Now that we have examined what is the invisible and visible church, I want to look at the purposes of church (both invisible and visible).
Firstly, the church has a responsibility to praise God. Ultimately everything we do must be a part of this purpose, after all God made us Christians for this very reason: ‘In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory’ (Ephesians 1:11-12). But we have a particular responsibility to praise him together, through listening to his word, prayer and singing: ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God’ (Colossians 3:16).
Secondly, the church has a responsibility to minister to believers. When we become a Christian we are supposed to start being cared for by other Christians and care for other Christians ourselves: ‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ’ (Galatians 6:2). If a church is not nurturing and looking after other members then it is a church that is not fulfilling its responsibilities.
Thirdly, the church has a responsibility to the world. God has in his wisdom chosen to use the church to bring people to his Son, Jesus Christ. People cannot believe in Jesus without hearing the gospel and God usually sends it through the preaching found in his church: ‘How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?’ (Romans 10:14). The church also has a responsibility to care for the physical needs of the world: ‘But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked’ (Luke 6:35).
Does Drummoyne Baptist love to fulfil their responsibilities to God, believers and the world? I hope they do. And if you’re not part of God’s church then let me as the minister of this church encourage you to repent and believe in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins right now. He is the only way you can be saved.