Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces”
The church of today has become a man made, man run and man built business in many ways. The truth however is that the church belongs to Jesus Christ and must be built by Him and Him alone. Where we come in as believers is that we are the instruments He uses to build His church if we are willing and obedience to submit to Him.
It is important for us to understand what the church is and what our roles are as instruments in the hands of God to build the church of Jesus Christ.
The church simply put is the body of Christ, and as a body the church has only one Head which is Jesus Christ. The church is usually mistaken to mean the building or a denomination but not so. The church is not the building but rather the church is the people that congregate in the building. The word ‘church’ means ‘called out of’ and it was derived from the Greek word for assembly, which is ‘ekklesia’. The ‘called out’ in this case are the believers of Jesus Christ. So the church therefore can also be described as an assembly of believers called out as the body of Christ, with Christ as the Head.
Now that we know what the church is, our next question should be ‘what is the purpose of the church?’ The purpose of the church is to make disciples for Jesus Christ. This great commission is to be undertaken by every believer and it is for two main goals. The first goal is for Christ to build His body to become like Him through us, and the second goal is for Christ to bring in more members into His body through us.
How does Jesus build His church through us? Much like a human body that has different parts such as the hands, legs, neck, shoulder etc each member of the body of Christ serves as a part of the body. Just like the human body, these parts work together and depend on each other and they all get their command to operate from the brain or the Head. The body of Christ must depend on Christ as the Head because He is the fullness of God and the only source of what we need to function.
The bible says the way the church grows is when every member is functioning properly. When every member functions properly, then each member is able to supply what is needed to promote unity and edification in the body of Christ. This is why we are given different gifts to serve one another with. These are not gift according to importance because just like the human body, no part is greater, independent or more dispensable than the other. All the gifts operating in the body of Christ supply a valuable thing to the body and they collectively glorify God. These gifts also have to be operated according to the Spirit of God and in love so that it can produce the type of growth which is from God and which is pleasing to God
So how does Jesus bring in more members into His body? Jesus brings in more members into His body through us when we partake in the great commission. The great commission is to be undertaken by all believers, not just those with the gift of evangelism, those who belong to an evangelism team or those who are called to be pastors. Every believer has the mandate to reach out to unbelievers and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every believer must also see to it that he is a salt and a light to those around him both in words and in deeds.
As salt, a believer is to preserve from decay. We are to be full of saltiness and not lose our saltiness by partaking of decay or encouraging decay. This goes a long way because it draw others especially unbelievers to us and inadvertently into the body of Christ. As salt we must also be a source of healing, and savor in the life of others both believers and unbelievers. Another way we help bring members into the body of Christ as salt is that we can induce thirst for the living water of God among unbelievers much like salt does to us when we take it in excess.
As light we can help bring more members into the body of Christ when we serve as the light that point to the way of God and that overcomes darkness around us through our conduct.
All these we can only do with the help of the Holy Spirit and by always getting our nourishment and direction from Jesus Christ Himself.
Ephesians 1:22,23 “And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.”
Matthew 28:19, 20 “Go, therefore, and make disciples ofall nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Ephesians 4;16 “From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.”
Colossians 2: 18, 19 “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God.”
1 Peter 4:10, 11 “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”
Temitope Talabi is a founding member of The Trent Voices currently reside in Austin, TX. She graduated with a PharmD from Texas Southern University in Houston, TX. She works as a community pharmacist and spends her spare time writing to build and encourage others through the word of God. Temitope is also currently working on a series of self-help books created to empower people to take charge of their health and wellness, the first of which is scheduled to be released early next year.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.