Every believer should know and understand the purpose for which God established His church. But it would be a grievous mistake to view that purpose merely as a corporate enterprise. For in order for the church to fulfill its God-ordained mission, each believer must “own” the mission personally. In other words, each of us must view the mission of the church as the “Mission of __________________” (place your name in the blank). To what degree, then, are we embracing the following responsibilities and privileges of our mission?
I am to glorify God. Fulfilling this mission is the first, last, and ultimate duty of every believer. All else both follows and supports this overriding goal. Not only does this mission constitute the “big picture” for the church (“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” [Eph. 3:21]), it also includes the minutiae of my daily life (“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” [I Cor. 10:31]). All my choices, plans, desires, activities, and thoughts should be governed by this question: Does this glorify God?
I am to edify others. “Let us therefore follow after [“pursue”] the . . . things wherewith one may edify another” (Rom. 14:19). The idea of pursuit is one that involves conscious intention and deliberate effort; it demands energy and determination. Does this activity build up my brethren in the Lord, or does it tear them down? Does it strengthen and encourage them, make them more faithful, cause them to love the Lord more? Those objectives are my duty.
I am to purify myself. I have no greater privilege than that of self-judgment. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 7:1). “And every man that hath this hope in him [of seeing Christ at the rapture and being like Him] purifieth himself, even as he is pure (I John 3:3). Self-cleansing forestalls God’s chastening hand upon me, enables me to serve, and glorifies the Lord.
I am to prepare myself for service. Paul reminded the Ephesians that one of the primary roles of a pastor was to prepare others for “the work of the ministry [i.e., “service”]” (Eph. 4:12). Continually, I am to be preparing myself to serve the Lord and to serve others. The world tells me that I should prepare to take advantage of every opportunity that will advance me. But as a believer, my first duty is not to myself and my desires but to the will of the Lord, to the needs of His body, the church, and to the lost.
I am to evangelize the lost. Paul’s testimony includes me: “God . . . hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (II Cor. 5:19b, 20). I am not to be of the world, but I am to be in the world for the purpose of pointing the lost to Christ.
I am to stand against evil in the world. “Earnestly contend for the faith” is Jude’s trenchant command (v. 3). I am to oppose sin and evil wherever I confront it by living a godly life myself and by openly rebuking sin as occasion affords opportunity.
I am to promote good generally. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). Just as Christ blessed those who cursed Him, I am to attempt to be a blessing to all who cross my path.
Personalizing these goals, making “I” the subject of these duties is uncomfortably personal, but unless we are doing this routinely, we are forsaking our calling as blood-bought saints. Do you, believer, acknowledge this mission as your personal responsibility? Nothing less is worthy your calling.
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