Summary: A sermon for Trinity Sunday that highlights that we have authority to love and forgive from God.
The Gospel reading today, highlights some extremely important points for each one of us.
One that we are going to explore further is the concept of Authority in our Christian lives.
But before we begin let us remember that each of us are involved in the ministry of the church.
Involved in the ministry of this congregation.
From the world’s perspective we look like:
and any other role we carry out.
But the reality is we are all ministers who are fortunate to be given a number of roles in our lives.
If it helps, think of yourself as a minister in disguise.
So if you are a teacher
You look like a teacher,
You act like a teacher
But you are really a full time minister, God’s agent, disguised as a teacher.
So as God’s agent, listen again to the Gospel reading:
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Now you maybe thinking,
that’s alright for you to say.
But pastor, you need to understand my situation, my workplace, my family
you need to understand what I am up against,
the people I work and play with,
some of the people who are part of my family,
do not appear the slightest bit interested in God.
They are not interested in the Christian life, what the church has to offer.
Let alone the commands of Jesus.
Well this is the very situation Jesus was addressing with the disciples.
Listen again to verse 17, when they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some doubted.
Isn’t that us…we believe in God, we worship Him
…..and we also doubt Him.
Doubt that he will change other people’s lives,
With our simple little church, community.
Built on His word.
Now remember the disciples were in the back alley’s of huge empire…with little power.
And so, Jesus begins with what is true….
All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Him.
He has authority over every single millimetre of the world.
Jesus has authority over all aspects of your life.
And you know what?
He delegates some of this authority to YOU through the power of the Holy Spirit!!!
Each of us has some of this authority.
Unfortunately, some Christians assume that authority is to uncover everyone else’s sins
and condemn them for their sins,
or to control them.
If we think of the readings of the last couple of weeks.
This is not the ultimate purpose Jesus came to the world.
Remember His comments from John 3.
I did not come to condemn the world but to save it.
The authority Jesus has given each one of us is to make disciples of all nations.
In other words, we are given a responsibility of bringing Jesus to the world.
Of sharing the Jesus we know with the people we know.
Now this is not easy.
It is not easy because we live in a world where many different forces operate.
People make decisions for different reasons.
Sometimes we think only of themselves.
Sometimes we act a certain way because of past experiences.
Sometimes we act another way because of fear of what may or may not happen.
Sometime we are worried how we might look.
And so when Jesus says he has authority over everything.
This is good news for us.
It is good news because we are able to pray to Him.
We are able to ask Jesus,
Jesus who has authority over all things,
to get involved in every situation we face.
And so when we think about how
we are to bring the good news of Jesus to the people we know,
be assured Jesus is with you.
Our starting point should not be to rely on our abilities.
But to first lean on Jesus.
But to bring this situation to God in prayer, through Jesus.
So how about for the next month.
At least once a day.
Pray about two or three people who are close to you.
But not close to Jesus.
Ask God to show you how to talk to them about the Jesus you know.
And they might be responsive to Jesus.
The Jesus who has authority over everything.
Now remember also that the authority we are given is limited.