Summary: There is no better calling and no better news to proclaim but in chapter 6 Paul presents some of the challenges that we will encounter along this road.
SBC Convention Booths: Paul would not make a very good recruiter for specific ministries. Instead of handing out highlighters, pens & magnets, give thorns or pebbles for shoes.
• Paul shares in chapter 5 about the wonderful news of Christ becoming sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(5:21)
Paul shares how we have the MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION and that we are AMBASSADORS OF CHRIST.
There is no better calling and no better news to proclaim but in chapter 6 Paul presents some of the challenges that we will encounter along this road.
Was talking to a church members who brought up the subject of certain occupations that have to deal with difficult people or with people not acting as they should. He said something about ministry being at the top of that list. I responded saying that one of the reasons that 75% of seminary graduates are no longer in the ministry after ten years is that the seminary does not offer a course called Church Members 101 to prepare future pastors for more than just what they think ministry will be.
Paul makes sure that we understand what it will mean if we go down the Ministry Road.
• Paul warns us about three specific concerns when it comes to ministry:
THE DANGER OF PEOPLE’S DELAY:
• Procrastination is a national pastime in America and especially in the lives of most Christians.
How much has God put on your plate that you are still just picking at like a spoiled child who already filled his stomach with candy?
How many times have people you know already heard the gospel and not yet responded?
• Paul gave a wonderful presentation in chapter 6 of what Christ has done for us and the grace that is available: Became sin for us…what have we done with that offer?
Missing out on the GRACE of God: 1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain –
• This is a passage we often treat like Paul is writing a letter to lost people. How many letters to lost people did Paul actually write? None(Acts 17 is a sermon to them) Paul is primarily talking to a church.
Can you remember anything in your life where you MISSED OUT on something that you think you really would have enjoyed? Something you would do different if you were given a cosmic DO-OVER? A time where everybody but you went somewhere and you stayed home and then they came back raving about how it was so much better than they thought it would be.
Would you have like to been in the audience the show that Oprah gave each audience member a new car? That could have been me!!
• What message of GRACE do we in the church need to understand? Since we are His AMBASSADORS and doing the MINISTRY of RECONCILIATION then what does Grace have to do with us?
a) Make sure ours is a true message of grace and not a hybrid of legalism.
b) Make sure our efforts are done by His grace and power and not in our own personal efforts:
People operating in grace have learned to prayer, have read their Bibles to know His will, have built spiritual relationships with fellow Ambassadors to work together, encourage one another and pray for each other’s success.
How horrible would it be to get to the end or our lives here on earth and find out how much the grace of God would have helped us through each day and with every ministry effort we attempted and yet we did not know how to access it. We MISSED OUT on the Grace of God.
Missing out on the timing of God: 2 for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU." Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION "-
• Paul assures us that all that we do is limited by a specific time frame. Jesus said that no man knows the day or the hour but God the Father
This time frame effects:
1) Lost people: They only have the opportunities in this life to respond to God’s grace. For them this is the day of grace and the DAY OF SALVATION.
Felix Acts 24 when Paul when witnessing with Felix, he was under such conviction that he began to shake. He said, go your way and on a more convenient time, I will call you again.
2) Saved people: Paul is writing to those to whom God is listening to and helping in their efforts to share the good news with a lost world.
We only have so much time and so many opportunities to do it.