Ephesians 3:21, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Every Sunday my family gets up early in the morning preparing to make the drive to the Church building to worship the Lord with other children of God. Too often, we forget why we are going to gather with the precious Saints. Have you ever asked yourself, What is the purpose of this gathering? When reading through Acts chapter 2, our minds are stirred to the reasons why, and the Lord’s purpose for the Church. Please consider:
(a) Peter’s preaching efforts to glorify God. The preaching effort pointed to God’s Glory, and described man’s sin as well. Peter said that it’s God who poured out the Spirit that day; he said that the Old Testament pointed toward the coming of Jesus Christ and the work He accomplished on Calvary’s Cross; he said that it’s Jesus Christ who arose from the grave and conquered death; he said it’s Jesus that is sitting on the throne of David on the right hand of the Father; Peter said Jesus is the Lord. God’s Glory is the central theme of Peter’s message.
(b) Verse 14, “Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice…” The work of the gospel teaches us that the Church is a Vineyard of labor (1 Timothy 3:1, “a good work”).
(c) Verse 41, “Then they that gladly received his word…”The Church is to uphold truth and enlighten other children of God to a better way of living (1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:15).
(d) Verse 41, “added unto them…” The Church is a place, a city, of refuge from the world.
(e) Verse 42, “they continued…”The Church is to be a gathering of encouragement to those involved. A gathering that establishes the participants in the truth. By rubbing shoulders with one another, we encourage one another in our efforts of obedience and spiritual growth.
(f) Verse 42, “breaking of bread…” The Church is a gathering, a body, where we can commune with one another and with our Savior (Matthew 26:29).
(g) Verse 42, “prayers…” The Church is a gathering, a body, where our minds and hearts are directed toward the Lord.
(h) Verse 46, “gladness and singleness of heart…” The Church is a gathering, a body, where the children of God may be partakers of the temporal joys of God while living in this world; To partake in an experiential healing from the pains of this life.
Of the things listed above, the most important is found in Peter’s sermon (my point a), To Glorify God and Worship Him. Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” In Psalms 100:3, the sweet Psalmist of Israel says “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” If the most important purpose of the Church is to Worship and Glorify God, then His truth should be the most important thing for which we strive. The truth is found in God’s Holy Word (the King James Bible). It is important that we keep in mind that our focus on glorifying, or our lack of focus on glorifying God, will affect our practical lives. In Romans 1:21-22, the Apostle Paul said, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,…” If what we do at Church does not align with His Word, we should, with a longing desire to please Him, Who is above all things, seek a better way. And if what we do at Church does align with His Word, let us be diligent to continue in those things. “…For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13). Amen!