The Work of the Church

The church has two definitions:

1. The church that Jesus built (Matthew 16:18)
Matthew 16:18

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
, is a spiritual church or kingdom, which contains all the saved, past, present and future. This is the kingdom that Jesus will deliver to god. (1 Corinthians 15:24)
1 Corinthians 15:24

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
This spiritual church is referred to as the universal church or universal body of Christ. The universal body of Christ has no organizational framework, it can only function through the action of its individual members. Individual Christians may do many good works that may not be done by the local church.

2. The local church(s) where living members of the universal church gather together to carry out the commands of Christ as found in the new testament. Nothing can be a scriptural work of the church unless it is authorized in the New Testament.

The Work Of The Church Is Not:

To engage in fund-raising projects to do its work

There is no scriptural authorization for the church to sell products, services, rumage sales, or engage in any other income that is not a free will offering by individual members. It may not have weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, or funerals by renting the building for profit. The church is not autorized to seek financing to support its work. A free will offering from its members, each first day of the week, is the only authorized source of income for the church.

I Corinthians 16:1-3
I Corinthians 16:1-3

1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

         2 Corinthians 9:7
2 Corinthians 9:7

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

To try to run the government

Members of the church have no business becoming involved with politics to try to to enforce the law or run the country. Jesus stated his position toward government when he said in    Matthew 22:21
Matthew 22:18 - 21

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

To furnish entertainment for its members

There is no scripture that authorizes money to be taken from a church treasury to do this

To improve social conditions or have colleges or universities

There is no scripture that authorizes money to be taken from a church treasury to do this

The Work Of The Church Is:

Preaching the Gospel

We are to preach the gospel. We are to know nothing but Christ and him crucified. The Lord did not commission us to preach our philosophies, our theories, or the wild speculations of men. We are not to preach on any theme except the gospel of Christ. The church is a divine institution. It is to be always engaged in the spiritual business that God has appointed.

Mark 16:15-16
Mark 16:15-16

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

         Matthew 28:18-20
Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The members did what the Lord asked them to do. They preached the Word.

Acts 8:1,4
Acts 8:1,4

1 At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles
...
4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

Benevolence

Local churches helped their own members who were in need. There was a great famine throughout the land of Judea. The members of the church at Antioch took a collection and sent the money to the church in Judea.

Acts 11:27-30
Acts 11:27-30

27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.
30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

When there are little children homeless, afraid, hungry and destitute with no one to care, the universal church, acting through its individual members does what it can to make life better for them. When the elderly are homeless and need the necessities of life, it is also the responsibility of the individual members of the universal church to take care of them. If they are members of the universal church then the local church has some responsibility to take care of them.

Acts 6:1-4
Acts 6:1-4

1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

         1 Timothy 5:3-16
1 Timothy 5:3-16

3 Honor widows who are really widows.
4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.
5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.
6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.
7 And these things command, that they may be blameless.
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,
10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,
12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.
13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
15 For some have already turned aside after Satan.
16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

Edifying the members

To edify means to build up, to strengthen, to encourage. It is to help the members of the church grow spiritually. What are some of the things that edify? God's Word, fellowship, engaging in worship, helping one another, good works, love, etc.

Acts 9:31
Acts 9:31

Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

                             Romans 14:19
Romans 14:19

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

             1 Corinthians 8:1
1 Corinthians 8:1

Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

I Corinthians 14:7-12
I Corinthians 14:7-12

7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?
8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.
11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.
12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

      1 Corinthians 14:26
1 Corinthians 14:26

How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification

     2 Corinthians 12:19
2 Corinthians 12:19

Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.

Ephesians 4:12
Ephesians 4:12

for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

                 1 Thessalonians 5:11
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

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