What is the Church for?

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
I'm curious to know what people on this forum think about the Church's purpose in the world. Clearly, establishing the Church - the called out community of God - was central to Christ's mission, but why? What is the Church for?
 

1Thess521

Well-known member
I'm curious to know what people on this forum think about the Church's purpose in the world. Clearly, establishing the Church - the called out community of God - was central to Christ's mission, but why? What is the Church for?
"the Church's purpose in the world."

Eph 4:11-16
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Matthew 5:
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The church exists for evangelism
. There are some who advocate the idea that churches exist primarily to reach people for Christ. They identify passages like Acts 1:8 to reach the conclusion that the purpose of the church is for evangelism.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

The church exists for discipleship.
The contrary perspective is that the church exists predominantly to disciple believers. They look to Matthew 28:19-20 as the mandate to “make disciples
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The church is God’s hands, mouth, and feet in this world—the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We are to be doing the things that Jesus Christ would do if He were here physically on the earth. The church is to be “Christian,” “Christ-like,” and Christ-following.

but mainly: the Church is to bring Glory to God
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
"the Church's purpose in the world."

Eph 4:11-16
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Matthew 5:
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The church exists for evangelism
. There are some who advocate the idea that churches exist primarily to reach people for Christ. They identify passages like Acts 1:8 to reach the conclusion that the purpose of the church is for evangelism.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

The church exists for discipleship.
The contrary perspective is that the church exists predominantly to disciple believers. They look to Matthew 28:19-20 as the mandate to “make disciples
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The church is God’s hands, mouth, and feet in this world—the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We are to be doing the things that Jesus Christ would do if He were here physically on the earth. The church is to be “Christian,” “Christ-like,” and Christ-following.

but mainly: the Church is to bring Glory to God
A thorough and excellent response. Thanks, Thess.
 

Nondenom40

Active member
I'm curious to know what people on this forum think about the Church's purpose in the world. Clearly, establishing the Church - the called out community of God - was central to Christ's mission, but why? What is the Church for?
Not sure i agree that Christs central mission was to establish a church. The church is a by product or natural extension of salvation.

I think this is His primary purpose;

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.

His primary/central purpose was redemption of mankind, atonement. Then as the called out ones the ekklesia we are the bride of Christ and will one day be joined to the bridegroom Jesus. So in short the church is the bride of Christ.
 

balshan

Well-known member
"the Church's purpose in the world."

Eph 4:11-16
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Matthew 5:
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The church exists for evangelism
. There are some who advocate the idea that churches exist primarily to reach people for Christ. They identify passages like Acts 1:8 to reach the conclusion that the purpose of the church is for evangelism.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

The church exists for discipleship.
The contrary perspective is that the church exists predominantly to disciple believers. They look to Matthew 28:19-20 as the mandate to “make disciples
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The church is God’s hands, mouth, and feet in this world—the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We are to be doing the things that Jesus Christ would do if He were here physically on the earth. The church is to be “Christian,” “Christ-like,” and Christ-following.

but mainly: the Church is to bring Glory to God
I am in agreement with both your reply and non's. Jesus did not come to establish the church, it is a by product. The church has been established for a number of reasons. The main is to bring Glory to God, to spread the gospel, to support each other to the finish line.

If we ignore and allow the sinful leaders to stay in their positions this is breaking the main reason for the denomination to exist - to bring Glory to God. A denomination is not Christ's body.
 

Calsgal2

New member
Not sure i agree that Christs central mission was to establish a church. The church is a by product or natural extension of salvation.

I think this is His primary purpose;

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.

His primary/central purpose was redemption of mankind, atonement. Then as the called out ones the ekklesia we are the bride of Christ and will one day be joined to the bridegroom Jesus. So in short the church is the bride of Christ.
I agree.. Christ never came to start "a church" ..the question should be" What is the church?"and Who is the church?
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Not sure i agree that Christs central mission was to establish a church. The church is a by product or natural extension of salvation.

I think this is His primary purpose;

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.

His primary/central purpose was redemption of mankind, atonement. Then as the called out ones the ekklesia we are the bride of Christ and will one day be joined to the bridegroom Jesus. So in short the church is the bride of Christ.
I think establishing the Church was central because if there was no Church to minister to the world, belief in Jesus would have ceased within one or two generations. I think the Church was also needed to give structure (especially authoritative structure) to the faith, such as, establishing a canon, doctrines, sacraments, etc. I see the Church as Christ extended into the world in a real sense: he works with us and through us.

I agree, though, that the death/resurrection are primary, for the Church's existence is dependent upon them.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
I agree.. Christ never came to start "a church" ..the question should be" What is the church?"and Who is the church?
But isn't the Church God's community, His people called apart? Didn't Jesus want such a community to continue after he ascended into heaven? If so, he did come to start a Church.
 

Teresa

New member
Scripture describes an authoritative body which resolved confusion and disagreement. That being the Council of Jerusalem. Even in those very early days there was need for an ultimate body of leaders. Apart from the Catholic Church, Christians make there own interpretations of what God wills and what Christ means. No cohesion to resist the secular world.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Scripture describes an authoritative body which resolved confusion and disagreement. That being the Council of Jerusalem. Even in those very early days there was need for an ultimate body of leaders. Apart from the Catholic Church, Christians make there own interpretations of what God wills and what Christ means. No cohesion to resist the secular world.
It certainly makes sense that Jesus would establish a body with a leadership structure to continue his movement, especially at a time when the NT did not exist.
 
If you need a church for salvation, then you're in trouble. A Christian will always be Christian even he/she doesn't attend church.

Nowadays, it's difficult to be affiliated with a church because pastors don't always teach the truth.
 

balshan

Well-known member
Scripture describes an authoritative body which resolved confusion and disagreement. That being the Council of Jerusalem. Even in those very early days there was need for an ultimate body of leaders. Apart from the Catholic Church, Christians make there own interpretations of what God wills and what Christ means. No cohesion to resist the secular world.
The RCC makes up its own interpretations and is a source of confusion and disagreements. For example there is a major disagreement over whether the pope is real pope or a false pope. If we look at scripture and compare the requirements for leaders and elders in the church, your institution has false leaders, so maybe the RCs who think the pope is a false pope are right.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
If you need a church for salvation, then you're in trouble. A Christian will always be Christian even he/she doesn't attend church.

Nowadays, it's difficult to be affiliated with a church because pastors don't always teach the truth.
No man is an island, a Christian doubly so!
 

Teresa

New member
The RCC makes up its own interpretations and is a source of confusion and disagreements. For example there is a major disagreement over whether the pope is real pope or a false pope. If we look at scripture and compare the requirements for leaders and elders in the church, your institution has false leaders, so maybe the RCs who think the pope is a false pope are right.
The Church has endured claims of false teacher during it's history just as Jesus endured that accusation. Some confidence can be drawn from the fact that no other leader of Christians has ever emerged from those denunciations. Sedevacantist groups have never established an alternative authority to lead and have suffered the same fate as Luthers followers. Endless division.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
The RCC makes up its own interpretations and is a source of confusion and disagreements. For example there is a major disagreement over whether the pope is real pope or a false pope. If we look at scripture and compare the requirements for leaders and elders in the church, your institution has false leaders, so maybe the RCs who think the pope is a false pope are right.
Major disagreement? Hardly. Maybe 0.0001% think Francis isn't the real pope because he doesn't conform with their ideology. In fact, the number of Catholics in the world has grown over all continents since the time of Francis, so that's a good thing, praise God!

What are the requirements for leaders and elders of the Church that Catholic leaders don't meet?
 

balshan

Well-known member
Major disagreement? Hardly. Maybe 0.0001% think Francis isn't the real pope because he doesn't conform with their ideology. In fact, the number of Catholics in the world has grown over all continents since the time of Francis, so that's a good thing, praise God!

What are the requirements for leaders and elders of the Church that Catholic leaders don't meet?
Oh it is major and it is not the only group that disagree over doctrines or practices. To make out your institution is unified isn't the truth. Just read 1 Tim 3:1-7

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

Titus 1:6-9


An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[a] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Then there are many other passages throughout scripture that relate to leadership.

Centuries of not showing these leadership qualities from the pope down have given your institution a bad reputation.
 

Teresa

New member
The RCC makes up its own interpretations and is a source of confusion and disagreements. For example there is a major disagreement over whether the pope is real pope or a false pope. If we look at scripture and compare the requirements for leaders and elders in the church, your institution has false leaders, so maybe the RCs who think the pope is a false pope are right.
There's certainly not 'major disagreement' over whether the pope is real. There is a noisy but small cabal who are agitating for profit within the Church. Most of us genuinely wish they'd go away and find another cash cow to exploit. They are like the traders in the temple.
 

balshan

Well-known member
There's certainly not 'major disagreement' over whether the pope is real. There is a noisy but small cabal who are agitating for profit within the Church. Most of us genuinely wish they'd go away and find another cash cow to exploit. They are like the traders in the temple.
Look your unity is false. The Lutheran denomination was a result of Catholic disagreement, the same with the Baptists and you are still having disagreements. No the traders in the Temple are your pope and his cardinals.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Oh it is major and it is not the only group that disagree over doctrines or practices. To make out your institution is unified isn't the truth. Just read 1 Tim 3:1-7

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.


Centuries of not showing these leadership qualities from the pope down have given your institution a bad reputation.
Okay, let's look at these qualities and see which of them Francis is violating:
- faithful to his wife; I'd say Francis is very faithful to the Church considering that he has given his life for her
- temperate; I've never seen him go off the rails, rant, get drunk or anything like that
- self-controlled; he seems pretty self-controlled to me
- respectable; I'd say he's respectable
- hospital; lots of evidence of his hospitality to those who visit the Vatican
- able to teach; while he's not the clearest or most precise theologian in the world, his teaching is generally fine
- not given to drunkenness, violent or quarrelsome; see above
- not a lover of money; if anything, Francis has made papal living more frugal than any recent pope
- manage his own family well; I think this is something he tries to do
- not a recent convert; obviously
- good reputation with outsiders; his reputation is excellent with outsiders
 
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