This is sermon #62 in the Luke series. In this sermon on Luke 15:1-7 Dave will discuss the Lord as Shepherd, spiritual blindness, the joy of God in saving lost sheep, and spiritual apathy.
Much conversation today in evangelical circles revolves around what it means to be missional. Many books, articles, sermons, and ministries all subscribe to misssional thinking. Being missional means the believer will be intentional about living for Jesus as a missionary to his/her friends, family, and sphere of influence. Jesus came on a mission to seek and save the lost, and said in John 10:16And(T) I have other sheep that are not of this fold.(U) I must bring them also, and(V) they will listen to my voice. So there will be(W) one flock,(X) one shepherd.”
Jesus is not content to sit on His hands while others have not yet heard the message He gave the Church- which is the Gospel. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, which means all people through His shed blood and resurrection can come to Him. Christ does not desire that any would perish but that all would come to everlasting life. The mission of Jesus is to offer to sinful man salvation.
The Great Commission is not the “great suggestion”. Living for Jesus means understanding the mission that Jesus gave His disciples. To be a disciple means to be one who is learning from the Master. The greatest of the commissions Jesus gave believers is in Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus also gave other “great Commissions” in Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-23 and Acts 1:9-11. The life of Jesus was lived with intentionality. Jesus came and was born in a manager, lived a sinless life, died a brutal bloody death, and rose again on the third day. It is this Jesus that calls believers to a life of discipleship where believers come to the Cross not only just for the forgiveness of sins but to walk the life of discipleship (Luke 9). Every believer then is to live intentionally for Jesus as a missionary in their respective spheres of influences by living a life that honors God.
In Matthew 28:16-20 as the resurrected Lord, Jesus calls upon his followers to make disciples of all people groups through the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom. In verse 17 some of the disciples doubted him. This refers to people other than the eleven disciples (Matthew 28:10). This refers to a broader group of disciples who had followed Jesus (12:49-50; 25:40). If so this is the larger group of disciples who will see the risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15:6). No matter what though they referring to the disciples worshipped Jesus. That some doubted Jesus should not be surprising to believers. Many in popular culture deny or dismiss the claims of Christianity. The majority of the appeal or line of reasoning appeals to what is comfortable rather than what is real. The problem with such arguments is that it is not just doubt that popular culture has but a dismissive attitude towards Truth.
Jesus in His risen state exercised absolute authority over all heaven and earth, which shows His deity. His authority has been given by the Father, which indicates that he remains subject to the Father (1stCorinthians 15:28).
In Matthew 28:19 the imperative make disciples that is call individuals to commit to Jesus as master and Lord explains the central focus of the Great Commission while the Greek participles (Translated go), baptizing and teaching (v.20) describes aspects of the process. All nations. Jesus’ ministry inIsraelwas to be the beginning point of what would later be a proclamation of the gospel to all the peoples of the earth, including not only Jews but also Gentiles. The name (singular, not plural) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an early indication o f the Trinitarian Godhead and an overt proclamation of Jesus’ deity.
Matthew 28:20. Teaching is a means by which disciples of Jesus are continually transformed in order to become more like Christ (Matthew 10:24-25; Romans 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18). Observe. Obey. I am with you always. Jesus concludes the commission and Matthew his Gospel, with the crucial element of discipleship; the presence of the master, who is “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
The Great Commission calls us to “Go and make disciples”. In the discussion on what it means to be missional there is much emphasis placed on what a believer is to do to live missionally for Jesus. The only problem is that it is not believers doing that matters the most. Believer’s burn out when the messages is only “do” which makes them feel that they have to do more to please God. The only One that believers have to live for is God. The believer does not live for a man’s thinking or theology but for God’s glory. Christ did not die for people’s wishes, dreams, or wants- He died a brutal bloody death for man’s sin in man’s place so that mankind could be reconciled to God.
Believers must first spend time knowing God in study and meditation of God’s Word. Believers then need to pray for their lost friends, family and sphere of influence. Believers will only be as effective in their missionary activities as their level of intimacy with Jesus is. Doing must be replaced with knowing Jesus before one makes known Jesus to others. Believers are taught that salvation is by grace through faith but then in practice they are told to go out and do more or be more for Jesus. Such teaching is not biblical and should not be encouraged in the Body of Christ! Believers are saved by grace through faith alone to demonstrate good works (Ephesians 2:8-10, James 2). Believer’s works do not save but believers’ works demonstrate the inward work of God’s grace. Even a subtle hint of taking one away from intimacy with God is wrong! This is not mindless spirituality it is biblical spirituality. God calls believers to know Him and then to serve Him. God calls people to Himself and then uses them for His purposes and glory.
With all the talk about being effective in ministry and discipleship it’s important that believers regain balance to their thinking. First believers should be concerned with knowing Christ, and then making Him known. Secondly they should spend time in His Word by themselves and with others. Finally every believer should be in a local Church where they can fellowship with others and hear the Word of God preached.
The best way to discuss this is personally as personally I spend time in the morning in prayer and reading of God’s Word. After my own time with the Lord in prayer and reading of His Word, I then go into study for my sermon. There is a fine line here because even in my studying I can get into the notion of doing rather than being; even when it exists for a good thing like studying God’s Word to preach. The line that believers draw in the sand between knowing God and doing for God will be different for every person. Ministry is my full time job and I spend most of my time studying for sermons, and writing articles everyday. My encouragement is to think through these issues of knowing and doing but do not be motivated by doing but by knowing Jesus.
The heart of missional thinking dismisses the attitude of being program driven and promotes being Gospel driven. At the end of the day missional thinking rises from the belief in the Gospel and is God centered and Christ driven. Jesus calls believers out of the world to Himself and to be in the world to witness to believers. This is a fine line to walk be “in the world but not of the world”. The difference here is how living for Jesus and being a person of integrity as Joseph was. Joseph’s character was shaped by his view of God, and because he knew God intimately through the trials of life and trusted in God. God used Him for His glory and gave Joseph tremendous influence and blessing upon his life. The point is this believer if one wants to be used for God and for His glory then be willing to walk through the pit. Life is not a bed of roses and as a believer you have not been called to an easy life but a life of “taking up the Cross of Jesus” and following Him. The life of a Christian is a life of discipleship whereby one learns from the King of Kings.
Missional theology emphasizes the Gospel not as a program but as the message God gave believers in His Word and as the way in which to live under. God does not call believers to another message or to believe in a philosophy but to believe in the message He gave us in His Word. The message God gave believers in His Word is the Gospel which proclaims that through Christ’s a bloody death for man’s sin in man’s place; man could be reconciled to God. Christ did not just die for man’s sin but rose again. His death and resurrection secure believers reconciliation with God and one’s security with God.
The mission of Jesus is grounded in who Jesus is. Popular culture believes in following after what is popular and “faddish” but Jesus is not “faddish” though He may be “popular” because people who don’t know Him proclaim Him as a “good man, prophet, or teacher”, but Jesus is so much more than that. Jesus is not just some man He was the God Man who called His followers to follow Him as He followed His Father’s mission of redeeming man from the bondage of sin and death. Jesus through His death and resurrection broke through the chains of sin and death. It is Jesus who calls believers to His mission of making disciples. It is Jesus who calls His disciples to live intentionally for His glory. It is missional theology that rightly places Jesus as not just some Savior but as the Lord of all and as the Redeemer of God’s people. It is to this Jesus that believers must know, and declare, because it is this Jesus that calls believers to Himself and then sends them out into the world to be His missionaries, for His glory.
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 26, Joshua 26, Job 26, Psalm 26, Proverbs 26, Isaiah 26, Matthew 26, Acts 26, 1 Corinthians 10, & Hebrews 4.
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 25, Joshua 25, Job 25, Psalm 25, Proverbs 25, Isaiah 25, Matthew 25, Acts 25, 1 Corinthians 9, & Hebrews 3.
The Osteen Moment your own moment will come soon enough by Dr. Albert Mohler: http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/01/27/the-osteen-moment-your-own-moment-will-come-soon-enough/
10 Characteristics of a Missional Church by Scott Thomas: http://www.churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/145792-10-characteristics-of-a-missional-church.html
Conviction or Accusation by Dr. Ray Ortlund: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/rayortlund/2009/05/07/conviction-or-accusation/
Evangelism and Apologetics by John Starke: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/01/26/evangelism-and-apologetics/
Teach Me to Pray by Tim Challies: http://www.challies.com/christian-living/teach-me-to-pray
Prayer and the Healthy Church by Dr. Thom Rainer: http://www.thomrainer.com/2011/01/prayer-and-healthy-churches.php
The Radical Gospel Defiant and Free by Dr. Dane Ortlund http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/01/27/the-radical-gospel-defiant-and-free/
Quote of the Day: Most Christians expect little from God, ask little and therefore receive little and are content with little. —A.W. Pink
A question from a blog reader came in yesterday, “How do I effectively witness to someone that wants to prove the bible wrong- with a know it all attitude in play?”
The Christian life is about humility Proverbs 3:34, “ 34Toward the(A) scorners he(B) is scornful, (C) but to the humble he gives favor.” James 4:6, “ 6But(A) he gives more grace. Therefore it says,(B) “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 1st Peter 5:6 6(M) Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,”
The opposite of humility is pride. People take pride in their work. People take pride in knowledge. People take pride in possessions. When people come to the Bible an attitude of humility is necessary.
Secularists come to the Bible to “find” something that fits their system. Liberals come to the Bible to find “proof” for their beliefs. Born again believers submit to the authority, inspiration, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture. 2nd Timothy 3:16, “16(A) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
People who come to the Bible to prove their positions have a savior mentality. How do you deal with people who come to the Bible with an attitude of pride? First make sure your heart is right before God. Second, before speaking to the person get godly counsel. Proverbs 11:14, “14Where there is(A) no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Third pray for the person. Fourth, speak the Truth in love to the person. Fifth, listen to the person’s response and interact with their response. Sixth, after praying for them, discussing your concerns with them, continue to pray for them.
People are great at talking but often slow to speak. James 1:19, “19(A) Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person(B) be quick to hear,(C) slow to speak,(D) slow to anger;” Proud people are quick to speak but slow to listen. Really listening to someone shows you care about them.
People who are prideful do not listen to criticism. Proverbs 19:20, “20Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in(A) the future.” Proverbs 12:15, “15(A) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Pride brings disgrace but humility wisdom. Proverbs 11:2, “2(A) When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with(B) the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 29:23, “23(A) One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” God resists the proud but give grace to the humble. Jesus humbled Himself by becoming the God Man.
The purpose of the Incarnation was the atonement where Jesus died for sinners so they could come into relationship with God. What is your response to humility? Will you heed the Word of God or heed your own wisdom?
Proverbs 10:21, “21The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for(A) lack of sense.” Fools think they know everything but the humble are learners. Proverbs 16:22, “22Good sense is(A) a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.”
What will be your response to this? Will you be a fool and reject God’s Word to you or will you be wise and accept the truth about yourself? How your respond to God’s word is how you respond to criticism. Criticism is not a bad thing it is helpful to point out weak areas in our lives. Humility is not being a know it all. Humility is a life long process of admitting what one doesn’t know and growing in God’s grace.
You can also listen to me respond to this question at: http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/27/dealing-with-difficult-people-with-humility-and-gods-word/
Do you have a question that you would like answered? I’m always glad to hear from readers. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through http://servantsofgrace.org/contact/. Follow regular updates at http://twitter.com/DaveJJenkins
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 24, Joshua 24, Job 24, Psalm 24, Proverbs 24, Isaiah 24, Matthew 24, Acts 24, 1 Corinthians 8, & Hebrews 2.
Immunized Against the Gospel by Dr. Ed Stetzer: http://www2.lifeway.com/secretchurch/index.php/blog/details/post/immunized_against_the_gospel/
Missional Way for Pro-Life Passion by Jared Wilson: http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/2011/01/missional-way-for-pro-life-passion.html
This Pro-Lifer Wants To Change Laws and Hearts: http://trevinwax.com/2011/01/25/this-pro-lifer-wants-to-change-laws-and-hearts/
Mark Driscoll interviews Dr. Justin and Lindsey Holcomb: http://theresurgence.com/2011/01/26/mark-driscoll-interviews-dr-justin-and-lindsey-holcomb-about-their-new-book
By the skins of their teet is a new mtv child series pornography? By Dr. Albert Mohler: http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/01/26/by-the-skins-of-their-teeth-is-a-new-mtv-series-child-pornography/
Quote of the Day: John Owen, “Holiness is nothing but the implanting, writing, and realizing of the gospel in our souls.”
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 23, Joshua 23, Job 23, Psalm 23, Proverbs 23, Isaiah 23, Matthew 23, Acts 23, 1 Corinthians 7, & Hebrews.
Evangelism for the rest of us by John Starke: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/01/24/evangelism-for-the-rest-of-us/
The Great Announcement by Dr. Michael Horton: http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1201&var3=main
Quote of the Day: ‘Revival comes when Christians are longing for God, and God alone.’ — Brian Edwards
Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 22, Joshua 22, Job 22, Psalm 22, Proverbs 22, Isaiah 22, Matthew 22, Acts 22, 1 Corinthians 6, & Philemon.
Spurgeon on leadership 8 lessons on commitment and the family http://betweenthetimes.com/2011/01/24/spurgeon-on-leadership-8-nine-lessons-on-commitment-and-the-family/
Did Jesus pray Father forgive them? by Dr. Denny Burk: http://www.dennyburk.com/did-jesus-pray-%E2%80%9Cfather-forgive-them%E2%80%9D/
Five Trends to watch for in Evangelicalism 2011-2020 http://trevinwax.com/2011/01/24/5-trends-to-watch-for-in-evangelicalism-2011-2020/
Is Small Talk Worthless? by C.J. Mahaney: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/cj-mahaney/post/Is-Small-Talk-Worthless.aspx
This is sermon #61 in the Luke series. In this sermon on Luke 14:25-35, Dave will discuss the Marks of Discipleship, Finding superior satisfaction in Christ over family and possessions, and the work of the Cross.