The Work God Gave The Local Church
by Steve Klein
1) God is the Master designer, Psalm 19:1; 104:24.
2) God designed the church, Ephesians 3:10.
3) Local churches are all to follow a single God-given pattern -- this fact is implicit in two statements the apostle Paul makes to the Corinthian church:
1 Corinthians 4:17 "For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church"
1 Corinthians 14:33. "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints."
The pattern for work God has given to churches is clearly revealed in the New Testament. By command, example and necessary implication, we learn that God wants churches to EVANGELIZE the lost, EDIFY the saved and AID needy saints.
I. EVANGELISM -- 1 Thessalonians 1:8 "For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place." (NOTE: This is written to "the church of the Thessalonians cf. 1:1). (ILLUS: Woman at Westminster Abbey - "Has anyone been saved here lately?") The God-given Means of Accomplishing Evangelism involves:
A. Sending out evangelists (Acts 11:20-24; 13:3; 14:25).
B. Sending financial support directly to evangelists.
II. EDIFICATION -- 1 Corinthians 14:26. The God-given Means of Accomplishing Edification:
A. Worship -- singing, praying taking Lord's
supper, 1 Corinthians 14:15; 11:18-34
B. God's word (Acts 20:7, 32; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6).
C. NOT Pot-luck suppers, Christmas parties, pageants, "Christian" rock concerts, basketball games, etc.
III. HELPING NEEDY SAINTS
A. Generally, men are to work to provide for their own needs
Conclusion: In John 17:4 Jesus said, "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do". Likewise, churches glorify God when they do the work He has given them to do. Is the church that you are a part of doing the work God gave it to do, or is it doing something in addition to or other than that work?
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