The Work of the Church

We would like to reflect on the work of the church designated by God:
Evangelism – The word evangelism carries the idea of preaching the good news, spreading the gospel. In 1Thess.1:8, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” The phrase “sounded out” conveys the idea of trumpeting forth the word of God. This is what evangelism is all about. Paul spoke about the Philippian church supporting him in the work of spreading the gospel,”Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.” 4:15-16. Each church is to spread the gospel according to its ability.
Edification – In Eph.4:16 we read, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” The word, edify, means to build up. Building up takes a lot of time, patience, skill and love to accomplish. Anybody can tear down a building. The church is to teach and instruct the saved in all the ways of the Lord. Matt.28:20, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” For example, when the saints assemble for worship, or when classes are provided to teach and instruct in apostolic doctrine, or when discipline is carried out upon a wayward saint, or when bulletins are passed out. All these things are part of the work of edification of the saints.
Benevolence to Needy Saints – This is the third work that the church is to be engaged in as prescribed of God. In Acts 11:28-30, “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.” Rom.15:25-31, 2Cor.8-9, and 1 Tim.5:16 also speak about this work of helping needy saints in benevolent aid.
Dan McKibben

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