Why does the church exist?
1. Rev. 3:3 – READ
2. The church at Sardis was to “remember” some things.
3. They were recall what they had “received” in the past.
4. They also needed to remember what they had “heard.”
5. As they remembered this information they needed to “keep” what they had learned.
BEGINNING TODAY WE WILL BE GOING BACK AND EXAMINING SEVERAL OF THE THINGS THAT MIGHT BE CALLED THE “FIRST PRINCIPLES” OF CHRISTIANITY.
1) The world is very familiar with the word church, but do people really understand what the church is?
2) Some know the word church describes people, but think the church is something like a social service.
3) We see examples of our government using religious groups to pass out benevolent help.
4) Others see the church as an organization to help people after disasters strike.
5) One indication about the purpose of the church is found in the person who is the head of the church.
a) In Mt. 16:18 the Lord said, “I will build my church.”
b) This single verse tells us the church of the Bible belongs to Christ; the Lord said, “my church.”
c) Mt. 16 also leaves no doubt about Jesus being the builder of this organization (“I will build”).
d) Eph. 5:23 – “Christ is the head of the church.”
6) If we can see what the head of the church does, we can likely get an indication of what the church is to do.
a) In Lk. 19:10 we find one of the main reasons why Jesus came into our world.
b) The head of the church (Mt. 16:18) is actively involved with bringing people out of sin – READ Mt. 16:19-27.
THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH IS FOCUSED ON SAVING SOULS AND THIS NEEDS TO BE THE FOCUS OF LOCAL CONGREGATIONS. REV. 6:1-2 – READ
1) A “white horse” is an old and well known symbol; this is an image of warfare and victory.
2) The word “crown” in verse 2 also expresses the image of a champion and conqueror.
3) In Rev. 7:14 we read about a “great tribulation.”
4) The end of this verse explains this tribulation; people “wash their robes in the blood of the lamb.”
5) The blood of Christ is designed to cleanse people from sin.
6) Jesus (Rev. 6:1-2) is the conqueror who leads people out of sin by the power of His shed blood.
7) The purpose of the church is to offer sinners a place of spiritual refuge and safety – salvation.
8) In Mt. 5:13 the Lord said, “You are the salt of the earth.”
9) He then followed up this statement with another one: “Ye are the light of the world” (Mt. 5:14).
10) In Mt. 4 we read about two brothers who were called to follow Jesus.
11) People who make their living by fishing catch fish and then keep them in a safe place.
12) In the spiritual realm the “safe place” for people is the church established by Christ.
a) Jn. 15:5 – “I am the vine, ye are the branches.”
b) 1 Cor. 3:9 speaks about being a coworker with God.
13) The main purpose of the church is the main reason why Jesus came to this world: To save man from sin.
14) This is why we read about the so-called “great commission” shortly before Jesus returned to heaven.
15) This is why Paul said “commit the gospel to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.”
16) Are we seeking to fulfill one of the key purposes for the New Testament church?