Missions in Light of God’s Mission

Yesterday, I finished reading Christopher J.H. Wright’s book, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. In the chapter entitled, “Jesus and his Old Testament Mission,” Wright says the following about how Jesus’ understanding of his mission should influence our own conception of missions:

Globe in Hands“So we ought to realize then that missionary commitment is not some kind of optional extra for the extra-enthusiastic. Nor was it just a new idea invented by Jesus to give his disciples something to do with the rest of their lives. Still less was it a merely modern movement of the church that coincided with colonial expansionism. Mission lies at the very heart of all God’s historical action in the Bible. Mission to his fallen, suffering, sinful human creation, and indeed ultimately to his whole creation as well. That is why he called Abraham, sent Jesus, and commissioned his apostles. For there is one servant people, one Servant King, one servant mission.” (p. 175)

He then goes on to describe what the character of missions should be in light of Jesus’ mission: Continue reading Missions in Light of God’s Mission

We Are All Witnesses

my sermon from last Sunday:

We Are All Witnesses
Acts 1:1-11

  1. What We Witness
    1. Witness = martys-> martyr
      1. Testifies to facts
      2. Offers the truth
      3. Gives an evangelistic confession
    2. Christians testify to the facts and truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection and give a confession of the salvation we have through them.
  2. Why We Witness
    1. The Resurrection is Real (1:3)
    2. God Is Working Through Us (1:1, 8)
    3. The Gospel Is Our Only Hope for Change (1:6-8)
    4. Time Is Short (1:11)
  3. Where We Witness
    1. Jerusalem
    2. Judea and Samaria
    3. The End of the Earth
  4. How We Witness
    1. Through the Empowerment of the Holy Spirit
    2. Each According to His Gifts and Calling
    3. Both Individually and as a Church

Ministers of Reconciliation

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

Paul packs so much into these few verses that it’s a little overwhelming to try and tackle it all so let me just make a few observations on how this all relates to evangelism. Continue reading Ministers of Reconciliation

Beautiful Feet

12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 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? 15 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 10:12-15)

There are 4 implications for evangelism that jump out at me here: Continue reading Beautiful Feet

Motivated Evangelism

The thing that stands out to me in 2 Corinthians 4 is verse 13: “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,’ we also believe, therefore we also speak”. This to me encompasses the motivation to evangelize, be involved in missions, and any other effort to tell others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The effect of grace on our lives, the change brought about by faith, should be so great that we are naturally inclined to tell others about it. We believe, therefore we speak. The more I delve into the Scriptures, the more I come to the realization that the ordinances and purposes of our faith (baptism, communion, prayer, missions, evangelism, worship, etc.) are not tasks to be fulfilled, but rather responses to what God has already done for us. They should be the natural inclination of a spirit that has been saved from the pit of destruction and the miry clay (Psalm 40:2). We tend to treat these things as a check list that we robotically complete and then check off so as to say to God, “See, I’ve done all that You have asked of me.” The correct mindset, however, is not that we have to do these things, but that we want to do them. They are responses to the awesome works that God has done, both generally for all mankind (Creation, the redemptive work of Christ), and specifically in my life (my personal salvation and sanctification). “We also believe, therefore we also speak.” Continue reading Motivated Evangelism