Summary: Since the church is about God’s people, God’s people need to focus on God’s truth. Sharing the Gospel produces the church, and the church shares the Gospel reproducing the church. Paul shares two key truths we all need to embrace with enthusiasm.
Roaming Around Rome with The Gospel
1. This week, the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” will open in Kokomo.
2. Christians all over the country are excited that so many people want to see this graphic depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
3. I would like to share three things in light of this:
(1) The film is not anti-Semitic. The Jewish leaders are portrayed as instigating the crucifixion, which they did. Many of the Jewish leaders were against the crucifixion, but they were left out of the proceedings, which is why these trials were held at night with select members present. Most of the Jewish people would have been appalled at the proceedings. Remember, Jesus, the 12 Apostles, and the majority of Christians up until 75 AD were Jews.
(2) Friends who see this film might be open to talk about the work of Christ. The film will not make clear WHY Christ died, for our sins, or what we have to do to receive Him, repent and believe. Make sure you have tracts to hand out, and see if any of your friends or family is ready to accept Christ. Lead them in the sinner’s prayer.
(3) This film is graphically violent and should not be seen be many people for that reason. I predict that you will hear of instances of post-trauma syndrome, etc. I would not recommend this for minors, and unless you typically have been able to stomach violent movies, I would think twice. You’ll see an editorial in our next Body Builder about how graphic violence affects us. It’s a shame that the film wasn’t released one week later so that you’d have my article first. At the same time, if you feel seeing this will give you help in witnessing, you might consider it. One pastor’s adult son, for example, who saw a preview showing was very much traumatized. This movie is not for everyone.
(4) Even though I do not think it is good to portray such violence graphically, and the NT avoids the most gory details, because it based on the Scripture, the Holy Spirit can use this film At the other end, many people will be shook emotionally and make professions on that basis, but time will sort out those convicted by the Spirit and those reacting merely on the basis of emotion.
4. This movie, the Passion of the Christ, serves as a great introduction to our text as we discuss the importance of sharing Christ with others and the power of the message itself.
MAIN IDEA: Since the church is about God’s people, God’s people need to focus on God’s truth. Sharing the Gospel produces the church, and the church shares the Gospel reproducing the church. Paul shares two key truths we all need to embrace with enthusiasm.
I. The Church is About ___Growing__God’s People (8-13)
1. Grateful for their strong _____TESTIMONY___________(8)
Our mission statement really hits the target:
(1)Like a person, a church has a reputation, a collective character, a personality
(2) Our church has a reputation as well,
2. Motivated to _____PRAY_________for them (9-10)
(1) When people are doing something for God, it is much more exciting to pray for them than to pray for God to light the fire for listless, passive, negligent believers who are more like glaciers than the light of the world
(2) Do your friends in Christ seem motivated to pray for you, or do you elicit yawns and a sense of frustration?
3. Eager to _____NURTURE_____________them along (11-13)
(1) Paul wanted to SHARE his wealth of knowledge with them as a gift
(2) He wanted to receive a blessing from them as well
----the GREATEST rewards of ministry are to see people saved, growing, living for Christ, witnessing, families holding together, marriages that make it, kids that are reared in the nurture of the LORD…it doesn’t get better than that!
4. Note here that Paul’s intention to visit Rome had not yet been realized…(13)
(1) In Thessalonians, Paul mentioned that he had wanted to visit the Thessalonian believers, but that Satan had thwarted him….
(2) He doesn’t say that here: Often we do not know what God is doing, what Satan is doing, or what circumstances God simply chooses not to interfere with…we do not have to know, we do not have to make a judgment call…frankly, unless it is clearly a case of spiritual warfare, we should rest in the Sovereign hand of God…because God even uses Satan to accomplish His purposes…
(3) So, like Paul, we should feel no pressure to assign happenings…
Since the church is about God’s people, God’s people need to focus on God’s truth. Sharing the Gospel produces the church, and the church shares the Gospel reproducing the church. Paul shares two key truths we all need to embrace with enthusiasm. The first truth was, “The Church is About Growing God’s People.” But there is a second truth.