Summary: We need to relearn what being the church of Jesus Christ is all about.
August 14, 2011
Text: Matthew 16:13-20
Subject: The Church
Title: I Will Build My Church -The Fourfold Function of the Church
Last week we finished a five part series on the Great Commission. If you stop and think about it the whole purpose of the Great Commission is for the Church of Jesus Christ to be established by faith in the power and authority that has been given to us.
This week I want to begin to look closer into what it really is that the church is supposed to be. And I want to do that by focusing on the core values of this church and then continue on with the fourfold purpose of the church. Then we will continue the series next week by talking about the vision of the church. Finally, we will end up by revisiting our sixteen fundamental doctrines. I believe it is vitally important for each of you to know and understand what it is that we as a church believe.
Let’s look at the core values of our church. We are a church that “Loves God, Trusts God, and Loves people”. If you connect the dots between our core values and the Great Commission we just finished studying, you see that one goes hand-in-hand with the other. If we truly love God then how can we disregard the command to go and preach and make disciples? If we trust God then wouldn’t we trust Him to empower us with His Spirit and confirm the message we are taking into the world with signs following the way He said He would? And if we love people the way we say we do, how can we refuse them the right to hear about what God has done for them?
Ok, so we have established that our core values are tied to the Great Commission. Now I want to look at the fourfold function of the church. Here they are in not any particular order of importance.
1. The church exists as an agency for evangelizing the whole world. That involves personal evangelism as well as the call to send and support missionaries to every nation.
2. The church exists as a place where believers can come together to worship God corporately.
3. The church exists to provide believers the opportunity to grow in their faith through teaching, preaching, and the administration of the gifts of the Spirit.
4. The church exists in order to help provide for the needs of others by displaying the compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 16:13-20, 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.