Sometimes it appears that the Church is being prostituted for purposes that were not given to it by its Lord. These may even be questionable ones, but most often they are good and things with which any Christian should concern himself. But Christ, the head of the Church, has given it a purpose which ought to occupy all its time. And any purposes other than the one only serve to divert its attention. It is true, there are various ways by which the Church’s aim can be served, but becoming involved in those things which have only a remote connection, if any, with the Church’s chief end must be avoided. There are many persons who consider themselves to be “working for the Church,” yet who have never thought of making disciples for Jesus Christ and teaching them all he has commanded. The reason may lie in the fact that there are so many names on the church roll who have no real conception of what it means to be a Church member, a part of the Body of Christ.
It is the Church’s definite responsibility to make disciples and to teach them all the things that Jesus commanded. Is there any other agency, institution, or organization in this world charged with that responsibility? The truth is that it is the business of the Church to make new men, or rather to lend itself to the Lord so that he can make new men through it. Only new men can and will walk in the new ways of life that the Church ought to set before them. We must note that it is the “disciples” who are to be taught to obey Jesus’ commands, not men everywhere who probably do not know Jesus as Lord. We must remember that the Epistles were addressed to the Church, the society of the redeemed. And in one sense Christ’s parable of the wineskins applies here. How ...1
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