Summary: What is the role of a believer in the context of the local church and the ministry of the church.
I want to talk about our role as believers in the context of the local church and the ministry of the church.
Through Christ’s blood the door has been opened for all mankind to enter the presence of God.
We have been EMPOWERED …
through the work of Christ on the cross and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives … to draw near to God.
Ja 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … NASU
Unlike other major world religions …
Christianity is a religion of access.
We may be called to walk on a narrow path, but God has opened wide the door for all men to know Him
Stimulate/encourage/stir-up, watch-over one another.
In these verses we have a three-fold responsibility …
1. Draw near to God.
2. Hold on fast to our hope in Christ
3. Watch-over and care for one another
Rom 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; NASU
Phil 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
We have become- independent, self-sufficient culture.
We do not understand the importance of Community.
The Gospel does not end in the Church
There is another aspect of the mission of the church that is also important.
In many ways- narrowed the mission of the church to a place where we come to get our needs met.
Church is not a retail store where you shop around to find the one with the best services and products.
The church is a place to come and be built-up, but that is one step toward a divine purpose, not the end.
We are built-up in the local church so we can touch others with the resources God has given to us.
God wants to RELEASE what He has placed in us, so we can be a blessing to others around us.
Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: NASU
Saints- holy ones, called out ones, set apart for God.
We have been …
CALLED out of the world (separated in heart),
PLACED in the church (to be equipped),
SENT back into the world (w/the Good News)
We have been …
CALLED-OUT in order to be SENT-OUT.
Jesus was instructing His twelve disciples …
1 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.
2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. NASU
Jesus speaking to a larger body of disciples …
Lk 10:1-2, 17-20
Jesus also said …
Jn 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. NASU
Jesus returned to the Father, to send to us the Holy Spirit, to EMPOWER us to ADVANCE the Kingdom.
Jesus final instructions for all believers …
Consider this truth …
The Holy Spirit has come to release all believers into ministry.
God calls us into His church to become …
Members with a Mission.
President John Kennedy-Jan 1961-Inaugural Address-
Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.
We are not here to be served, but to serve.
"Ask not what your church can do for you--ask what you can do for God."
Consider the example Jesus left for us …
Jn 13:1-5, 12-15
God is releasing power in His Church and equipping us to serve Him, the Body, and the world.
What God started last year- still true- God wants to …
Empower us with His Holy Spirit
Release His gifts and callings
Advance His Kingdom in us … so …
so we can Advance it in the world around us.
I am looking for this to increase because …
The year 2006 is a year of opportunity filled with great possibilities that will be released through faith and obedience.