The church gathers to the glory of God
We don’t remain scattered individual Christians, but we regularly come together in one place. (Acts 2:2, Acts 2:44, Acts 2:46, Hebrews 10:24-25).
As we gather, we are united in our life in Christ. We are all sinners, all in need of the saving work of Jesus Christ on our behalf – regardless of our race, gender, age, income, or any other factor. (Galatians 3:28)
We gather to worship God, show love to one another, grow in our understanding and spiritual maturity in Christ and to be sent out by the Spirit to call others to our great God.
Our gathering, then, is not so much about programs and activities as it is about our relationship with God and one another. It is about the body of Christ coming together and being Christ to one another.
The church is not only to gather, it to scatter, to go
As we go, we express the heart and mission of God for everyone.
Having been saved, we need to go out into our local and global communities, seeking out those who don’t yet know God (Luke 19:10).
We go because God does. God didn’t stay in heaven, He sent Jesus into the world to live among the people in order to bring them to Himself. (1 John 4:9-10)
We go because God desires for the world to know Him (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9). He has done His part, through the work of Christ on our behalf, and He has now entrusted us to partner with Him in seeing it done (2 Corinthians 5:17). Are our hearts as moved as God’s about the plight of the world?
God wants us to grow
The gospel tells us that in His love for us, God accepts us and saves us just as we are. We don’t need to change in order to ‘earn’ God’s love (Romans 5:8). But in His love, God also doesn’t want us to stay just as we are; he wants us to grow.
We are to continually be growing in character, becoming more and more like Christ. This means living in ever increasing obedience to Jesus’ teachings and following God’s direction in our lives.
The emphasis here is on putting the Bible into practise in our lives not merely in gaining a greater knowledge. In reality our knowledge is often more than our obedience. As we grow in obedience, our lives will more and more reflect the character and actions of Christ (Romans 8:29).
One outcome of this is that we will also continually be growing as a church in the numbers of people coming to Christ.
So how do we grow? By Scriptural input (2 Timothy 3:16-17) applied to life (James 1:22), by the work of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:13), in the context of community (Hebrews 10:24-25).
We also grow as we see more and more people come to know Jesus and to become a part of His body, the church.
To to glory of God
Ultimately all that we do as a church is to bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Timothy 1:17, Ephesians 3:20-21).
The glory of God is our highest motivation. We are His people, by His grace, to His glory and praise. All is done to please and promote Him, not ourselves, as this is His church.
This is what we understand God is calling us to. We need to gather together as His people to be His body together; we need to go into all the world, near and far, in order to bring others to Him; we need to grow up into Christ and see His church grow; that in all these things He might get the glory and the honour and the praise. That’s what we’re about… will you join with us in it? That we would be a church that gathers, goes and grows to the glory of our great God?