Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Why the Church Exists
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. —Acts 2:42
If you asked me why I think the church exists, you might be surprised by my response. I believe the church is on this earth for three reasons: the exaltation of God, the edification of the saints, and the evangelization of the world.
Maybe you thought I was going to say we are here to evangelize the world. While that is a part of our calling, it isn’t our primary purpose. We are here to exalt God, to minister to and build up one another, and, as a result of that, we are to reach out to the world. In other words, the church is here for three main reasons: upward, inward, and outward.
Upward: we are here to minister to God. The Bible teaches that we are put on this earth primarily to know and walk with the God who made us and to bring glory to His name.
Inward: we are here to equip God’s people to do His work. Paul said his own goal was not merely to evangelize, but to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).
Outward: we are here for the evangelization of the world. Jesus commanded us to “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” (Matthew 28:19-20). Clearly, it’s our commission.
When we are glorifying God and fulfilling the purpose for which He put us here, when we are built up as believers, we will want to then go and share our faith, because healthy, well-fed believers will reproduce themselves.
Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions,
More by Greg Laurie: http://www.harvest.org/devotional/index.php/5.html