Thursday, December 07, 2017

Purpose of the church (2)

Just the announcement of this new blog series, about the purpose of the church, triggered quite some views and responses. A great encouragement for me and at the same time a sign that I am not the only one who is interested in this subject.

For starters, I want to quote the basic scripture I will be using in my reflection on this topic in a few different translations, so that we will all get an idea (regardless of our denominational or theological background) of what the Bible says about the purpose of the church, also called the body of Christ (see also 1 Corinthians 12:27). That scripture is: Ephesians 4:11-13.

NIV (New International Version)
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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.

NKJV (New King James Version)
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

GNT (Good News Translation)
It was he who “gave gifts to people”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. He did this to prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ's full stature.

Just reading these verses a few times brings about an idea of ​​God's intention with the church on earth, don't you agree?

10 comments:

  1. OH, yes, I agree. I'm so looking forward to "the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
    Thanks for making me think, Marja! You always do.
    Happy Christmas, Jen

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    1. Thanks Jeanette, for stopping by and may you have a wonderful Christmas season! We're having a snow storm in The Netherlands right now, everything looks pretty!

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  2. Marja: I especially like this thought. He gave each of us different gifts to use for the advancement of His Kingdom. My gifts are different from my friends' but we are all working to build up God's Kingdom.

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    1. That is so true Cecelia, we work together with the different gifts we have received. That is wonderful!

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  3. I see myself as one of the stones which makes up the Church.
    I see myself as a bone in the skeleton being part of His Body.
    I see myself as a member of His family - The Church!

    Thank you for spending time on this topic Marja.
    Most enlightening.

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    1. Thank you Anita for reading along, it is an interesting topic indeed. Well said!

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  4. Hi Marja, I look forward to reading your series on God's purpose for the church. Lately I have been "watching" various churches on TV and my own and trying to evaluate where they stand in relation to what the bible says, which is really hard for me as I find objectivity clouded by emotion and subjectivity... Best solution, what does the word say!
    God bless and have a joyful Christmas season
    Tracy

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    1. Hi Tracy, you are so right... best solution is what the word says. We have drifted far from it. But it is not late to realign. I do not have the answers, but I have the desire to do it right.

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  5. The Lord will present it to Himself glorious - but now it is a heavenly vessel on earth representing the heavenly Man in His absence.

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    1. 'Representing the heavenly man in His absence...' I have to remember that one David, thanks!

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Thanks for your visit, it is my hope and prayer that this post was an encouragement to you! Feel free to leave a comment.