Remembering the Three-Fold Purpose of the Church

Scripture lays out three primary purposes for the church:

The exaltation of God

God has called us to live “for the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:12). We are here on this earth to glorify and know the God who created us.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

The edification of the saints

Paul explains that his own goal was not merely to evangelize, but to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).

“He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do this work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ” (Ephesians 4:11–15 NLT).

The evangelization of the world

This is the natural outgrowth of the first two purposes, and Jesus specifically addresses it. In what has been called the Great Commission, Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20).

Our country is in such dire spiritual and moral shape that our only hope is the message of the gospel. There will be no moral awakening in our country apart from a work of God. For that reason, we must preach the gospel and pray for revival.

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