Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Church

I attempted today to write about the true purpose of the church. As I wrote I found that I could not do a better job describing the purpose of the church better than my favorite author. So I will let his words speak to us today:

“According to the early Christians, the church doesn’t exist in order to provide a place where people can pursue their private spiritual agendas and develop their own spiritual potential. Nor does it exist in order to provide a safe haven in which people can hide from the wicked world and ensure that they themselves arrive safely at an otherworldly destination. Private spiritual growth, and ultimate salvation, come rather as the by-products of the main, central, overarching purpose for which God has called and is calling us. That purpose is clear, and stated in various places in the New Testament: that through the church God will announce to the wider world that he is indeed its wise, loving and just creator, that through Jesus he has defeated the powers that corrupt and enslave it, and that by his Spirit he is at work to heal and renew it.

The church exists, in other words, for what we sometimes call ‘mission’: to announce to the world that Jesus is Lord. God intends to put the world to rights’ he has dramatically launched this project through Jesus. Those who belong to Jesus are called, here and now, in the power of the Spirit, to be agents of that putting-to-rights purpose.”

--N.T. Wright Simply Christian page 174.

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