FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

"Why We Exist As The Church!"

Much confusion exists today concerning the word church and what it truly means. It is common to hear people today proclaim that they are “Going to church”! No such statement exists in the New Testament, nor does the New Testament ever refer to the church as the place where Christians assemble. The fact of the matter is that the church is comprised of those being saved.

 

Acts 2:47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved .”

 

The word church was not coined by the Apostles of Christ, but was a general term used in the Greek language to refer to the “called out”. Its general use can be seen in the city of Ephesus in Acts 19 . As Demetrius and the silver-smiths of Artemis stirred up the people against Paul, the word “ ekklesia ” would be used to describe the multitudes that had come together.

 

Acts 19:32 “Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.”

 

The New Testament however, would specify in detail just who had been called out and purchased by blood.

 

Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Colossians 1:18 “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

 

The “church” or the “called out” of the New Testament are the body of Christ. These are those who have escaped the world and the sin that kills, and have become servants of righteousness.

 

Romans 6:17-18 “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

 

The church is comprised of those who have become the body of Christ.

 

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”

 

Ok! The church is the body of Christ! Those who have been called out of sin by obeying the Gospel of Christ, baptized into His body, and serving God through His doctrine. In addition, in previous lessons we have discussed that the church was God's eternal purpose in Christ Jesus and His wisdom is manifest in the church (in which we are!).

This brings us to the question we want to answer in this lesson, “Why do we exist as the church?”

 

1) The Fullness of Him.

 

Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all .”

 

Imagine a head without a body! How would it accomplish anything? To what purpose would a head exist without that which to lead or control? Are you starting to see the necessity of those who have been “called out” of sin and into the body of Christ? We then become the fullness of Him! We become that by which the head accomplishes His great mission.

 

Ephesians 4:15-16 “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

 

2) For His Preeminence.

 

Colossians 1:18 “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence .”

 

Earlier in the same chapter of the letter to the church at Colossi (a letter that focuses on the preeminence of Christ over His church), Paul would describe to these Christians their “called out” state.

 

Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,”

 

Let us consider a monarchy for a moment. What good would it be to have a King and no citizens to reign over? What good would the laws be that protect the citizenship, if there are none?

 

It was God that gave Jesus Christ this preeminence! God has given Him a name above every other!

 

Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Philippians 2:9-10 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,”

 

It was God that gave Jesus Christ all authority!

 

Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

 

Those who exist as the “called out” exist to proclaim the praises of Him who called us out!

 

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

 

We who are the “called out” exist to obey the commands of our Lord and Christ!

 

Hebrews 5:8-9 “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him ,”

 

The church that belongs to Christ, which is comprised of those who have been “called out” of the world, exists for us, by pure privilege! Purchased with the highest price imaginable! It is a gift that none of us deserved!

Only those of us who truly understand this gift and privilege will fulfill God's eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. When we come together to worship, we will present ourselves as a holy sacrifice hoping to please Him and not ourselves . When we live before the world, we will be proud not to be conformed to this world, and humbly show our transformation to a life guided by the word.

 

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

 

Did this match your understanding of why we exist as the church?

 

Titus 2:14-15 “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works .
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

 

We Exist For Him!