Sermon Follow Up - Week 35, 2022
Sovereign Grace Church Dayton Mission Statement
Our mission statement serves the purpose of reminding us why we are here as a church and why we choose to do what we do. This mission statement isn't exhaustive but it encapsulates what it means for us to be joining God's mission for the world as described by his Word through the prophets, through Jesus and through the apostles:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20 ESV)
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:14-21 ESV)
1. We exist to glorify God.
This is the one chief reason why we were made. It's why we're living today and what we should be striving to do. It's a wonderful reason, not a soul-sapping reason but a life-giving reason. We were made to be arrow signs that point to the glory and wisdom and splendor and might of our great God.
What once began as God's mission to fill the earth with his glory through Adam and Eve's physical descendants has been changed to God's mission of filling the earth with his glory through the Church's spiritual descendants: people who have heard the good news, have trusted in Christ, and go on following and proclaiming his glory.
2. By maturing and multiplying disciples
This is the way that God has chosen to glorify himself through us- by his people spreading the news about Jesus Christ and maturing believers.
“Him [Jesus] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Col. 1:28 ESV)
And [Jesus] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Eph. 4:11-16 ESV)
Q: Why make disciples?
A: Because Jesus is worthy of the worship and obedience of his people redeemed by his blood and because the stakes for making disciples could not be higher.
An excerpt from William Booth's A Vision of the Lost:
“I saw a very dark and stormy ocean. Over it the black clouds hung heavily; through them every now and then vivid winds moaned, and the waves rose and foamed, towered and broke, only to rise and foam, tower and break again.
In that ocean I thought I saw myriads of poor human beings plunging and floating, shouting and shrieking, cursing and struggling and drowning; and as they cursed and screamed they rose and shrieked again, and then some sank to rise no more.
And I saw out of this dark angry ocean, a mighty rock that rose up with its summit towering high above the black clouds that overhung the stormy sea. And all around the base of this great rock I saw a vast platform. Onto this platform I saw with delight a number of the poor struggling, drowning wretches continually climbing out of the angry ocean. And I saw that a few of those who were already safe on the platform were helping the poor creatures still in the angry waters to reach the place of safety.
On looking more closely I found a number of those who had been rescued, industriously working and scheming by ladders, ropes, boats, and other means more effective to deliver the poor strugglers out of the sea. Here and there were some who actually jumped into the water, regardless of the consequences in their passion to “rescue the perishing”. And I hardly know which gladdened me most— the sight of the poor drowning people climbing to safety, or the devotion and self-sacrifice of those whose whole being was wrapped up in the effort for their deliverance.
As I looked on, I saw that the occupants of the platform were a mixed company. That is, they were divided into different “sets” or classes, and they occupied themselves with different pleasures and employments. But only a very few of them seemed to make it their business to get the people out of the sea.
But what puzzled me most was the fact that though all of them had been rescued at one time or another from the ocean, nearly everyone seemed to have forgotten all about it. Anyway, it seemed the memory of its darkness and danger no longer troubled them at all. And what seemed equally strange and perplexing to me was that these people did not even seem to have any care— that is any agonizing care— about the poor perishing ones who were struggling and drowning right before their very eyes… many of whom were their own husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and even their own children.”
Q: What is a disciple?
A: A disciple is not just an apprentice or just purely a student. A disciple of Jesus is a forgiven sinner who is learning Christ in repentance and faith and out of that lovingly helps other learn Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit
To "learn Christ” means that we are not setting out to just know and learn the content of our Bibles. We are meant to be gripped by one thing and that is the glory of our Savior. In this process of following Jesus we are meant to be zealous and obsessed with knowing Christ. We are not trying to learn some handbook on how to be a good person or even how to be a Christian. Our goal is Christ.
Q: How are disciples made?
A: Disciples must be made by us proclaiming the word of God, praying for the Spirit’s power to work in that person and reveal Christ to them more fully, and persevering in both of those things: proclaiming and praying.
This may involve things like one-on-one mentoring. It may involve sharing Christ with someone who doesn't know him and hasn't believed in him. It may involve any number of ways to help people learn Christ, but making disciples includes all of the above ways in which we proclaim God's word to others in different situations and pray for the Spirit to work in them.
Q: Who makes disciples?
A: Every single person who has trusted in Jesus Christ. Young or old. New believer or seasoned saint.
Not one piece is unnecessary. Not one believer in this body should be excluded from this process. If the instruction to go and make disciples is for Jesus' disciples, then we are all as his body responsible for this joyful task. Q: Where are disciples made?
A: Disciples can be made at any physical location, but the primary place God has designed disciples to be matured and grown and multiplied is among his people, the Church.
Does the church mission statement describe what you want to set out to do as a disciple of Jesus?