Summary: Purpose Driven Concepts. Five Purposes presented as an acrostic - SHINE. Second Sermon in this Series - God’s Committed Community.
God’s Committed Community: The Purpose of The Church
Last week we looked at the Nature Of The Church and we found that the Bible calls the church:
1. A FELLOWSHIP.
2. A FAMILY.
3. A BODY.
4. A FLOCK.
Each one of these terms gives us a different understanding of The Church and shows how The Church is to function. We also found that The Church is Christ’s Church. Founded by Jesus and empowered by Jesus. We read in Matthew 16:
‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.’” Matthew 16:15-18(NKJV)
This week I would like for us to examine The Purpose Of The Church.
I have found that sometimes you can use handy tools that help you memorize things. Today I am going to give you one of those tools. Let’s look at Mathew 5:16 together.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
The word shine can be used as a simple tool, an acrostic, to help us understand the purpose of The Church. S – H – I – N –E. Let’s take these five letters and examine The Purpose of The Church.
S – SEEK and to SHARE.
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10 (NKJV)
Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. Our job is to seek and to share. Why – because God always does the saving. We are called to seek and to share – and let God do the saving.
19 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, 20 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 (NKJV)
This commandment – called The Great Commission was given to The Church. Our job is to seek and to share. We are commanded by Christ to tell The Good News to those who don’t know it. But notice this – circle the words – “I am with you always” – How Long? – for a little while – for a day – for a month – a year – NO – I am with you always, even to the end of the age. What this means to me is that is the responsibility of The Church for all generations. We are to share the Good News with the people we meet. No Generation will tell the Good News to this Generation except this Generation. That means us. Christians of the past are not responsible with telling our generation about Christ – we are. Future Christians can not tell our generation about Christ if they have not been born yet. We are charged with telling people in our time about Jesus.
But did notice in Matthew 28 that we don’t have to share The Good News alone? “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” means that Jesus is with us when we share the Good News. When we share with our neighbors and friends about our relationship we have with Christ – He is right there with us.
Will everyone we talk to about Christ accept Jesus just because we have told them about Him? No! But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep telling them. Why - because God is the only answer to bringing peace to the human soul. If you had the cure for cancer and did not share it – it would be criminal. If you had the cure for aids and did not share it – it would be immoral. But you know the cure for the human soul if you have a relationship with Christ. You have the cure for the human condition. If you know Christ – He has touched you. He has cured you. He has forgiven you. You know how people can have peace with God. We need – no we MUST share the cure in a sick and hurting world. Follow along with me as I read 2 Corinthians 5:
“Through Christ, God has made peace between us and himself, and He gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with Him… So we have been sent to speak for Christ!” 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20 (NCV)