I. A High View of God
“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Whether we’re eating, drinking, fellowshipping, or doing ministry, it is all to be done with one single goal in mind. Not our pleasure, not the nice, comfortable ministry we love to have, but that God’s glory would be extended to the ends of the earth.
God created man to glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever. This is so that He might display His power, His majesty, and His glory. If the church would grow and be effective, it must have as its central passion the glory of almighty God—not itself (Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 7:12). The life and ministry of our own majestic Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the model for this truth (John 17).
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).
II. A Commitment to the Sufficiency of Scripture
“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).
Scripture has inherent authority because of its source. The Bible is not a collection of the special insights and deep musings of men—it is God’s truth. It is binding and absolute.
“Men . . . moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21).
“Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).
God’s Word is absolutely sufficient, comprehensively relevant, endlessly practical, and exhaustive as a complete resource for the Christian! Scripture never lacks an answer to moral and spiritual matters. Second Timothy 3:16 exemplifies the full training process of believers:
– Teaching lays the foundation of truth.
– Reproof exposes where we go astray from the truth.
– Correction points the way back to the truth.
– Training equips us to walk in obedience to the truth.
Beginning with Scripture, interacting with Scripture, and ending with Scripture bring about the result of the believer being “adequate,” being equipped for every good work (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Timothy 2:21; Titus 3:1). If a church would be effective, it must be committed to the sufficiency of God’s Word.
III. A Biblical View of Man
We know that we are everlasting beings. We know that inherently because God placed it within us (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We alone as creatures possess a soul, and in this way we are distinct from animals (Genesis 1:26-28). Therefore our understanding of relationships, especially with our Creator, is set innately within our own hearts.
Furthermore, Romans 1:18-19 teaches that God placed within every man the knowledge of Himself. There is the knowledge that God does exist and that includes the idea of a relationship with our Creator. Man also knows inherently that he is fallen and on a path toward judgment. Judgment is coming and men know it.
“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them” (Romans 1:18-20).
Man has tried to hide the issue from the very beginning. In Genesis we read of the fall of Adam and Eve. With the opening of their eyes, we find shame, guilt, devious thought, deception, fear, excuses, blame-shifting, and pride. Adam and Eve knew immediately that they now had a desperate need; they were now separated from God. If survival were possible, it would have to come from God!
That same need was passed to us. Sin and death came into the world through Adam’s one sin. All of us are guilty of sin (Romans 3:10-12, 23; 5:6-12; Ephesians 2:3; Colossians 1:21).
The church has the privilege of bringing hope and good news to the world.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
IV. The Purpose of the Church
The church is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). This is one of the supreme priorities of God’s people when we gather. We are the pillar and support of the truth. It is our charge to guard the truth that we have been given (1 Timothy 6:20-21).
The church practices mutual edification in love. When the church meets, believers come alongside one another to disciple, to build up, to encourage, and to strengthen one another.
The church trains its members for service and discipleship (Ephesians 4:11-15). Believers make disciples of Christ and train them to maturity, edifying the body and making more disciples (2 Timothy 2:2).
The church is a light in the darkness. The church does not gather as an end in itself. The church is called to be a massive influence upon the world for the gospel (Acts 17:6). God is building the church on His terms, not man’s.
V. A Right View of Church Leadership
What does the Bible demand, and what should a congregation expect of its leaders? A man in spiritual leadership cannot just be faithful in teaching truth; he must live it (Ezra 7:10; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9).
Church leaders don’t earn the right to preach; they are given the privilege to preach by God, and they are not self-appointed. That’s a humbling fact, and humility should be the benchmark for any leader of God’s people (Isaiah 66:1-2). A leader should exalt the truth—not himself. Faithful leaders will pursue the knowledge of God, the character of Christ, and the advancement of God’s glory.
The church belongs to God, and church leaders are merely overseers, called by God, gifted by God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and accountable to God. An effective and powerful ministry has leaders who are free from self-interest. They are sincere in their desire to serve God’s people, rather than to seek honor for themselves. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Church leaders are responsible to protect the flock (Acts 20:28-30) and to feed and tend the flock (1 Timothy 4:6).