Summary: 1 0f 18 messages on moving toward greater health as a church.
A Fresh Encounter with Jesus
I. His Deity—He Is God the Son
A. He is eternal
B. He is the Creator
C. He is the Sustainer
D. He is God
II. His Humility—He Is the Suffering Servant
A. He was humble in…
B. He fully identified with our condition
C. He accepted our punishment/judgment
III. His Life—He Is the Life Giver
A. He delivers us from striving by carrying our load
B. He satisfies our true hunger and thirst
C. He is the source of life and fruitfulness
IV. His Centrality—He Is Our Spiritual Center
A. He is the Great I AM
B. He is the only way
C. He has been given the name
V. His Glory—Our Objective
A. God has exalted Jesus
B. All creation will worship Jesus
Although I am not going to the time this morning to give you a detailed account of what God did in our midst at District and Prayer conference, I would like to share with you one aspect that particularly spoke to my heart during those days. One of the recurring emphases throughout the conference was the need to move our congregations toward the goal of becoming healthy, Great Commission completing churches. The focus of the goal is not church growth as we are so accustomed to think about it—this is not about “bigger is better.” Rather it is an emphasis upon be-coming healthy, that is, living up to and experiencing our God-engineered potential in all areas. The natural consequence of health is fruitfulness or growth.
I’ve been praying about what God would have me preach on in the coming months, and I sense the leading of the Holy Spirit to do some teaching and preaching on this vital subject. This morning I will begin a series on the subject of becoming a healthy, Great Commission completing church. The title of this series is The New Testament Church for Today.
In order for us to achieve the goal set before us of becom-ing a healthy, Great Commission completing church, I believe that it is necessary that we spend some time looking back. The purpose of this “look back,” is to remind us of the some of the most fundamental characteristics of our Christian faith. It is important that we understand and embrace who Jesus is and what His life is all about. We are in desperate need of a fresh encounter with our Lord and Savior. It is not enough to merely apprehend the truth about Christ with our heads; that is simply the accumulation of knowledge. What is really needed is to be apprehended by the Truth, allowing it to affect every area of our lives—our beliefs, our attitudes, our values, our actions, and our focus in life. This week we will reacquaint our-selves with the person of Jesus and next week we will re-discover His mission and ministry priorities.
The outlines for this message and the one to be delivered next week are based on some teaching given by Dr. Mickey Noel, Asst. VP for Church Multiplication in C&MA. Mickey stressed the importance of having an encounter with Jesus Christ with regard to five specific areas. [One word of “warning,” because this is a topical sermon, we will be looking at several passages of scripture. It is proba-bly going to be difficult for you to turn to every verse. So I encourage you to jot down the main outline and write down the references that are related to each point. I believe this can be a very effective tool for sharing who Jesus is with your friends who may have questions about Him.]
His Deity—He Is God the Son
The first truth encounter we need to have with Jesus concerns His deity. He is not just a great person, a great teacher, a great healer, a great example, or some other superlative that we may wish to pin on Him. Jesus is unique and separate from any person who has ever walked the face of the earth. Jesus is God. He is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity.
I realize that there are many who would deny the deity of Christ. This is not a new phenomenon in our day. As a matter of fact, this problem was first met by the early Church. Because of this, God inspired some of the NT epistles to be written for the purpose of dispelling this grave error creeping into His precious Bride. The Bible contains several passages that explicitly declare the deity of Jesus.
The way we will approach this truth is by considering some of the attributes that can only be applied to God and then look at scriptures that ascribe these “God only” attributes to Jesus.