Our Purpose: "Why We Exist"

"Building a Fellowship of Love" is a phrase you will see in many locations around Liberty. It is more than a motto, it is our very reason for being a New Testament church. While this phrase is simple, it is profound.

In studying the New Testament we find two passages spoken by Christ that go to the core of our reason for existence. "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matt. 22:36-39).

" All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matt. 28:18-20). These two passages define our purpose.

Purpose #1: Love the Lord with all your heart. How do we love the Lord with all our heart? By worshipping him! " O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together." (Psalm 34:3). We shouldn't worship out of duty; we should worship because we want to. We should enjoy expressing our love to God.

Purpose #2: Love your neighbor as yourself. Ministry best describes this purpose. The church exists to minister to people. Ministry is demonstrating God's love to others by meeting their needs and healing their hurts in the name of Jesus. The church is to "...equip the saints for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:12).

Purpose #3: Go and make disciples. This purpose we call evangelism. The church exists to communicate God's Word. We are ambassadors for Christ, and our mission is to evangelize the world. It is every Christian's responsibility to share the Good News wherever we go. Evangelism is more than a responsibility, it is our great privilege. We are invited to be a part of bringing people into God's eternal family.

Purpose #4. Baptizing them. At first glance you might wonder why the Great Commission gives the same prominence to the simple act of baptism as it does to the great tasks of evangelism and edification. Why is baptism so important to warrant inclusion in Christ's great Commission? I believe it is because it symbolizes one of the purposes of the church; that of fellowship - identification with the body of Christ. As Christians we're called to belong, not just believe. Baptism is not only a symbol of salvation, it is a symbol of fellowship. It not only symbolizes our new life in Christ, it visualizes a person's incorporation into the body of Christ. It says to the world, "This person is now one of us!" We are not alone. We have each other for support.

Purpose #5: Teaching them to obey. The church exists to edify, or educate, God's people. Discipleship is the process of helping people become more like Christ in their thoughts, feelings, and actions. This process begins when a person is born again and continues throughout the rest of his life. As a church we are called not only to reach people, but to teach them.