Question: What is the purpose, or mission, of the New Testament church?
The pattern we find in the New Testament is that Jesus’s church partook vigorously in three general areas of work:
So what are these things—what do they look like, and how do we do them? Let’s start with #3: Benevolence.
Benevolence consists of various acts of kindness, goodness, or service toward our fellow man—done either collectively or individually (cf. Gal. 6:1ff; 1 Thess. 1:3; 1 Tim. 5:8-16; Jas. 1:27; Gal. 2:10; et al.). As a rule, the first-century church was very selfless, being extremely “open-handed” and generally very service-minded, but especially so toward those within the family of God (cf. Acts 2:45; 3:34-37; Gal. 6:1ff; 2 Cor. 8:1-5; et al.). This was because of their changed hearts and spiritually “overhauled” dispositions; but it was also a divinely-inspired command (Gal. 6:9,10; cf. Matt. 25:34-45). Because of their benevolent hearts and hands, “there was not a needy person among them [in the church]” (Acts 4:34).
The solution to poverty—local, national, and global—is NOT Socialism or Communism or Marxism;
it is NOT “Robin-Hood-ism” or Liberalism or Humanitarianism;
it is NOT Nationalism or Globalism, Conservatism or Capitalism;
it is NOT Catholicism or Protestant Denominationalism;
nor is the key to be found in any government program (including the well-intentioned ones).
The cure for poverty—and indeed for ALL the world’s problems—is true New Testament Christianity in its purest (only) form.