by Tim Leahy
The church is important because God created the church. The church is not a building or a denomination; it is an assembly or gathering of people who follow Jesus.
The question is, why did God create the church? In this article I want to answer that question by sharing what God says about His Church in His Word (Bible).
The first time the word church is mentioned in the Bible is in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus tells His disciples that He will build His church on the truth of Peter’s answer to Jesus’ question in v. 16 – “Who do you say I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
Jesus said that His church (Ephesians 1:22-23) would be built on (“this rock”) the fact that He is the promised Christ/Messiah – God’s solution to humanity’s sin and separation problem. Click here to read “The Problem of Sin”.
God created the church as a gathering of Jesus followers to love and encourage one another in following Jesus (John 13:34-35; 15:15), and to tell those who don’t know or understand that Jesus is God’s solution to humanity’s biggest problem [sin and separation from God] (Matthew 28:18-20). We don’t go to church, we are the church.
Did you notice that in Matthew 16:18 Jesus told His followers that not even Hell/Satan would prevail against His church? That’s good news! Since God created the church, it will prevail and provide what He created it to provide – a gathering of people who love God and love others (Matthew 22:37). Read the book of Acts to see God’s church from its inception. Click here to go to the book of Acts.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for people and Satan (1 Peter 5:8) to corrupt the church as the book of Acts and the other letters to the church reveals.
The Church is referred to by the Apostle Paul as “a mystery” (1 Corinthians 15:51), “the mystery” (Ephesians 3:3), and “The mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4). In Ephesians 3:6 Paul tells us what the mystery is: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”
What Paul explains in Ephesians 1-3 is that God’s chosen people (Israel) and everyone else (Gentiles) would be combined together to make up His church (Ephesians 3:6) and they would be known as Christ followers (Christians), and together they would all have access to God the Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:12), which is known as “the mystery of His (God’s) will” (Ephesians 1:9) and the “mystery of God” (Colossians 2:2; Revelation 10:7).
God instructs us to meet together to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25). That’s the answer to “Why the church?”. The church is God’s gift to us, giving us a support system (a local community) to encourage followers of Jesus to live the life He created us to live. We were created to live in community and not in isolation. Click here to read about living in community.
To be successful God’s way we need to be in community. Click here to find local churches in your community.
Click here to learn what it means to be successful God’s way.
Click here to read more articles about the church.