One extremely important question any group of people should ask of themselves, both initially and repeatedly, is – “Why do we exist?” While there are many reasons people choose to gather together, the Body (AKA: Church) is given her purpose for gathering in Scripture. The tragic situation for many churches today is that they have lost their way. They have either forgotten their mission, or even more tragic is some have willingly forsaken the Scriptural purpose of the Church. While there are multiple commands throughout the Old and New Testaments, we here at PRBC believe they can all be summed up into two basic commands. We believe this based off of what Jesus said in Matthew 22:36-40, “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’” We here at PRBC have taken these two core commands and broke it into a single purpose statement that focuses on loving God and people, “Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church exist to Evangelize, Equip, and Exalt Jesus Christ.” Everything we do must exalt Christ, and true love is sharing the Gospel with them and teaching them God’s word.
Here is a brief Explanation of our purpose statement:
All of creation has one ultimate purpose, to bring glory unto God. We exists to worship God the Father, through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Both the Old and New Testament testify that this is our highest privilege and priority. We believe each member must exalt and lift up Christ in worship. We bring glory and honor to God through personal and corporate worship (Psalm 148), and we bring glory and honor to God through lifestyle worship (a living sacrifice, Romans 12:1-2). It is our goal that every aspect of our church to exalts the name of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”; Matthew 4:10, “…Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”; John 4:23-24, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is a spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” 1 Chronicles 29:11-13, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” Everything that is done should glorify God - this is, to make God apparent. Nothing PRBC does should bring glory to itself, but instead should point to God. Paul writes, “... Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31) Exalting God's greatness must go on. Revelations 4 pictures the never-ending activity around the throne of God, “...and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’” And upon Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, “the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ And He answered and said, ‘I tell you, if these becomes silent, the stones will cry out!’” (Luke 19:38-40) May stones never have to do what believers are privileged to do in exalting God's greatness.
PRBC exists to share the Gospel with all people. The whole world, although engulfed in a myriad of problems and concerns, has one ultimate crisis that must be settled in the heart of each living soul. Mankind is tragically mired in sin, is at odds with God, and doomed to eternal death. Every life issue drastically pales in comparison to the eternal consequences of sin. The only solution to mankind's crisis is found in the forgiveness and salvation made possible by the sacrificial death of Jesus. It is for this reason God offered His only beloved Son for our sake. And it is also for this reason that Jesus' parting words to His disciples commissioned them to tell everyone everywhere about the good news of salvation through Christ. Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” The Great Commission literally says, “going” or “as you go.” Witnessing should spring from the overflow of what God is doing in our lives. Peter, standing with John before the Sanhedrin said, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Evangelizing God's world is a natural response for people changed by a supernatural message. We were created to evangelize the lost for Christ, and to be His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We were given the Holy Spirit for a reason, to be witnesses (Acts 1:8). The Church’s number one priority is to pray for salvation of all people. (1 Timothy 2:1-7; 2 Peter 3:9). Paul summarizes this obligation wonderfully when he says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” – (Romans 10:14-15). Elsewhere, Paul would go so far as to say regarding himself, “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Peter would write, in the most eloquent way, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9). PRBC desires earnestly to listen to Paul when he writes, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison, that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:1-6). May we, like Paul, pray for open doors, declare the mysteries, make it clear, walk in wisdom toward outsiders, make the best use of our time, let our speech always be gracious, and know how to answer each person!
Each member must be equipped and equipping others to serve God’s people with our time, our energy, and our financial giving. The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full-time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Scripture. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11-12, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Hosea wrote in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This lack of knowledge appears to be an epidemic today as Gallup polls show a great percentage of Christians with little knowledge of the Bible. Many Christians do no know what they believe or why. It is urgent that the Body of Christ grow to maturity in truth. That is why the Bible repeatedly stresses maturing in faith and in knowledge of the Son. Deuteronomy says to impress the Lord's words on you heart and on you soul, and to teach them to your children lest your hearts be deceived. Satan, in tempting the Lord Jesus, twisted scripture, but the Lord used sound scripture to answer him. Jesus commands His disciples to make more disciples (learners) teaching them to obey. Paul encourages the believer to put on the full armor of God, so that he may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10), because “the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1) Equipping God's people is at the forefront of PRBC's efforts, because the Lord has commissioned the Church to do so. It is vital to every Christian. PRBC is committed to teaching, equipping, and building up God's people. 1 Corinthians 12:4-5, 27, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of services, but the same Lord…Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”; Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”; Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…”; 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul exhorts the reader, “…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also….” Notice! There are four generations in that one verse: 1) Paul, 2) Timothy, 3) faithful men, 4) others. This truth of men investing into other men and women investing in other women is written large across the pages of the Bible.