Monday, June 30, 2008  –  The New Testament Church – Matthew 16:13-18

Today the word “church” is often used differently than the way it’s defined in Scripture. We tend to think of a building with a steeple, a morning or evening service, or a potluck get-together.

But, God is very specific about this term. In the Bible, Colossians 1:18, “church” means a body of believers under the authority of their leader, Jesus Christ. God’s Word also clarifies the three purposes of the church. The three purposes are worship of the Lord, ministry to believers, and outreach to an unbelieving world.

Our primary focus should be to exalt the living God. By acknowledging who He is and glorifying His name, we show our Father that we love Him. Psalm 100:2-4 encourages us to “come before the Lord with joyful singing” and to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and . . . praise.”

We must be grounded in truth if we’re to be spiritually fruitful. So a second goal is to teach people and turn them to godly action. A third aim is to reach unbelievers with the good news that through God’s Son, they can be forgiven of sin. They’ll also gain eternal life. The Lord Himself instructed us to “make disciples of all the nations. We should baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

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