I have days where I feel the need to deconstruct and rebuild everything. Not physically, my car wouldn’t exist if that were true, but in my life. I wonder if I’m the only one who does this. I begin to think, what got me here? What choices did I make to get me where i am today? Some days i think about the church in that realm. How did the church get to be the way it is. It is usually on the heels of a comment by a outspoken Atheist I read on a news article or twitter that I begin to think, why does the world look at us this way? Even further, why do I look at us this way?
So I begin to peel back the layers. Usually when people think about the church, they open their Bibles to Acts 2:42. But that’s not far enough. The church didn’t begin at Acts 2:42. Then some go back to Matthew 28, to the great commission, and some even further to Jesus death on the cross. There are some who go to Matthew 16 where Jesus tells Peter that he will be the rock on which Jesus builds his Church.
But that’s not far enough…
I want to suggest that it goes all the way back to creation. That we were created for God’s glory. Isaiah 43:7 says, “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. So a true understanding of Church goes all the way back to creation.
So if we are created for God’s glory, the most fulfilling thing we can do is to bring him Glory. There it is. The meaning of life in a sentence. But living that out is much more difficult.
So we ask the question, what does it mean to bring God glory. Well first of all we have to look at the narrative that God is telling through the Bible and essentially mankind. That story is that He created us to be in fellowship. That we were created without sin, to walk with God in the garden. But sin separated us from that. And because of that sin, we are eternally separated from God. So we try to build big buildings to get to God and he changes our language. Then God gives us a set of rules to live by to prove that no one is without sin. So we sacrifice animals and become so legalistic to the law that we become self righteous.
But God has a different plan. Even though our sin separated us from God, he was so loving, that he provided the way back to him. Even through our disobedience, sin, murder, hate, racism, pride, and blasphemy, God came down and provided the way back to him through Jesus Christ. And because of Jesus, we can have a eternal relationship with God. Not because of what we’ve do, but because of what he has done. 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
But it doesn’t stop there. John 20 says, “As the father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And the Great commission says, “Go and make disciples.” So it seems that God’s plan for humanity involves the gospel transforming our lives and empowering us practice and proclaim it to others.
So the mission of God, is to bring him glory by demonstrating and declaring his story (the gospel) to everyone we know. And that’s good news.