pre-eminence" personified, and the church is to exalt Him, glorify Him and magnify Him as such because He is worthy. In Colossians chapter 1, verses 15 thru 19 and chapter 2, verse 9, we see the Lord Jesus Christ in all His supremacy! He is superior to all because He is the image of the invisible God; He is superior in order because He is before all things; He is superior in creation because He made the worlds; He is superior in power because by Him all things consist - the very universe is held together by Him; he is superior in position because He is the head of the church, which is His body; He is superior in resurrection because He is the firtborn from the dead; and He is superior in content because it pleased the Father that in Him should all the fullness of the Godhead dwell. One of the great songs of the Christian church says:
All hail the power of Jesus' name! Let angels prostrate fall! Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all! Let every kindred, every tribe, On this terrestrial ball, To Him all majesty ascribe, And crown Him Lord of all! O that with yonder sacred throng We at His feet may fall! We'll join the everlasting song, And crown Him Lord of all!
So, what is the purpose of the church? The purpose of the church is to Evangelize the Sinner, to Educate the Saint, and to Exalt the Saviour.
Are you saved? Are you studying your Bible? Are you living for Christ? I hope that you are. If you are not, our prayer is that you will come to know Christ as your Saviour today, get in the word of God, and live for Him.
Solid Rock Baptist Church - Serving the Lord in the Memphis/Mid-South area