The church is not an afterthought; it is the purpose of Jesus’ death (Titus 2:14), the continuing presence of Christ in the world (Eph. 1:23), and the final destination for all God’s people (Rev. 21:2-3). Few things are of greater importance therefore than the vitality of the people who Jesus purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28). For Christ is the head of his body, the church, and he is wholly committed to her growth (Eph. 4:11-16). In this way the promise of Jesus to build his hell-defying church is no excuse for carelessness, but is a call to wage war under the Victor’s charge with all the strength that he supplies (Matt. 16:18).