Read for This Week’s Study: Eph. 5:23-27; Matt. 20:25-28; Titus 1:9; Matt. 16:19; Gal. 6:1, 2; Matt. 28:18-20.
Memory Text: “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave” (Matthew 20:26, 27, NKJV).
As Seventh-day Adventists, we are Protestant Christians who believe that salvation is through faith alone in what Jesus Christ has accomplished for humanity. We do not need a church or a church hierarchy in order to receive the benefits of what Christ has done for us. What we get from Christ we get directly from Him, as our Substitute on the cross and as our mediating High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
Nevertheless, the church is God’s creation, and God placed it here for us, not as a means of salvation but as a vehicle to help us express and make manifest that salvation to the world. The church is an organization that Jesus created for the spreading of the Gospel into the world. Organization is important insofar as it solidifies and enables the mission of the church. Without a church organization, Jesus’ saving message could not as effectively be communicated to others. Church leaders are important, too, in that they foster unity and exemplify the example of Jesus.
This week we study why church organization is crucial for mission and how it can foster church unity.