August 10, 2009

The Church's Purpose

Ephesians 3:7-10

Through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known …
Ephesians 3:10


When people choose a church or denomination mainly because of what it can do for them, what does that tell you? How about when a church changes only to meet the demands of people it wants to attract?

As we try to be the church in today’s world, it’s important to reach people where they are. That’s what God did in sending Jesus to live among us. But the message of God’s Word must not change. We may never adopt a consumer mentality in the church. As Paul puts it, the Lord’s “intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known …”

Imagine having that as a purpose statement for the church you are a part of—or are seeking to find. The calling of the Christian church everywhere is to make known the “manifold wisdom of God.” The purpose of the church is to be the family of God here on earth, showing God’s love and spreading the good news of God’s kingdom everywhere, to the glory of God.

The church of Christ is open to people everywhere, to all who hear the call to receive Jesus. A historic confession describes the church this way: “The Son of God through his Spirit and Word, out of the entire human race … gathers, protects, and preserves for himself a community chosen for eternal life and united in true faith” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 54).

Lord, thank you for your wisdom revealed in Jesus Christ and for gathering to yourself a community chosen for eternal life. Help your people to be united in true faith. Amen.

About the author — Peter Borgdorff

Dr. Peter Borgdorff has been a pastor and administrator in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, most recently serving as executive director till his retirement in 2006. He and his wife, Janet, have five children and 14 grandchildren.

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