Friday, May 9, 2008

What Is the Purpose of the Church?

The purpose of the Church can be summed up in three distinct areas, which are all equally important as we will see.

1) Ministry to God: Worship.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."
Colossians 3:16

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:11-12

". . . making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord . . . ."
Ephesians 5:16-19

Some people think that the "music portion" of the Church service, usually the first half of the service, is a warm up for the pastor. Some even equate it to a pep rally. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the Scriptures show above, we are commanded to praise our Father in heaven with songs of thanksgiving and praise. The "music portion" is our worship! We should be committed to participating in corporate worship at least once per week.

2) Ministry to Believers: Nurture.

"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ."
Colossians 1:28

". . . to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."
Ephesians 4:12-13

It is so important to be part of a small group Bible study. Sunday School is a great opportunity to meet people in similar circumstances (age group, marital status, age of children if any, etc.). No one (including Sunday School teachers, deacons, and pastors) is exempt from participating in spiritual growth opportunities.

3) Ministry to the World: Evangelism and Mercy.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"
Matthew 28:19

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Luke 6:35-36

"When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them."
Luke 4:40

People tend to think that they have to hold a Billy Graham Evangelism Crusade in order to participate in evangelism. Not true. Everyone is at different levels in their faith. Some have Scripture memorized; others don't but know the salvation concepts. While there are many "techniques" of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelievers, a simple invitation to attend a Church service or participate in a Bible study is a great way to introduce unbelievers to other believers that might be more experienced with questions that might come up about Christianity.

All three of the above distinct areas are commanded by the Lord in Scripture; therefore, a strong Church will have effective ministries in all three areas. Since all are commanded, all are equally important. While the Church should be strong in all areas, individual believers are different as they have spiritual gifts that might lead them to participate in certain areas more often than others. In other words, everybody would not be expected to distribute their time 1/3 to each area, unless that distribution would be consistent with the person's spiritual gifts. Regardless, like a strong Church, a strong/mature Christian would be participating in all three areas.

{Related Link: Why Should I Be a Member of a Church?}

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What Is Truth?

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Genesis 1:1

"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:32

There is only one truth, and that is the truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
John 14:6

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."
Revelation 22:13

Every aspect of science points to our heavenly Father. The entire Old Testament points to Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, who is the Messiah. And Jesus said that He would send the Counselor (Holy Spirit). Reference John 16:7.

These video links will hopefully shed some light on the many facets of scientific breakthroughs over time that statistically prove that God of the Holy Bible is the only true God. All praises to Him!

Science of God - Part 1 (about 1 hour)

Science of God - Part 2 (about 1 hour)