JESUS IS LIGHT MINISTRIES
(LIGHT CHAPEL, WORLDWIDE)
YEAR OF UNLIMITED GREATNESS
STUDY 13: THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD (I)
TEXT: MATTHEW 5: 13 – 16.
Although the church is not expected to participate in or give support to worldly practices, however it is highly essential that the church should be in the world and not the world infiltrating the church. The Lord Jesus pointed out this truth in His prayers for the church (John 17: 14 – 16).
THE FUNCTIONS OF A LOCAL CHURCH IN THE COMMUNITY (Matt 5: 13 – 16)
There is high level of moral decadence in the society today. Corruption has gradually become the norm of the society. All these indicate that we are in the end-time (II Tim 3:1-6). Therefore, the church needs to rise up with the proof of her identity to rescue the decaying society.
As Christians, we are to function as light to the world and salt to the earth. These functions can be carried out as:
- Spiritual Duty:
This is the bedrock of the roles or functions of Christians in the world and can be expressed in:
- Making intercession for all men (I Tim 2: 1)
- Making intercession for the people in whose hands lies the affair of the community –the kings and the others in authority. Christian peaceful living and activities in the society can only be ensured when the society is peaceful (I Tim 2: 2; Jer. 29: 7).
- Living by the standard of God’s word with a conscience void of offence (Acts 24: 16; II Cor. 1: 12).
- Social Duty: this is a tool in the hand of Christians for effective evangelism. Much as we show concern for the spiritual needs of the community, we need to do more to show concern for their social needs as well.
- The feeding of five thousand and four thousand by Jesus the Lord was an attempt to meet the social needs of the people after He had given attention to their spiritual needs (in Matt 14: 14ff and 15: 32ff); so also was the turning of water into wine (in John 2).
- See the example of the early church (in Acts 4: 33 – 37)
- Civic Duty: as Christians, we are required to be good citizens. The Bible never teaches us to be disobedient to the constituted authority. Although individual Christians should not become so involved in politics that they neglect other God-given duties. But Christians are not to refuse all involvement in any issues that surround politics and elections; payment of taxes and dues etc as required for community development. (Study Rom 13: 1 – 7; I Peter 2: 13 – 17; Matt 22: 21).
As Christians we are required to present ourselves relevant to the society in which we are. This we should do in order to influence our world and not the world influencing us (I John 2: 15 – 17). And regardless of how the government responds to our efforts, we must continue to live faithfully before God, even if we must suffer at the hands of government officials for doing what is right (I Peter 2:19; 3:16).