Have you ever wondered what church is all about? What is it? Why do we go to church? Is church relevant in this day & age?
Are we surprised that the secular world takes no notice of the “church” anymore? Has the church lost its witness and power in the world today? If so, why?
Many questions, but do we have answers? Yes - let’s have a closer look ...
The spiritual definition of the Church is, very broadly, the “body of Christ”, the true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have put their trust in Him as Saviour, who live for Him and walk in His ways, serving Him and sharing the Good News with others (Col.1:24, 2:19 - to mention just a very few!)
What about the churches we attend? Where do they fit in?
The church is God’s House (or should be ...) and thus it is a House of Worship. As an institution, the church is where people gather to worship and honour God. It is the place one goes to learn more about Jesus in order to get to know Him better. The church is there to help Christians grow spiritually - to be taught His Word (the Bible) in truth, to pray, to fellowship with one another. The church should also reach out to those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour by inviting them to church, visiting them and by actively seeking to reach the lost through evangelical outreach programmes.
The church does not merely care for the material, temporal or emotional aspects of people’s lives, it has a great responsibility to care for the spiritual edification of members, adherents, visitors and the community. The tragedy with many churches these days is that they have many humanitarian projects (all good and well), but they leave out the most important aspect - going in the Name of Jesus and using the opportunity to provide people with the eternal message of Jesus Christ. In providing the true Bread of Life (Jesus) to people in need, provides the opportunity for people to receive the free gift of eternal life. Doing good deeds without reaching out with the Gospel makes the church no different from the rest of the secular world.
The church should be a Beacon of Light, true Light, in the community. The church needs to be pointing people to the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), the Lord Jesus Christ, nurturing those new in the Christian faith and encouraging those who have been following the Master for some time Hebrews 10:25). While encouraging fellowship amongst its members, it is should not be viewed as a mere social club. As a church, we are living in perilous times. People are looking for hope and security - the church should be providing this through the message of the Cross of Jesus. Only in Him can true peace, hope and security be found.
Maybe we can take a closer look at the spiritual definition of the church in a later article and realize how exciting it can be to belong to the “body of Christ” in this day & age?
So, in the meantime, lets remember that church is not a game we play to try and score points for eternity. It is God’s House with Christ as the Head, helping us to be what He wants us to be and fulfilling the great commission, namely, to “go and make disciples of all nations .... teaching them to obey all that I (Jesus) have commanded you and surely I (Jesus) will be with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:19&20)
Read more articles by Day Ashton or search for articles on the same topic or others.
I truly enjoyed and appreciate your article. One very important thing I think that the church may have forgotten is, that Jesus is THE WORD, and to truly know Him, we must get to KNOW THE WORD through the Holy Spirit, the Helper. I do believe that the church is slowly, but surly waking up, and will once again be that witness to the world which she is supposed to be. Blessings, Sharon