By Larry Fayer

The third thought to keep in mind is that God has a plan – a purpose – for His church.  The Bible explains God’s plan and purpose in Ephesians 3:8-11: “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is THE PLAN of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  THIS WAS ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE THAT HE HAS REALIZED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.”  The plan that God has for today is to use His church to make His wishes known to the world.  This plan is as wide-ranging as the flood because it covers the whole earth.it includes all nations.  This plan is as all-encompassing as God’s plan of Abraham’s day because   This plan is grander than the plan for Israel or Judah because everyone, everywhere is part of it.  It is His plan and He has many who are called to fulfill His purposes in it.

Rick Warren has defined God’s purposes for His church as: (1) Evangelism: our marching orders have always been to make disciples of all nations, (2) Discipleship: as we are growing in our understanding of God and His ways we are to teach others how to become disciples also, (3) Worship: we are a group that comes together to praise God for all He is and has done, (4) Fellowship: we are a community of believers where everyone belongs and (5) Ministry: we demonstrate the love of God by doing things to meet the needs of those around us.

The five purposes described by Rick Warren sounds a whole lot like the first church, which began in Jerusalem and is described in Acts 2.  This church practiced (1) Evangelism: see Peter’s sermon – Acts 2:14-40 (2) Discipleship: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching”Acts 2:42 (3) Fellowship:“and fellowship”Acts 2:42 (4) Worship: “to the breaking of bread and the prayers” Acts 2:42 also “And day by day, attending the temple together” – Acts 2:46 and (5) Ministry:“And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need”Acts 2:45.  These five purposes have been a part of the church from the beginning and they describe its purpose now.

How does the church meet these five purposes thus carrying out God’s purpose?  A clear answer can be seen in the parallel passages found in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.  First, the church works as a body, that is, it has many parts all working together so that, just as our bodies work effectively for us, the church works effectively to carry out God’s purpose.  Secondly, the church works well because each of the members has different gifts or abilities or functions just like all the different parts of the human body. 

By the way, did you notice that the writer of these passages says we ought to rejoice about our different abilities rather than be jealous about the one someone else has?

The thought is this: God had, and continues to have, a purpose in mind.  It is to save as much of the world as will receive Him.  He put His purpose into action by allowing His Son to die for us and to establish His church.  Those who are Christians are a part of HIS CHURCH and HIS PURPOSE of providing salvation to the world.



© Get To Know The Bible Ministries Inc., P.O. Box 14464, Springfield, Missouri 65814 - Notice: All material on this site, with the exception of those items specifically copyrighted to someone else (e.g. Bible translations) is protected by copyright law.  Copyright 2003-2018 by Get To Know The Bible Ministries Inc.  Permission is granted for reproduction for non-commercial, personal use or for use in one classroom.  No portion of this site may be reproduced for purposes of resale or profiting in any way without the prior permission of the copyright holder who may be reached at the above address or by sending an email.  Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations in this website are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) Copyright 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.