What is God's Purpose for the Church? (Ephesians 3:8-12)

 Introduction:

I.                   DENOMINATIONALISM HAS CAUSED MANY TO MISUNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF OUR LORD’S CHURCH.

A. The various metaphors of the church depict its inseparable relation to Jesus Christ, our Lord.

                                   1.  When the church is portrayed as Christ’s body, He is its head.

 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 might have the preeminence.”

 Ephesians 1:22-23, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

                                     2. When the church is portrayed as Christ’s kingdom, He is its king.

 Colossians 1:12-14, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

 1 Timothy 6:15, “Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords;”

 3. When the church is portrayed as Christ’s bride, He is the husband.

 Ephesians 5:25-28, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

                                  4. The other metaphors of the church depict its essential relationship to the Son of God.                                                                               

Discussion:

 I.                   THE CHURCH IS TO MAKE KNOWN THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD.

                  A. The church was not an after thought of God, but was within His eternal purpose for the redemption of mankind.

                                         1. It was His purpose before creation that the church to    proclaim redemption unto lost humanity.

Ephesians 3:10-11, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”                       

1 Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

                                      2. Unscriptural organizations such as the Missionary Society are not authorized to oversee the teaching of redemption unto lost humanity.  The Lord only authorized the church to reach the unsaved with the saving gospel.                          

B.    The responsibility of the Great Commission is to continue unto the end of time.

Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

C.    The gospel of Christ is the only message that will save.  It must not be perverted by adding the philosophies of men unto it.

Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

II.                THE CHURCH, AS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, IS TO BRING GLORY UNTO HIM.

A.    The church in which our Lord died for is His one and only bride.

Ephesians 5:25-28, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

2 Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:  for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

B.    As the bride of Christ, the church is to give the Godhead glory.

Ephesians 3:21, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen.”

Matthew 5:13-16, “Ye are the salt of the earth:  but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

C.    Individual congregations either have a good reputation that glorifies the Lord, or a bad reputation that brings disgrace unto the Lord.

Romans 1:7-8, “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”

1 Thessalonians 1:8, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

III.             REDEMPTION IS FOUND ONLY IN THE CHURCH OF OUR LORD.

A.    The church, itself, is the redeemed!

Acts 2:47, “Praising God, and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto your selves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:  and he is the savior of the body.”

1.      He is the savior of the body, which is the church.

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 might have the preeminence.”

B.    We must strive to keep the saved saved!

Hebrews 3:12, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

2 Timothy 2:24-26, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Galatians 6:1-2, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

C.    Not only is the church of our Lord the spiritually saved, but it has the God given responsibility to teach the saving gospel to the lost.

2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

Conclusion: 

I.                        THE CHURCH OF OUR LORD IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN GOD’S ETERNAL SCHEME OF REDEMPTION.

A.The church of Christ was within God’s eternal purpose for the redemption of lost humanity.

B.If you have not obeyed the gospel of Christ, we urge you to do so and the Lord will add you to His blood bought church which is made up of the redeemed.

C.Members of the spiritual body of Christ are urged to remain faithful unto our Lord and Savior.  And if you need to respond to the Lord’s invitation then respond to the Lord’s invitation as we stand and sing.

--Dub Mowery

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