The Church: It's Function
''Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.'' The churches were edified, and they were multiplied. Let's bow in a moment of prayer.
Any institution if it is to be effective must have clearly defined goals and must carry those goals out. No institution can do what it ought to do until it understands what its purpose is and gives itself to accomplishing that purpose.
For instance, the purpose of the school is to educate and its function properly only when it does. A grocery store exists to dispense groceries, and it functions properly when that is what it does and so a institution if it is going to be what it should be must carry out the function for which it is designed.
Now we are living in a time when there has been a great deal of criticism and misunderstanding about the church. Some of the criticism we hear about the church can be justified because there are many churches that stray from their original intention. On the other hand, I think there are some who are critical of the church because they really don't understand what the church is designed to do. So I think it would be helpful for us today before we look at the function of the church to see first of all what the church is not, then what the church is.
Now the church is not, a social institution primarily. Now we gather together and we have fellowship with each other in a social kind of way and we do seek to meet the social needs of people ministering to the sick and ministering to the poor.
But the church doesn't exist primarily to be a social institution. If that is all that it was you could get the same thing from the Red Cross or the lonely hearts club.
The church is not a social institution, neither is the church a political institution.
I believe that every Christian ought to be vitally ...
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