X0605.............The purpose of the church: The Gospel
"But whatever happens to me, remember always to live as Christians should, so that, whether I ever see you again or not, I will keep on hearing good reports that you are standing side by side with one strong purpose--to tell the Good News" (Philippians 1:27)
Paul writes to the church at Philippi, an already well established church, with his desire of their functioning. Look carefully at what he states.
What does Paul say the church ought to be operating in--doing?
Answer: spreading the Gospel!
Paul says the "purpose" of the church is tto "tell the Good News".
Next notice how he says they ought to be accomplishing this purpose.......
"......standing side by side......"
The Bible describes equality among believers, and a common purpose--the Gospel.
Think about what the Bible does NOT say here.
The Bible does not say that the work of telling the Good News is only for "official ministers"--only for leadership--only for an evangelist--or someone with a "title " of minsitry.
The Bible does not say that the purpose of the established church is to "meet on Sundays and have worship and teaching". Paul does not relate here the format weare so very familiar with. He does not say...
"But whatever happens to me, remember always to live as Christians should, so that, whether I ever see you again or not, I will keep on hearing good reports that you are meeting every Sunday, collecting the tithe, having praise and worship and sitting under the authority of pastoral teaching."
The purpose of Christians, yes, in theri meetings, is as Paul says---"to tell the Good News" . In the Bible, the church met in small groups (usually in the home), prayed in the Spirit, and asked God how they could share the Gospel. The Gosple was the first and foremost purpose of the church.
Why shouldn't this be the case today? There are a multitude of excuses, but they are all just that---excuses.
One more point--HOW did the church operate?
Answer: "standing side by side"
A church of equals.
Is your church a church of equals--people--brothers and sisters--standing side by side--operating in ministry together--the ministry of the Gospel?
Again, does Paul does not say "Do what good Christians should, function together, spreading the Gospel, under the authority of the pastor"
Standing side by side in the Gospel......
what a concept!