Sunday, August 13, 2017

Exaltation - The God-Honoring Purpose of the Church

Psalm 99 begins with the proclamation that the Lord reigns and ends with the command, "Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy."  This is a great summary of a major theme that runs through the entirety of Scripture.  God is king and we exist to declare that and worship Him for it.

This is basically what we mean when we say that Grace Baptist Church exists to glorify God.  In fact, if you look at our mission statement, it reads, "Grace Baptist Church exists to glorify God by bringing people into God's family through the gospel, building them up into mature followers of Christ, and training them for ministry in the church and to the world."

That's a lot of words!  And we don't expect everyone can remember something like that, so we have boiled it down to 4 words that all begin with the letter E (of course I alliterated - I'm a Baptist after all).  These are Exaltation, Evangelism, Edification, and Equipping.  This is what we do and who we are.

First and foremost, we are here because God created us in order to exalt him.  While it is true that God created everything for His glory (see the 2nd question to the Catechism for Young Children), God has uniquely designed the local church to be a display of His glory.

Display of His glory.  This is what we mean when we talk about exaltation.  We, as the people of God, exist as a display of God's glory.  We don't make God more glorious than He is.  We can't. But, we do display the glory that is there. Everything we do - preaching the gospel, singing songs, praying together, reading Scripture, teaching the Bible, eating food a pot-lucks, sending out missionaries, ministering to our community, discipling one another, disciplining errant church members is designed by God and must be planned by us to display not our own greatness, but the greatness of the God who saved us.

This is the primary mission of the church - to exalt the Lord our God.  And, it's the primary interest of God as well - His own glory.  It's good for us to have the same motivation as God, isn't it?  So, let's keep that motivation at the center of everything we do.