Acts 2 describes the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. Here are 5 reasons for the Church:
1. To praise God. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us the Church is to proclaim the goodness of God, who called her out of darkness into His wonderful light. We are set apart in a world that will reject and despise us for praising Him. We are to offer through Jesus a sacrifice of praise to God as the fruit of our loyalty to His name (Heb 13:15).
2. To share in God’s glory. Romans 8:29-30 reveals the plan of God from before creation. The final link in the “chain” of God’s gracious acts is to glorify His people. If the Lord has already done all the other things, we can be fully confident that He will complete this final work of glorifying His Church. One day when Jesus comes again, the Church will eventually shine like the sun in the kingdom of God (Matt 13:43).
3. To be built by God. Jesus promised his disciples in Matthew 16:18 that He will build His Church in such a way that not even the powers of hell will overcome it. 1 Peter 2:5 sees each individual Christian as living stones in God’s new temple. When believers come to faith in Christ, the Church is being built up. Each living stone is significant and is placed in a purposeful way as part of God’s design. This is indeed God’s great project of redemption.
4. To challenge Satan’s dominion. God intends the Church to make known His manifold wisdom to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 3:10-11). These rulers and authorities can be either good or evil spiritual powers. Beholding God’s wisdom as displayed through the Church leads good angels to glorify God since they “long to look” into God’s redemptive plan (1 Pet 1:12). Evil powers, on the other hand, are reminded that God’s plan of uniting all things under Christ (Eph 1:9–10) has decisively begun and that their final defeat is imminent (1 Cor 15:24).
5. To go into the world in mission. The Church has been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-20). God in His wisdom has entrusted the Church with His message of salvation. We must, therefore, be ambassadors for Christ to make God’s appeal to the rest of the world. The Church is to be a shining light amid a crooked and twisted generation (Phil 2:15), nonetheless by the power of the Holy Spirit we can be witnesses even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Deacon Mervin Lin