Think about it. What if Jesus was pastor of our church. Would we go? The sad thing it is we might not. Following the Way of Jesus isn’t easy. It is the narrow road and few choose it. It is the way of sacrifice. It is the way of love.
If Jesus were the pastor of your church you probably wouldn’t go there.” ~Francis Chan
Is the purpose of the church to share God’s glory?
The way I see it: I’m concerned about the use of the word church. I think to believers and unbelievers it either connotes a building or a denomination. That is a far cry from what it means in the scriptures since there were no church buildings or denominations.
God is doing a work in His people. It leads to glorification. Now that is amazing. Is this a promise to a particular church or denomination? Nope. It is a promise to those called and justified.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
Romans 8:29–30 (NASB)
Why it matters: So what does “church” mean? Understanding the definition of Ekklesia (and its alternate spelling ecclesia) is an important component of understanding the role of the church. Ekklesia is a Greek word defined as “a called-out assembly or congregation.” Ekklesia is commonly translated as “church” in the New Testament.
God’s Goal: God wants us to reflect His love and kindness in a cruel and evil world. Non-believers see Jesus through His body, the church. Rightly so, hypocrisy is a turn off to many who would come to Jesus. God wants us to reflect His glory. Our mission is to love.
Usually, the reference to the called out assembly of disciples was geographic oriented to a city. For example, Acts 11:26 says that “Barnabas and Saul met with the church [ekklesia]” in Antioch. And in 1 Corinthians 15:9 Paul says that he had persecuted the church [ekklesia] of God.” The “called-out assembly,” then, is a congregation of believers whom God has called out of the world and “into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). The Greek ekklesia is the basis for our English words ecclesiastical (“pertaining to the church”) and ecclesiology (“the study of doctrine concerning the church”).
What it’s all about: So, we see that those He has called, He has justified and glorified. That is our calling as a member of the body of Jesus. This is for the glory of God.
- Matthew 13:43 — “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
- John 17:24 — “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
- Romans 9:23 —And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
- 1 Corinthians 2:7 — 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
- Philippians 3:21 —who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
- Colossians 3:4 —When the Messiah, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:14 —It was for this He called you through our good news, that you may gain the glory of our Master Jesus the Messiah.
- Revelation 2:26–27 — ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father;
- Revelation 3:4–5 — ‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
- Revelation 3:21 — ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
- Romans 8:29–30 (NASB) —For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.