Summary: A deductive exposition of selected texts on the church’s mission and how to share in accomplishing it.
I’d like to take a moment to review the reasons for the title of this series of messages – “What’s your commitment to God’s church?”
1. This is God’s church because “he bought [it] with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). This church is God’s church and we must never think or act in any other way. If we claim to own it then we are trying to steal it from God.
2. “Commitment” is so important to God that He SEARCHES the world for it (2 Chronicles 16:9). Each Sunday this month, we are uncovering one commitment you and I can make to God’s church. This week we’ll look at the mission of the church – our purpose for existence.
Jesus gave the church a very clear mission before He returned to heaven. He said, Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20) The church’s mission is to make disciples by going to them, baptizing them and teaching them to obey.
How can we share the mission of God’s Church?
God gives the answer in several places. Let’s look at three today.
A. By PRAYING. The Bible says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.” (Colossians 4:12-13)
1. For the PASTOR and other leaders – both here and around the world. The apostle Paul asked the church in Rome for prayer support. He wrote, “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Romans 15:30; Ephesians 6:19-20).
2. For the spread of the good news about JESUS’ LIFE CHANGING POWER “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ (Colossians 4:2-6; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Philemon 6).
B. By INVITING the unchurched to attend worship services and Bible studies. Jesus told a story to explain this idea: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, `Come, for everything is now ready.’
"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, `I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
"Another said, `I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
"Still another said, `I just got married, so I can’t come.’
"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, `Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
" `Sir,’ the servant said, `what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
"Then the master told his servant, `Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ "” (Luke 14:15-23).
1. The Mater’s Goal: “That my house will be full.”