Summary: This sermon explains what our main goal is as Christians and how we are to go about reaching that goal. The specific goal of this sermon was to get people involved in our camp, VBS and mission trip.
April 27, 2003 Colossians 1:28-29
“We proclaim Him!”
1. What we do PROCLAIMING Him! (vs. 28a)
If you choose to serve in one of these three capacities or in any way here at New Life Baptist Church, no matter what you are doing, you will only have one real job. That job is to proclaim Jesus Christ.
Some people have the warped idea that getting involved in ministry is a means of elevating themselves. Someone who doesn’t know me might look at me up here in front of you and think that I am in some way trying to toot my own horn or make myself look good. I hope that the rest of you have realized by now that my desire is not to elevate myself or gain power over anyone by ministering to you each Sunday. I have only one goal – to proclaim Christ. Paul’s goal was the same. In 2 Cor. 4:5, he says, “…we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” Being a part of one of these ministry teams will not elevate you to some type of platform that causes everyone to look at you and say how great you are. Ministry is about service to God and the glorification of Christ.
+ proclaiming Jesus is a fantastic privilege – in vs. 27, Paul spoke of “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. I get to go around telling people that there is hope and that it is found in Jesus Christ. I get to tell them that God loves them. Another word for proclaim is to announce. Think of the different announcements that you have sent to people throughout the years – announcement of your engagement and marriage, announcement of your first birth, announcement of your graduation. All wonderful days and wonderful events. But none of them measures up to being able to announce that Jesus is here, that Jesus is alive.
+ proclaiming Jesus is not a popular exercise – even though you bring good news, not everyone is going to be happy with you. Some will reject what you have to say. But if you are truly proclaiming Christ rather than just your own opinions, then they are rejecting Him, not you. A big part of the reason that it is not popular is because you are giving warning to people. That’s what the word “admonishing” means. You warn unsaved people about the danger that they are in – the danger of condemnation because of their sin. You warn saved people about the possibility of falling away from the faith or losing in their battle against temptation. People don’t like listening to warnings especially when they can’t see for themselves the danger. They like deceiving themselves into thinking that they are okay and that everything will turn out all right in the end if they just ignore the warning signs. So some will close their ears and refuse to listen.
But there will be others that do listen and desire a change in their lives. To those, you give teaching.
Some of you had the opportunity of meeting Pastor Jerry Moore at the associational evangelism conference a couple of weeks ago. Jerry is the pastor of 1st Baptist Huntersville which is the church that we will be working with on our missions trip. One of the things that Jerry led his church to get involved in is ministry to two prisons in his community. One is a medium security men’s prison where Jerry conducts services every Tuesday and Thursday evening. The other is a minimal security women’s birthing center. That’s where women who are pregnant and in the prison system go to give birth to their children. Every time that Jerry visits these prisons, he warns some of some danger that they are facing, and he teaches others so that they will stay out of danger. If you go with us in August, you will have opportunity to minister in both of these settings. Does that make you uncomfortable? That’s okay. To be honest, it makes me a little uncomfortable? Does that give you the right to say “no” to the opportunity? NO, because Paul says that we are to warn and teach every man, not just those that we are comfortable with.
2. Why we do PERFECTING SAINTS (vs. 28b)
Perfecting doesn’t have to do with helping people reach the point where they no longer sin. It has to do with helping them to grow up – to reach their full potential, to get closer to the end product. It means helping them to become like Jesus. If you choose to participate in one or more of these three ministry opportunities…
+ you will have the opportunity to grow believers - Many children will be coming to Camp Monongahela and to Vacation Bible School. You will be able to help them reach their full potential. Many of them come out of broken homes. Some of them don’t have parents who love them, or if they do love them, they don’t know how to show it. You will be able to help get these children headed in the right direction so that they don’t make the mistakes that can literally ruin their lives.