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The New Testament church met together for a specific purpose. Paul urges his readers that whatever they do, they should “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). Therefore, the church exists to glorify God. Everything the church does should be done with the purpose of glorifying God and exalting Christ. At the same time, however, Paul emphasizes the need for believers to be edified because when believer were edified or built up, then God receives glory (1 Cor 12). There are at least five main ways this purpose is accomplished. First, the church glorifies God through worship which involves reading and preaching God’s word (1 Cor 1:23-24; Col. 4:6; 1 Tim 4:2), praying (1 Tim 2:8), singing (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16-17), taking a collection (1 Cor 16;22; 2 Cor 9:612) and celebrating the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:17-34). Second, the church glorifies God through fellowship, which includes bearing one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2; see also Acts 2:42; Heb 10:24-25). Third, the church glorifies God through discipleship, which includes equipping all believers (Eph 4:11-12) and training new leaders (1 Tim 2:2). Fourth, the church glorifies God through service, which includes using one’s spiritual gifts (1 Tim 4:14). Finally, the church glorifies God through evangelism and missions. Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission (Mt 28:19-20) and Paul expected the churches he planted to share the good news with others.[1]

[1] Benjamin Merkle, ed., “Paul’s Ecclesiology,” in Paul’s Mission Methods: In His Time and Ours, ed. Robert L. Plummmer and John Mark Terry (Downer’s Grove: IVP, 2012), 58.

The lecture notes may be found here:  Lesson 2 The Church is Doxological