INTRODUCING THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
The question of why we exist is age-old. Apart from God, this question cannot be answered. Solomon of old, with his God-given wisdom, revealed to us the answer to the purpose of life when he said: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This was the purpose of man then, and, though years have multiplied since that answer was given, there is nothing that nullifies that statement–this is still our purpose today.
What about the church of Christ–where does She fit into this? Is this our purpose today? We must go to the New Testament to find the answer.
When we speak of our purpose, we must speak of it in the terms of a “God-given purpose”. We can’t just get together and decide for ourselves what our purpose is, for we can see in the New Testament that that purpose has been given already. God has the right to demand that of us. Why? It is not our church, it is the church of Christ. He built the church (Matthew 16:18); He purchased the church with His blood (Acts 10:28); the church is the body of Christ and He the head (Ephesians 1:22-23). All these verses suggest ownership. He who owns us is Christ Jesus. Such is why He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Based upon this ownership, what is our purpose? Paul, an apostle, helps us to see our purpose: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Colossians 3:17). Consider this phrase “all in the name of the Lord”–what is the significance of these words? This reveals to us that we are not here to please self but to please our Lord. This is summed up again in the letter to the Galatians: For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Gal 1:10).
Peter, also an apostle, gives us further insight into our purpose: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9). We exist to praise our Lord for who He is and what He has done.
Our purpose as the church of Christ is to be New Testament disciples–following and obeying the Lord in all things; worshipping and living the way our Lord desires.(Continue to next lesson)