Summary: The first in a series exploring the 5 foundational purposes of the church: Evangelism, Discipleship, Worship, Ministry & Fellowship.
Today we will be taking a look at the 5 Biblical purposes of the church. I want you to look at these messages, not just from the overall picture of the church, but I feel that God will direct you to make each of these things a foundational principal in your life. As we look at these foundational pieces, review the foundation of your life, and ask God to shore up those areas that are weak. As believers we are to be intentional about our activities, allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us.
Matthew 28:19 (CEV)
“Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…”
Mark 16:15-16 (CEV)
“Then He told them: Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world. Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe me will be condemned.”
Growing up, do any of you remember hearing these words of authority? "...Because I Said So!" I sure do....why do I need to eat my peas? Why do I need to clean my room? The answer was always, "because I said so!" The same is true with these two passages of scripture. They are important to our lives, because they are Jesus’ final instructions to His followers. This is often called the “Great Commission." Think of them as marching orders. Why do we "go and tell", because Jesus gave us those marching orders. Just as we were not to question mom and dad about the peas and the clean room, neither should we be so bold as to ignore these instructions. I find it odd that most of us pride ourselves on keeping God’s word. You know what I mean...I’ve never killed anyone, I am faithful to my wife, I don’t steal, etc... Yet this is one of God’s commands that we tend to be slothful about. We need to remember that the opposite of commission is “omission”. Omission is simply not doing what is required. For example in my days as a police officer, if a crime was presented in my presence and I failed to act, I could be charged with a crime of omission, becaue I did not do what was commanded by law. We need to understand that omission to God’s directions is SIN.
I do, however; want to make this distinction for you. Our obedience to this instruction is done out of love for Jesus and love for others. Yes, Christ did command us to be His witnesses, but it is out of our love for Him that we do it faithfully.
If we are going to be the witnesses that Jesus has called us to be we must "put the body in motion." This phrase has two meanings. First of all the body of Christ, the church body, must be actively moving. Secondly it means those of us who like our comfortable pews, must get up and go. We are called to be proactive and not reactive. The original text is literally translated: “As You Are Going”. This is an
ongoing directive. Our mission is not accomplished until the Lord calls us home. As long as people are living apart from Jesus, there is still work to be done.
Now chances are there are a couple of you out there thinking: "I’m Not The One Called Reverend Around Here." Well I think you had better guess again. Look at what 1 Peter 2:9 tells you about yourself.
1 Peter 2:9 (CEV)
“But you are God’s chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things that He has done.”
Evangelism – “It’s not just for pastors anymore.”
Ok, so you’re part of a "Holy Priesthood," but you’re saying: "I Don’t Have My Sermon Prepared." First of all we need to understand that God is not looking for prepared sermons, He is looking for willing hearts. I’m going to give you some profound truth here. Fresh testimony beats reheated theology anytime. Follow me on this one. Would you rather feast on a meal carefully prepared with you in mind, or would you rather eat re-heated tv dinners. Now keep in mind, both will bring nourishment, but one is fresh it moves you to want to partake. Sharing your faith is no different. It is important that you realize that fresh testimony comes from daily interaction with Jesus. If people don’t see the dynamic, living Savior interacting in your life, they won’t notice that He’s missing in theirs.