The purpose of the church

Lesson 2

Eph 2:19  Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,
Eph 2:20  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

One of the most unique aspects of the church that we see in the bible is that the church is not a club, it is not just a meeting place, it is not a social dwelling, but it is a family

  • When we got saved, we were invited into the family of God, we are apart of a family with a rich heritage
  • The church is not a house built with bricks and mortar, this is a living house and each individual is the bricks, we are the building blocks of God’s house.You can build a house but it takes a family to make it a home
  • The definition of the church is often a building full of people, but God’s definition of the church is a people full of God’s destiny and purpose.
  • The word church is the Greek is Ecclesia which means a people called by God out of the world for a purpose. 1Pe 2:4-8

The Bible paints this incredible picture of Jesus as the cornerstone, the main foundational brick in the house

  • The bible says that Jesus is not only the cornerstone but he is also a stumbling block. Jesus will either be a firm foundation or a stone that you stumble and fall over.
  • We see this so clearly demonstrated in the world today, as Christians, he is our foundation, but for people who have rejected Him, he is like a stumbling block. Here is the challenge as the church, we will either build according to the foundational pattern he has laid for us or we will stumble and fall and refuse to build upon the pattern he has laid

Darby 1Pe 2:8  and a stone of stumbling and rock of offence; who stumble at the word, being disobedient to which also they have been appointed.

The foundation Jesus laid is either going to be a stepping stone to your destiny or a stumbling block to your destiny

  • Can I make this assumption or proposition: When Jesus said

Mat 16:18  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

  • He was not talking about building a church numerically as such, he was talking about growing YOU who is the church into the person God created you to be and said even the gates of hell cannot stop that
  • So if you are not growing into the person and into the purposes God created you for, you cannot blame your wife, your children, your boss or even the devil, because Jesus said if you are willing to grow and become the person God has destined you to be, even the gates of hell will not be able to prevail against you
  • The only person that can stop you from fulfilling your God-given destiny is you.

Eph 2:21-22 Church is not somewhere you go to be served, it is where you go to serve.

  • Ministry is simply having the heart to serve God and his people
  • It is a biblical principle that when God’s people thrive the church thrives
  • Here Paul lays the foundation of God’s plans for the church

The church was not an afterthought it was his central and only thought.    It was His eternal plan, all his plans were consummated in the church, the intent of God is that the church will reveal God’s plan and God’s wisdom to the world.  Eph 3:10-11

Eph 4:1  As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

I love that Paul saw himself first as a prisoner, a servant of the Lord, one that has surrendered his life to the service of the master and he was bound, he was connected, he was committed to fulfilling the calling of God upon his life.

Are you living a life worthy of God’s calling?

Paul describes three types of people in the church Eph 4:11-15

  1. There are infants: infants have trouble determining what is right and wrong, they are naïve and will believe anything and everything.
  2. Then there are those that are deceived: they fail to determine what is right and what is wrong teaching and fall into the error of deception. They are like teenagers getting caught up in peer-group pressure going with the flow because everybody else is doing it. (like all good online scams)
  • In essence, they are immature and immature people are like a rudderless boat they just get taken wherever the tide is going or whichever direction the water is flowing they get sucked into deceitful schemes.

Eph 6:11  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

  • The armour begins with the truth of God’s word, the devil is the master tactician, the master deceiver who is out to rob you of your destiny.
  1. Then there is the mature: They are able to determine the truth because they have been equipped to know what the will of God is. Heb 5:11-14, Rom 12:1
  •  Maturity is not a by-product of getting older, it is a product of being trained and equipped. Eph 4:17-18
  • It is interesting that much of the parables Jesus gave about the kingdom of God he used the analogy of master and his servant, or a boss and a manager. 1Pe 4:10
  • How you manage God’s gifts and God’s calling and God’s destiny upon your life is what you will be commended or condemned for.
  • It would be extremely cruel of God to judge you by a criteria that he never made clear. But it makes perfect sense that God has every right to deal with us on the basis of calling if his intent has been made clear to us as He has through his Word.

Paul says the effectiveness of the church comes by entrusting it to people who are faithful, reliable and qualified.  2Ti 2:2

  • I have a personal conviction: Christianity is not for the casual observer it is for committed disciples.

Joh 15:16  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
The KJV says Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,

  • If you have been appointed and ordained to bear kingdom fruit then it would be fair for God to expect that from you.

Mat 25:21  “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

  • The word faithful comes from the root word faith
  • Faithfulness to God’s calling has to come out of a belief that he has a plan and a destiny for your life
  • Faithful means:
  • first to be consistent and reliable
  • secondly to be accurate in detail,
  • Are you doing what God has called you to do, faithfulness is the stewardship of your calling and destiny as a servant of God
  • The church is only as effective as the participation of the people, the church rises and falls on the effectiveness of the people
  • Jer 1:5 The greatest path you can take in life is the path that leads you to destiny
  • Mat 5:14-16 God has uniquely created you and specifically designed you for good works
  • The only person that can stop you fulfilling God’s plans is you

Ephesians 2:10 KJV  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

It is nobody’s else responsibility but yours to ensure that you walk in the plans that God has prepared for you. God has blessed every one of us with 168 hours in the week

  • Imagine what you would be like if you could give an hour a day to study, devotions and prayer, then a few hours to serving each week to fulfilling destiny
  • God requires us to order our lives in such a way, that in the middle of the hustle and the bustle and the 1000 things you have to do every week God requires us to walk in our destiny
  • He requires us to have good time management, God requires us to be good stewards of our time. Eph 5:15-16
  • When we stand before God one day we will have to give an account of the good works. 1Co 3:12-14
  • In fact, not just an account of our good works but the quality of our good works
  • I suppose the question really is, can God trust you with the destiny he has for you, can God depend on you to use your gifts and talents.

1Pe 4:10  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
(AMP)  As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
(GNB)  Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.

  • How you manage God’s gifts and God’s calling and God’s destiny upon your life is what you will be commended or condemned for

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.