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Part 6: We Engage Others – The Christ-centered Mission

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Sharing Jesus with people is our greatest privilege and greatest responsibility. It is also the greatest act of love.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:1

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For the past number of weeks, we have been taking a close look at our 6 Core Values
            -I love these Core Values – they stir my heart, they move me
            -if Sovereign Hope is your home church I hope they stir you as well
            -when I look at them I am overwhelmed by their power and beauty
First 3 Core Values – core beliefs – the core convictions that guide all that we do as a church
            -1. We Seek God Because He Is Glorious
                        -God is immensely and infinitely great in every way
                        -he is powerful and beautiful – he is majestic and captivating – he is righteous and holy
                        -you were made for the glory of God – nothing less will ever satisfy you
            -2. We Follow Jesus Because He is The Gospel
                        -Jesus is the good news – the best news we could ever hear
                        -God has sent Jesus to us to save us – this is as good as it gets
                        -in all we do as a church we want to point to the gospel message of Jesus
                        -the gospel is what each one of us needs
                        -the gospel is the only way that our lives and the lives of others can be changed – eternally
                        -so we don’t want to take the gospel for granted and get distracted by other lesser interests
                        -we want Jesus and what he has done front and center in everything we do
            -3. We Believe the Bible Because It is the Authority
                        -God has spoken through this book – that changes everything
                        -so we submit to whatever God says in the Bible
                        -we want the Bible to be rightly in charge of all that we do here
                        -we want to focus on God’s words as contained in the Bible because God works through his
                     word
                        -the Holy Spirit works in a powerful way through the word of God
Those are our 3 Core Beliefs
            -the we have our 3 Core Practices – how we aim to live this out
            -4. We Pursue Happiness – The Christ-centered Life
                        -when the Bible calls us to Jesus, it doesn’t use the language of duty and obligation
                        -instead, in calling us to Jesus, the Bible calls us to our greatest joy
                        -God is continually calling us to turn away from the things that will never make us happy
                                    -and instead come to Jesus, who is our greatest happiness
                        -our greatest happiness is in knowing Jesus
                     -not in getting things from Jesus – but in knowing Jesus
                        -we were made for him
                        -when we are with him forever we will be supremely and overwhelmingly joyful and satisfied
            -5. We Live Life Together – The Christ-centered Community
                        -God doesn’t just call us to himself – he calls us to his people, the church
                        -we need each other to follow Jesus well long-term
                                    -we need each other to make it to the end in our faith
                        -joining our lives together as the church of Jesus is how we care for our souls
                        -it is also a great act of love towards our brothers and sisters
Our last Core Value to cover today
            -6. We Engage Others – The Christ-centered Mission
            -when we become followers of Jesus, God entrusts us with a great privilege and responsibility
            -God uses us as his people to bring Jesus to others
            -this beautiful, glorious, joy-producing, life-transforming message of the gospel is not just something we
                     get to have
                        -it is something we get to give away to others
                        -giving away the gospel to others is the greatest act of love we can ever do
            -one goal today – build up this value in us – so that others may come to know Jesus
God’s mission to reach all the peoples and nations of the earth goes back right to the beginning
            -it is the main story of what this world is all about
Right after God created the first man and woman, they disregarded his word and disobeyed God
            -because they had done that, they deserved his wrath and judgment
            -but God gave us the first glimpse of his grace and mercy
            -he told them that one day he would send a deliverer – an offspring of the woman, who would crush and
                     defeat the devil
In Genesis 12, God gives us another glimpse of how he will bring this about
            -God calls a man named Abraham – a pagan who was serving other Gods
            -God was going to make this one man into a nation and through this nation bring God’s blessing to all
                     the peoples of the earth
Genesis 12:2-3 – “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so

that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
            -God’s plan was that through this one nation all the families of the earth would be blessed
We see God’s heart to reach all the nations throughout the OT
Psalm 22:27-28 - All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the
                     nations shall worship before you. 28 For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
Psalm 67:3-4 – Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and
                     sing for joy.
Psalm 86:9 - All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.
There are a number of prophecies that speak of the king who will come to the earth to bring God’s blessing to
                     the nations
Isaiah 9:6-7 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and

his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.
Then God makes it very clear that this coming King, who will bring God’s blessing to the nations is Jesus
Luke 1:32-33 – [angel to Mary] – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord

  1. will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Jesus came to the earth – he died on the cross not for his sin but for our sin
            -he took our sin and accepted our punishment and death as our substitute
            -through his death on the cross he defeated death and the devil decisively
            -he was raised on the third day to prove his victory
The only way that any person can be forgiven of their sins and reconciled to God is by believing in Jesus
            -the only way we can be saved from the wrath of God and an eternity of punishment in hell is by
                     believing in Jesus
This is why Jesus gave his mission to his disciples
            -his mission – “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19)
            -“you will be my witnesses . . . to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
When Jesus’ mission to reach all the nations has been fulfilled, then the end will come
Matthew 24:14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a
                     testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
When God has gathered in all his people through the gospel being proclaimed to all the nations, then the end
                     will come
            -Jesus will then return and bring the final judgment and the full establishment of his kingdom
Until this happens, Jesus mission for us is clear – to bring the good news of the gospel of Jesus to people
            -both here and around the world – for the glory of God and the good of all peoples
            -this is our greatest privilege and greatest responsibility
Let me give you an example, imagine that you inherited a huge sum of money - $10 billion
            -in one instant your financial situation was radically changed – you were poor but now you are rich
            -more money than you could ever spend in your lifetime
                        -you never have to wonder again if you will have enough money to meet your needs
            -you are now fabulously rich
                        -not because you worked hard and earned it and saved but because you were given a huge gift
Now imagine this is your newfound financial situation
            -and a friend of yours got laid off and couldn’t afford food for his family
            -What would you do? You would give them some money for groceries
            -or imagine that a family member had a fatal disease but couldn’t afford the medicine
            -What would you do? You would buy the medicine that they so desperately need
When you are given a great gift, when you receive a huge inheritance, you have the privilege and responsibility
                     to share with those in need
Do you realize that if you believe the gospel, it is worth more than $10 billion to you?
            -it is the infinite gift and the infinite inheritance because it will last forever
            -I’m 43, so a huge inheritance will help me out maybe for the next 40 years
            -but even over those 40 or so years, Jesus is worth more to me
Now why wouldn’t we want to share Jesus with whoever we can?
            -every person’s greatest need is not food or medicine
            -our greatest need, our only eternal need is for Jesus
            -So when our neighbors and friends and family members and classmates and co-workers have this one
                     great eternal need, and we have the gospel of Jesus, what should we do?
            -we should share Jesus with them
            -this is our greatest privilege and our greatest responsibility
            -if you are a follower of Jesus, this mission is for you
We Are Christ’s Ambassadors
We see this mission in the passage we read today – 2 Corinthians 5-6
            -a great, rich passage – we are just going to look at a few details of it
2 Corinthians 5:14-16a
“For the love of Christ controls us” – Christ’s love has made such a difference for us that it changes what we do
            -it changes how we approach other people
            -“From now on . . . we regard no one according to the flesh”
            -we no longer treat other people as if the only thing that matters is their life on earth
            -we know that every person, every man, woman, and child will live forever
            -and God has made it clear that their most pressing issue is their eternity
            -their most urgent need is for Jesus, because believing in him is the only way they can be saved
The passage describes our role as ambassadors for Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:20
An ambassador who is one who speaks for another person – a king or a ruler
            -an ambassador doesn’t just spout of their own words – they are relaying a message of another
            -the reason the ambassador’s words are important is because they speak in behalf of the king
            -this is what we are for Jesus
            -we speak Jesus’ message – God calls people to himself through our words
            -so we are to tell people about Jesus
            -we are to call them to believe in Jesus and be reconciled to God
            -we tell people of the new life and the eternal life they can have in Jesus
Our role is not to save people – only God can save people
            -when we share the gospel with an unbeliever, they are spiritually dead and spiritually blind
            -they can’t just choose to believe on their own
            -our only hope is if God graciously moves in that person’s heart
                        -if he takes their dead spiritual heart and brings it to life
            -God doesn’t do this randomly – God does this when the gospel message is shared
            -our sharing of the gospel is absolutely necessary
Romans 10:14 - How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe
                     in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Two sides to our responsibility to share the gospel
            -1. God has commanded us to share the gospel
                     -he has entrusted us with the greatest message – the only essential message
            -2. People matter – all human life is sacred – and people will live forever
I saw both sides of our responsibility this week in 1 Thessalonians 2
1. we have a responsibility to obey God in sharing the gospel
1 Thessalonians 2:2b-4 – We had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of

  1. conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

? – Will we obey this command of God? Will we do our best to please him or will we ignore his command?
2. People matter – because of the love of Jesus flowing through them, they loved others
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, 11-12 - But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own

  1. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. . . . 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

? – Will we love people? Will we love them enough to share Jesus with them?
What would our church look like if we really lived this out?
            -If each of us who are a part of this church obeyed God in this matter?
                        -And if each of us truly loved people?
            -Loved people enough to get over the hump of and get over all the obstacles of sharing Jesus?
I want to hone in on what this means for us as a church
            -2 points of application – 2 ways we live this out together – 2 categories that direct us as a church
            -Missions and Mercy
Missions – the primary mission of the church given to us by Jesus is to make disciples
            -this means evangelism – sharing the gospel with those who do not yet believe in Jesus
            -this requires discipleship – once a person believes, they must grow in their faith
We do this when we are gathered as a church
            -every Sunday when we gather together, we pray for evangelism and discipleship to happen
            -GCF, Men’s and Women’s ministry, children ministry, youth group, CGs
All of us who have an immediate responsibility to do this locally
            -our church scatters every week throughout our city and area
            -in all of our interactions, we are Christ’s ambassador – we are representatives of King Jesus
But if we are to have God’s heart, we must also have a heart for the nations that need Jesus
            -it is not enough to say that we have needs here in our community and ignore the world
            -Jesus’ command was to “make disciples of all nations”
This is an area we must grow in as a church
            -right now our church gives $1000/month to support 2 missionaries overseas – in Brazil & Middle East
                        -they are involved in evangelism and church planting
            -we want to figure out how to best be used by God internationally
            -we want to be wise and strategic in how we can have an effective role in God’s work overseas
            -please join us in praying for us as a church in this
Missions is concerned with spreading the gospel of Jesus
Mercy is concerned with relieving human suffering and protecting human life
            -this is a secondary work of the church and Christians
            -the gospel is our primary work, but the gospel-work is not all that God commands us to do
            -mercy is an overflow of the work of Jesus in our lives
                        -as we are transformed by Jesus, we love people better
            -in mercy, we desire to live as citizens of the kingdom of God here on this earth
            -in mercy, we love our neighbor as ourselves
Again, just like with missions, mercy has a local and an international component
Locally – there are several ways we do this together
            -Family Promise – 4 weeks a year we host families in need of mercy
                        -they are families without housing
                        -so we house them at the church, feed them, and care for them however we can
            -many community groups serve in ways that extend mercy
Many people in our church volunteer in different organizations in our community that extend mercy
            -Union Gospel Mission – supply meals to people in need
            -LifeNet, CareNet – all human life is sacred including life in utero
We had a representative here from a large Christian international justice and mercy ministry
            -we asked him what can be done locally to really make a difference
            -his response – foster care
                        -children in the foster care program are very vulnerable and at risk
                        -we have had some people in our church serve as foster parents
Others serve in different ways in our community – the goal is to bring mercy
            -to protect human life and to relieve suffering
Mercy also should have an international component
            -Christian organization we will be partnering with more going ahead is Justice Ventures International
            -JVI works in India and China to combat human trafficking and work for justice
            -also provide employment to women rescued out of human trafficking
One other international mercy ministry we have been involved with for a number of falls – Operation Christmas
                     Child
            -we assemble shoe boxes with gifts to be distributed in many nations of the world
Those are the two areas of our outreach – Missions and Mercy
            -Missions – to make disciples – to spread the gospel of Jesus
            -Mercy – to protect human life and relieve suffering
We Engage Others – The Christ-centered Mission
This is a Core Value in which we all really need to grow
            -but this is so necessary because people need Jesus
But telling people about Jesus is hard, isn’t it?
            -we so often feel like we don’t know what to say
            -we struggle with the fear of man – we worry about what other people will think of us
            -we are so often selfish with how we use our time
            -deep down, we love other people so little that we do not share with them the greatest gift ever
            -we have so little fear of God and so often ignore his commands
We all have so many reasons why we keep the good news of Jesus all to ourselves
But I want to give you one specific, tangible thing to do
Today is October 18 – if you are a part of Sovereign Hope, I want to ask you to commit to say a prayer every
                     day until December 31
            -Here’s the prayer – I want you to ask God to grow his mission in your heart and life
            -that God would help you to see how important the gospel is – how eternally important for people
            -that God would give you opportunities to share your faith with others
            -you may already have someone you want to share the gospel with – pray for that person
            -because what is absolutely essential is for God to move in that person’s life
            -so pray – pray that Jesus’ mission would grow in your heart and life - from now until December 31
May God be glorified in us and through us
            -may Jesus and his work be treasured by us here together as Sovereign Hope Church
            -and may we engage our city and the nations with the great treasure of Jesus

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