Summary: The second of four reasons Luke suggests to study the ministry of Jesus Christ - to develop a faithful ministry through His life, death, and resurrection.
TITLE: WHY STUDY THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST?
SERIES: THE INCOMPARABLE MINISTRY OF JESUS THE MESSIAH
Introduction: Last week we found that the first reason Luke give us to study the minstry of Jesus Christ is to that we may establish an accurate account of His life, death, and resurrection. Just as in the days of Luke, we see many accounts of Jesus’ ministry, most of which leave much to be desired when it comes to the truth.
Today we will consider another aspect that Luke presents, to develop a faithful ministry through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Any ministry that is faithful must be founded upon the Great Commission. Within the words of the Great Commission we find the purpose of the Church on earh. Every ministry of the Church must adhere to this main purpose, otherwise it will be doomed from the start as unfaithful, unfruitful, and unfulfilling.
We begin with the basic premise that Jesus has promised to build the Church (Mt 16:18). Since we know that He is always faithful to His promises, we know there is no reason for the Church not to grow.
So why do some churches fail? Obviously the responsibility rests with us. There are some churches that grow because Jesus Christ is in control, and the people are following His lead. Those that are failing, however, are doing so because a pastor, a deacon board, a committee, a clique, or some other alien entity is in control. Rather than working to bring people into the kingdom of heaven, they are working to build their own little kingdoms on earth. This will never work. That is why we need to be careful to make sure that we are always faithful to the Great Commission, and that it is indeed Jesus who is in control as the Head of the Church. Any other way is an attempt to circumvent His established purpose, and usurps His authority over the Church.
So let us consider our own investment in the kingdom of heaven to see if we truly are faithful in our ministry.
II. TO DEVELOP A FAITHFUL MINISTRY THROUGH HIS LIFE, HIS DEATH, AND HIS RESURRECTION.
2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us,
A. Faithful Ministry Involves The Preaching Of The Gospel Of Jesus Christ.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
B. Faithful Ministry Involves Defending The Faith.
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
C. Faithful Ministry Involves Making Disciples, Baptizing Believers, And Teaching Learners.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
THREE COMPONENTS OF THE GREAT COMMISSION
1. Make Disciples: Our First Priority.
a. The Greek word (metheteusate) that is translated “teach” in the KJV should be more accurately rendered, “make disciples.”
b. Herein lies the “Macedonian call” of the evangelical church, to go to all the nations of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, making disciples who will faithfully follow Him.
i. Making disciples begins with the preaching of the gospel so that those who are willing to accept Christ can hear the message and believe in Him as their personal Savior.
ii. Becoming a disciple begins with the impartation of a saving knowledge of who He is, and the calling upon His name through saving faith.
iii. This occurs through the preaching of the Word.
iv. Paul, writing in Romans says,
13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"
a) Following these steps in reverse order to discover their logical order, we see that in order to make disciples of men, there must first be the preaching of the gospel.