I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 1Timothy 3:15
If we asked evangelicalism the question, “what is the primary purpose of the church?’ Most often, the differing answers would be influenced by denominational persuasions. These answers would range from, helping those in need, sending out missionaries, evangelism, and collective worship, to being a place where believers are taught the Word of God. All these answers in and of themselves are good and right but do they by themselves, collate the primary purpose of the church?
Can I suggest that because the local church “is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” this should be the catalyst that incites the right purpose. The purpose of the church therefore needs be a body of believers who uphold, live out, teach, explain, encourage, exemplify, embrace and submit to the truth of God as found in His Word. This primary understanding of what the church is, will then motivate believers to be active in all the above and more.
Truth, God’s truth, which is totally “sufficient for life and godliness” (2Pet. 1:3) needs be upheld and seen in the life and teaching of the church. The reason for this is because of our propensity to believe all else but God’s truth. We are still (even as believers) a work of God in progress, therefore we need the church to be ‘God’s living house’ that offers truth from Him regarding how we are to live work, relate witness and worship. I like what Henry-Ward Beecher once said:
The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.