What is the Church For

Does the church matter? If so, what for? 

Acts 20.28 tells us that Jesus purchased the church with his own blood. What is that church though? What makes Jesus’ church what it is?

Well, we know the church is Christ’s ekklesia, or his called out ones. The church is composed of people who have been redeemed and are being rebuilt each day into the glorious image of the Son, the head of the church. (Colossians 1.18) The church is not the building, the sign outside the building, or even the things we do together inside the building. Even though we all know what we mean when we say it, we don’t “go to church.” We are the church. 

The charge to the church is to remain blameless and unspotted from the world, to keep a spiritual focus and resist the currents of whatever culture presses in—put frankly, the charge Christ has given to the church is to remain on mission. Unfortunately, we are broken vessels who can become swept up in culture, and sedated by tradition. 

Is the church running at full capacity so long as we keep the lights on at the church building?

That doesn’t seem right. No, the primary mission of the church (of every Christian) is twofold. The first is for group encouragement and accountability toward spiritual formation into Christ for the saved. “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” The second is the Great Commission to those outside Christ. “Go, and make disciples of all men.” (Matthew 28.19)

A casual reading of the book of Acts will make it plain—our praising God is meant to be a celebration of what he is doing in our every day lives, and how he is moving us to be his vessels here on earth. If this is not our experience then we mustn’t fault God. We need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves—why? 

The church in the Acts of the Apostles was a living, breathing, growing organism. The church exists to bring Christ to broken souls and help them know what it means to follow him and to bring those who would into greater communion with God. This was Christ’s intention and plan from the moment he called his first disciples. 

Are you on mission? Are you pursuing Jesus daily so that you can share his love with others?We can do this. He promised we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4.13)

Cain Atkinson

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