OUR PURPOSE: Why We Exist As A Church
The Purpose of the church may be summarized in a single sentence based on Key Scriptures.
"TO CONTINUE THE MINISTRY OF JESUS TO ALL GENERATIONS THROUGH A BALANCED CHURCH MINISTRY." Luke 4:18-19; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2: 41-47.
Jesus' inital recorded sermon was from the prophetic writings of Isaiah 61:1-2 which outlined His message and ministry. There are five basic areas of work which Jesus focused upon in His ministry.
- "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. (EVANGELISM)
- He sent me to heal the brokenhearted, (COUNSELING)
- To preach deliverance to the captives (DELIVERANCE)
- And recovery of sight to the blind, (HEALING)
- To set at liberty those who are oppressed. (SOCIAL MINISTRY)
- To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (EVANGELISM)
Luke 4:18-19 NKJV
Notice how Jesus' ministry is a deliberate balanced work, designed to combat evil and meet the whole needs of man.
"...He has appointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor."
Jesus placed evangelism both at the beginning and the end of His outlined ministry. The purpose for which He came to earth was to pay man's sin-debt and restore broken fellowship with God.
COUNSELING"...He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted."
Although this statement may not appear in some new Testament manuscripts, ISAIAH 61:1 presents it as a Messianic ministry. Jesus is called "Wonderful, Counselor" in ISAIAH 9:6. We see Jesus fulfilling His counseling role many times in the Gospels. Listen to Him exhort Nicodemus to be "born again," urge the woman at the well to drink "living water," and challenge the adulteress to walk in freedom and forgiveness.
DELIVERANCE"...to preach deliverance to the captives."
The emphasis upon the word "captives" in the Greek text refers to those prisoners held at spear point. Captives also indicate a captor. Jesus defeated Satan's demon army and now holds the prison doors open for whosoever will walk free from demonic activitiy. Thirty % of Jesus' recorded ministry dealt with demons and deliverance. Both accounts of the Great Commission (MATTHEW 28: 18-20 and MARK 16: 15-18) charge the church in all generations with the power and authority to set the capitve free.
HEALING"...recovery of sight to the blind."
The Great Physician went about healing all sickness and disease. He delighted in restoring to man wholeness of spirit, mind, and body. Jesus not only healed, but gave the power to other disciples to heal the sick and handicapped in all generations as attested in Scripture and history. The earliest version of the Great Commission (MARK 16: 15-18) and (JAMES 5: 14-15) bestow Jesus' healing ministry upon the ageless church.
SOCIAL MINISTRY"...To set at liberty those who are oppressed."
The Greek text indicated that the bruised are people crushed by circumstances of life. Jesus saw the hungry multitudes and fed them. He emphasized the importance of meeting the physical needs of people, the hungry and thirsty, the stranger, the sick, and those in prison (MATTHEW 25:35-46).
JESUS, OUR EXAMPLE
A disciple is someone who learns from a teacher by instruction and example. The test of a true disciple is whether he/she imitates the teacher in word and deed. This is certainly the Biblical model of true discipleship. Few disciples of Jesus Christ have ministries today that are modeled after the Five-Fold Ministry of Jesus. Large groups of Christians even deny that areas of Jesus work are valid for today. "Miracles and the gifts ended with the Apostles." Some are even calling the deliverance ministry "a new doctrine" (MARK 1:27).
IT IS TIME
It is time for the Church to come to grips with the divine mandate of our Lord to continue the Five-Fold Ministry He began. Thus will the Church have properly balanced ministry. We have the commission and authority.