Today, we want to ask and answer the question: What is the mission of the church?
Method: We are going to start by 1. observing the church’s actions and working our way backward into 2. answering the question: Why did they do that? Then we will answer that question by 3. seeing if God is clear in his person and mission.
What did the church do?
- Acts 8:4; Acts 11:19-26; Acts 13:1-3
- Outward movement
- Everyone preaching the gospel
- Pushing farther out to unreached places
- Crossing cultures
- Public witness that is clear and unambiguous (Christian).
- Holy Spirit blessing worship with sending
- Romans 15:14-33
- Grace given by God for crossing cultures to Gentiles.
- Jesus accomplished, through Paul, bringing Gentiles to obedience.
- Gentiles have been reached from Jerusalem to Illyricum. (Croatia/Bosnia/Montenegro/Macedonia) and ministry fulfilled.
- Fulfilled = churches established not every person evangelized.
- Ambition is focused on preaching the gospel not where Christ has already been named.
- BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN: “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” – Cited from Isaiah 52:15
Why did the church do this?
- Isaiah 52:13-52:12
Isaiah 52:13-15 (ESV) Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—15 so shall he sprinkle (startle/leap) many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
- Jesus, the Suffering Servant, would make himself known and purchase many nations through his sacrifice for sin, and make himself known to them and give them understanding.
Why would Isaiah say such a thing?
- Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 11:1-4; Genesis 12:1-3
- From the beginning, the whole of creation under the dominion of God through his vice regent creatures, was the mission.
- Man rebelled on the plains of Shinar and wanted to set up shop so they would not be dispersed over the whole earth on mission.
- Sin did not stop his mission. God scattered them by force.
- Then God called Abraham and his descendants to go bless the nations through faith in Jesus.
THUS, Jesus gives us Matthew 28:16-20.
Believe that God is a disciple making God because that is his nature in love.
John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
- God’s very nature mission centric born out of love. 1 John 4:8
- God created on purpose with a clear mission in mind in love.
- God sought out the redemption of sin marred creatures and creation in love.
- God sent ambassadors to call us to faith in Jesus in love.
- God teaches us how to know and obey the ultimate good and best for us for our optimal joy in love.
- Therefore, make disciples because God so loved the world.
Believe that mission number 1 is to make disciples of all nations so those nations can know God in all his glory.
- God never promises to supply off mission.
- So much of my supply is me going and getting it not asking and waiting on it in faith, and that kind of “gaining” is no indication of God’s blessing.
- We can have much through good human work, but we may not have what is ultimately eternal in nature.
- If we believe that mission number 1 is to make disciples of all nations then it has implications for how we organize for work personally and corporately.
- We are going to spend a lot of time unpacking this statement over the coming weeks.
Ask yourself this question: Do my personal disciplines lead me to make disciples beyond my immediate family?
- Family is assumed in the work due to proximity. How is my life shaped around introducing people to Jesus and teaching them to obey him by faith?
Do our works and words put us in the public square for healing and proclamation of the way, the truth, and the life?
- The Holy Spirit mobilized Antioch for the work as they worshiped and fasted.