TRC 2022: What if the church was the missionary?

Matthew 16:13-20

Jesus is building his church on the solid rock foundation of who he is as the Christ. 

  1. Jesus is building his church. V. 18
    1. Jesus is the builder and thus Chief Shepherd and he is building and head over the ekklesia. 
      1. Jesus is builder thus the Chief: 1 Peter 5:4 (ESV) And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
      2. Ephesians 1:22-23 (ESV) And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
      3. Jesus is building the ekklesia: The called out and publicly assembled group of people representing God’s kingdom established among the temporary kingdoms of the world. 
  2. The Father reveals the truth of Jesus as the Christ, the builder and head of the church. V. 17
    1. We are to faithfully preach and teach God’s word in everything we do, and the Father does the effective and supernatural work of making sure souls see and hear as he works through us. 
  3. The “gates of hell” cannot prevail against Jesus building his church. V. 18
    1. This is a euphamism for death. 
      1. How does one get into hades (the abode of the dead)? By dying. How does one enter? The gates.
      2. Therefore, not even death will prevent Jesus from building his church. 
      3. In other words, nothing will prevent Jesus from building his church. 
  4. Jesus gives the “keys of the kingdom” to bind and loose what God has bound and loosed in the heavenly places for the work of the church. V. 19
    1. God has given to us, the church, the powerful work of binding up what ought to be bound up and releasing what ought to be released. 
      1. Matthew 16 and 18 – Proclaiming the gospel and fighting the cancer of sin.

AS A RESULT…

Matthew 28:16-20

The church Jesus is building is the missionary. 

  1. Jesus gives the Great Commission to the church just as he gave the creation mandate in Genesis 1:26-28 to Adam and Eve. 
    1. Blessing (made in God’s image – all authority given)
    2. Seed (multiply = make disciples)
    3. Land (whole earth = all nations)
      1. NOTE: Each component of every covenant God makes has these three elements to them. 
  2. All authority has been given to Jesus.
    1. This is the blessing. 
      1. He has all authority, and then fills us with himself by Holy Spirit.
  3. Jesus gives the mission to multiply disciples to the whole church among all nations.
    1. This is the “seed” and the “land”. Multiply disciples and do it in all nations.
    2. Jesus gave the great commission to the church, NOT to individuals or mission organizations. 
  4. “The task of the church then is to carry out the Great Commission. When it does this, it will also be enabling people to carry out the cultural mandate. (NOTE: THIS IS WHY DOMAINS IS OUR STRATEGY NOT A MULTITUDE OF MINISTRIES TO CONSUME) But the Great Commission must be the focus of everything the church does. Indeed, it must be the focus of the life of every believer. All that we do must be done so that the world may be filled with believers and that these believers may be subdued to obey all of God’s commands.” (John Frame, Systematic Theology: Introduction to Christian Belief. P. 1036)

Our key question has always been: What if the church was the missionary? 

Let’s ask it this morning, and Jon and I will give you some ways want to answer that key question: What if the church really was the missionary, what would that look like?

  1. Get narrow (focused). Go deep. 
    1. Think long-term / long-haul capacity. 
      1. Up
      2. In
      3. Out
    2. Think about how the kingdom of God demands a rearrangement of priorities. 
    3. Narrow and deep thinking demands that I get prioritized. 
    4. Narrow and deep thinking demands we partner with people who can do things better than us and help them and allow them to lead.
  1. Mobilize the whole church through God-given domains. 
    1. With the changing landscape of the world due to Covid, changing governments, and economic realities, leveraging our domains is THE way the global work of the gospel will go forward. 
    2. The day of a few missionaries doing the work, fund-raising to get their work paid for, and reporting every few years is no longer how work is advancing.
    3. The kingdom of God is advancing on God’s created grid of the world by people who leverage their vocations around the world and making disciples as they go. 
      1. We have to lean into this reality. 
      2. Vocations and public square work open doors even in Covid times that traditional ways are shut off from. 
  1. Think about how, in our prioritized and deep connections, we can be servants like Jesus who are willing to be inconvenienced for each other.  
    1. This is Trinitarian in that as the Holy Spirit gives up his glory for the glory of the Son of God, we are willing to be inconvenienced for each other. 
  1. Live on mission with the Holy Spirit in fellowship. 
    1. Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22
      1. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
      2. The Holy Spirit is who Jesus left us to be with us (plural not singular) as we are on mission. 
        1. We have the Spirit’s gifts for the fellowship on mission if we are in the fellowship on mission and he speaks for our good on the mission of his glory. 
        2. He speaks to us individually in the setting of the corporate mission. 
        3. Walk with him. Listen to him. Obey him. 

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