10 May, 2008

Sabbath a'Brakel: What's the Point of the Church?

...The primary purpose of the church's existence is the glorification of God. Since the church is the kingdom of heaven, the people of God have God as their Father and the Lord Jesus as their king, so the glory of God can be observed when these people live in the love and fear of God. This is true when they are obedient to Him as their Lord, trust in Him as the almighty and faithful One, and live pure and holy lives personally among each other and towards others. The Lord's name is desecrated, however, when this people who are called after His Name do not conduct themselves accordingly. It is the Lord's will that His Name be hallowed by the coming of His kingdom (Mat. 6:9-10). He has formed that people to show forth His praise (Isa. 43:21); to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them (1 Pet. 2:9); to be to the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 8:23); and to "be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God" (Isa. 62:3). Therefore "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Mat. 5:16).

The secondary objective is the salvation of the elect. The church functions as a mother (Gal. 4:26), and has within her the Word of God as an incorruptible seed (1 Pet. 1:23). As such she is fruitful unto the conversion of many souls, "And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her" (Psa. 87:5). By means of the preaching of the Word, the Lord will add to "the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47) [II: 53-54].

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