Summary: Our Purpose - Building Up Christians
Our Purpose - Building Up Christians
The Last Few weeks we have been learning how to build a strong Godly church and its purpose in our community.
The questions we are asking are:
"Why does the church exist?
What is our purpose Here in Hermosa Beach and the South Bay ?"
We have to conclude that the first & most important part of our purpose as a church is to seek to win the lost.
That is why we were given this building - so that we can reach out to more people with the saving news of Jesus.
And I’m convinced that as long as we recognize that our ultimate purpose, the reason we exist, is to reach the lost, then as a congregation we will continue to grow. And I tell you unashamedly, "We plan to continue growing."
In the 2nd chapter of Acts, the church in Jerusalem began on the Day of Pentecost with 3,000 members, & by the 4th chapter it had grown to 5,000 men, not counting women & children.
The Bible tells us that the Lord was adding to the church daily "those who were being saved."
It was a growing church, & they had a concern.
"How do we take care of all these new Christians?"
ILL. THE BABY One of the most exciting times in life is when a baby is born. The parents rejoice, & we all "ooh" & "ah" over it. Then they take the baby home, & reality sets in. They’re changing diapers & losing sleep & trying to figure out what’s wrong with the crying child. The joy of new birth is followed by the responsibility of caring for & raising that child.
It’s the same way in the church. People come to the Lord & we rejoice.
But then comes the responsibility of bringing these young Christians up in the Lord.
Who is going to nurture them?
Who is going to teach them & pray with them? Who is going to counsel them? Who is going to encourage them?
The early church evidently did a fairly good job of that, because we read in Acts 2:42, that these early Christians "continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching & fellowship, in the breaking of bread & prayers."
You see, there is a second part to our purpose, & that is to nurture, to build up the Christians, to help them be all that they can be in this life.
B. With that in mind, listen to the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
That is an important passage, & I hope you noticed some of the key words & phrases like "service," "unity," "mature," "no longer infants," & "building each other up."
PROP. Let’s talk about that, about "building each other up" & growing as Christians.
I. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE GROW AS CHRISTIANS
A. First of all, it is vitally important that we grow as Christians because a growing Christian is less vulnerable to temptation.
Just as Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness following His baptism, when you give your heart & soul to Jesus, Satan will attack you, too.
ILL. Jesus told a parable about wheat & weeds. He said that a farmer went out & sowed good seed. But that night the evil one came & sowed weed seeds, & they started growing, too. At first you couldn’t tell the difference. But soon it became obvious that weeds were growing among the wheat.
So a servant suggested, "Let’s pull up the weeds." But the master said, "No. If we do that we’ll kill the wheat also. Let them grow side by side until the harvest. Then we’ll separate the wheat from the weeds."
Now that parable gives an important truth, "Until the harvest, until Jesus comes, good & evil will be growing side by side in the world." And it’s true.