Glorifying God Together
505 Courtney Way, Lafayette, CO

Mission of the Church

Zach Putthoff Written by 
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 21:17

A few weeks ago, after months of preparation and discussion among our team of elders, I proposed a new mission statement for our church. Not a new mission, mind you, but a new mission statement.

That new mission statement is this: To glorify God together as we enjoy and spread the riches of His grace in Jesus Christ.

“The riches of His grace” is a phrase that comes from the book of Ephesians, where the Apostle Paul says that our redemption, that is, our rescue from slavery to sin, has come through the blood of Jesus; the substitutionary death of Jesus on behalf of sinners, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us in Jesus (Eph 1:7-8).

Not long after that announcement in Ephesians, Paul makes this amazing statement: “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come (from now through all eternity) He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4-7).

Those passages tell us why God has saved us as His people. He has saved us, so that for the rest of eternity He might take us deeper and deeper into the immeasurable riches of His grace in Jesus. God has saved the Church by grace, so that the Church might enjoy the riches of His grace for all eternity – and that God might get all the glory as He pours out those riches upon His people forever. Therefore, our first task as his redeemed people is to enjoy those riches as He pours them out upon us, because it glorifies God.

Yet we also see over and over again in the Scriptures, that to truly glorify God, we must also be focused upon spreading His good name and the word of His grace to as many people as possible. As Jesus says so clearly in Matthew 28:19-20: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Yet, throughout the Scriptures we see that these two tasks, enjoying God’s grace and spreading that grace, are not in competition with one another. They are the two inseparable ways that we, as the Church of Jesus Christ, have been called to glorify God.

Jesus himself said that living a life to glorify God boils down to this one thing (which is actually two things – but are so united that God commands them as one single thing): Loving God exclusively, ultimately, and completely; and loving others tangibly, sacrificially, and faithfully for His glory. That should be the ultimate aim of every Christian in every place at every time. That is the greatest commandment.

And what we are saying in our new mission statement is that this is the great end that we will be giving ourselves to, and that we will be giving ourselves to it together, as a family.

(To listen to the full sermon entitled, “The Mission of the Church”, go to the Shepherd’s Resources tab, and click on “Sermons and Studies”.)

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