Over the last two weeks, we have spent time unpacking the doctrine of the church. We have considered the “what” and “how” of the church, and today, in our third and final week, we will be looking at the “why.” Why does the church exist? For what purpose has God left us in the world?

The best way for us to find the answer to this question is to look to the words of our lord Jesus himself. In Matthew 28:19–20, Jesus tells his disciples exactly what they are being left on earth to do. He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” In its most simple form, the mission of the church is to make disciples.

But how does the church make disciples? Thankfully, the Bible answers this question clearly for us as well. The church makes disciples in two primary ways—by loving one another, and by proclaiming Christ.

It may at first seem strange to say that the church makes disciples by loving one another, but Jesus clearly taught that his people’s love for each other is one of their primary witnesses to the truth of the gospel. During his last night on earth, Jesus said to his disciples, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). The world sees the power of Jesus clearly on display when God’s people, empowered by the Holy Spirit, love one another in ways that shouldn’t be possible and in ways that are completely contrary to the world around them.

The church also makes disciples by proclaiming Christ. In his death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus offers forgiveness and salvation to all who would turn away from their sin and trust in him alone for the righteousness required to stand before the judgement of a holy God. This is very good news! And good news is exactly what the word ‘gospel’ means. This good news turns hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, and it is the message that Jesus has entrusted to the church to proclaim to those who have not yet placed their faith in him. As this good news is lovingly proclaimed to a lost and dying world, God, through his Holy Spirit, gives new life to lost sinners and unites them to Christ and to his church for all eternity.

And the most amazing thing of all? Even as God gives his church this mission, he also gives the power to accomplish it. God is the one who sovereignly works to bring all those whom he has chosen to himself. So let us love one another with the love that was first given to us, and let us proclaim the good news of salvation to a broken world that desperately needs to hear it!

All the best,


Prepare your heart for Sunday by reading the passage and listening to the songs we’ll sing.