Engage: Week 3
2 Corinthians 5:17-20
• We are now moving into the final phase of the three-fold connection with Jesus Christ: spreading abroad.
• Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
• So, we will see how Scripture leads us to live intentionally as Christians that do more than exist or enjoy life but also engage.
• Illus – A little 7-year-old boy named Alex was staring at a large plaque in the church foyer. The plaque was covered with names and small American flags. As Alex looked at it, his pastor walked up and said, “Good morning Alex.” Alex said, “Pastor, what it this? “Well, it is a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.” Soberly, they stood together staring at the plaque. In a tender voice Alex asked, “Which service, the 8:30 or the 11:00?”
• Last week, we talked about sharing as a way of engaging actively in the Christian life. One of the ways we share is by serving others. When we share our time, our kindness, our talents, our wisdom, and yes even our funds with someone in need of it, we are serving.
• Illus – Years ago, the Salvation Army was holding an international convention and their founder, Gen. William Booth, could not attend because of physical weakness. He cabled his convention message to them. It was one word: "OTHERS."
• But our ultimate service is not to people. It is to the Lord.
1. Mature (v. 17)
A. A New Creature
1. A New Destiny – New Heavens and New Earth; “I make all things new.”
2. A New Promise – The New Covenant
3. A New Command – Love One Another
4. A New Lump (1 Cor. 5:7)
5. A New Man – Combining Jew with Gentile (Eph. 2:15)
6. You are a new creation of God, therefore you ought to act like it.
B. Galatians 6:15 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
1. This is the same phrase as what we find in 2 Cor. 5:17.
C. Old Things Are Passed Away
1. Including how we serve God and others
D. All Things Are Become New
1. “Are becoming new”
2. We all are a work in progress.
3. Illus – “Most people wish to serve God -- but in an advisory capacity only.”
2. Minister (v. 18)
A. A growing church is a church in motion. A church moves by ministering.
B. What is ministry? (2 Cor. 5:18)
1. Reconciliation is the work that God did through Jesus Christ when a person is brought back into a right relationship with God. This is a result of salvation. God, in his grace brings a person to himself when they place their faith in him.
2. Illus – Explain the fact that God never moved, but we left him as sheep going astray and wandering without a shepherd.
3. The relationship was broken by sin, but it has been restored (reconciled) by God because of our faith and trust in him.
4. All of us have been given the ministry of reconciliation.
a. Jesus’ twelve disciples did not apply for the job of disciple. They didn’t visit the corporate office to drop off their resume. Jesus called them out of their mundane, everyday lives.
b. This knocked down the possibility of pride in themselves.
c. As a Christian, it is good for me to remember that I did not go looking for God as much as God came looking for me.
d. This will give us patience when we come across people who aren’t as excited about the Gospel as we are.
C. How is ministry done?
1. It’s done the way Jesus did it. He spent time with people.
2. People don’t find full reconciliation and healing in 5 minutes.
3. Find someone who needs you. How do you do that? Ask God to show you and give you a burden for them.
4. Ask them to have lunch with you or meet you for a breakfast tornado at CJ’s, if that’s all the time you can get.
5. Take them a gift, if that helps, like a book or a sermon CD or something that shows you care about their soul.
6. Tell them a little about your story and why you care about them. Then ask them to tell you their story.
7. And don’t forget to be interested in their story. Ask them some simple questions to show them you are listening.
8. And, don’t fail to point them to Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Don’t ask them to look to you, but tell them, “We need to get in the Bible about this, because I bet if we look for it, God will give you some wisdom to help that situation.”
D. Ministry may start with a kind word or giving your time and energy to someone else, but it isn’t completed until we have pointed them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Because it is a ministry of reconciliation that God has given to us.
1. If Jesus could bow and wash dirty Galilean feet, I can learn to serve others, as well.
3. Missions (vv. 19-20)
• The Great Commission in 5 Parts
1. Matthew 28:19-20 – Go make disciples and plant churches
Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
2. Mark 16:15 – preach the Gospel in every corner of the world
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
3. Luke 24:46-48 – there must be an effort to tell the Gospel as a personal witness to it
Luke 24:46-48 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (48) And ye are witnesses of these things.
4. John 20:21 – we are on a mission
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you
5. Acts 1:8 – it will only happen in God’s power with his blessing
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
• The ministry of reconciliation is not just for Unionville, MO. God has called us to serve him by reaching the world.
o 86 countries prohibit or restrict Western missionaries. 60% of unreached people groups live in countries closed to missionaries from North America.
o Over 160,000 believers will be martyred this year.
o Despite Christ's command to evangelize, 67% of all humans from AD 30 to the present day have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ.
o Around 30 million people this year will perish without hearing the message of salvation. 70,000+ people die everyday in the unreached world without Jesus.
• Missionaries are partners with the local church to fulfill the Great Commission. Our church has 6 missionaries that we currently support, and we regularly have missionaries visit the church to share their calling. May God give us the vision and the burden to reach more people around the world for Jesus Christ.
• Illus – A.T. Pierson – “Whatever is done for God, without respect of its comparative character as related to other acts, is service, and only that is service. Service is, comprehensively speaking, doing the will of God. He is the object. All is for Him, for His sake, as unto the Lord, not as unto man. Hence, even the humblest act of humblest disciple acquires a certain divine quality by its being done with reference to Him. The supreme test of service is this: 'For whom am I doing this?' Much that we call service to Christ is not such at all....If we are doing this for Christ, we shall not care for human reward or even recognition. Our work must again be tested by three propositions: Is it work from God, as given us to do from Him; for God, as finding in Him its secret of power; and with God, as only a part of His work in which we engage as co-workers with Him."”
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