First Baptist Church of Howard City
July 31, 2022
      • Ephesians 3.14-17ESV

      • Ephesians 3.18-20ESV

      • Ephesians 3.21ESV

  • All I Have Is Christ
  • Why are we here?

    Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. -THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM
    Probably most of us would agree that we exist to glorify God.
    Maybe we would say: We are here to worship God.
    We will worship and glorify God in eternity.
    In fact - it will be better - with pure sinless hearts.
    So why are we here?
    Are we here to serve God?
    Sure we are - but again, can’t we do that in glory?
    John 17:14–15 ESV
    14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

    Why are we here?

    Why did Jesus want us left here on earth?
    To do what He did.
    To continue what He started.
    Jesus invested His life in a few people so they could invest their lives in a few people!
    We begin to understand what this means in the last recorded words of Jesus.
    Today my goal is to help you better understand the Great Commission.
    Barna: 51% of church goers have never heard the term.
    Another 25% have heard the term but didn’t know what it was.
    Only 17% said they know the term and the passage associated with it.
    Matthew 28:18–20 ESV
    18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    1. The authority Jesus holds.

    Christ’s resurrection was the ultimate validation of His authority.
    Christ spoke the world into existence.
    Today He is holding it together by the power of His Word.
    He has UNIVERSAL authority.
    It is with that authority that Jesus commissioned the disciples.
    He is standing before them alive after He was crucified in such a way that there was no doubt He was dead.
    The great commission comes out of a miracle.
    The great commission comes out of victory - a changed narrative.
    Here is Jesus who had the authority to take up His life again giving the disciples their marching orders.
    Think with me for a moment about the importance of this.
    He holds ALL the authority in the universe.
    And with that authority comes...

    2. The authorization Jesus gives.

    With the authority, it is not just a command but an authorization!
    2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV
    20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    2. The authorization Jesus gives.

    We have been authorized by Christ to carry the good news of the gospel to the world.
    Jesus is no longer here to reach the lost.
    He pleaded with the Father to leave us here so we could speak on his behalf!
    We have been authorized, but with that authorization comes a stewardship. A responsibility.
    We now need to live with Christ in mind.
    My life no longer matters.
    My freedom no longer matters.
    My opinions no longer matter.
    What matters is my representation of Christ.
    This ambassadorship - this assignment to speak on Christ’s behalf has a specific action.

    3. The action Jesus commanded.

    Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
    19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    3. The action Jesus commanded.

    “Go make disciples”
    Let’s take a side track for a minute and address something that I have heard for a long time.
    This commission was not given to us… it was given to the disciples.
    Two ways to answer this...
    ONE: If I did agree that this assumption is correct...
    We should understand… the very nature of the commission means you and I are still responsible to carry it out.
    Thy were told to make disciples who naturally make other disciples.
    TWO: This assumption is incorrect. How do we know?
    Jesus says He will be with us “until the end of the age”
    This mean us!
    “Go make disciples”
    I want to take some time here.
    I have learned that I missed this.
    The ultimate goal is to make a disciple so let’s start backwards and answer some questions.

    A. What is a disciple?

    A disciple is a follower.
    If that is all we knew, would that be enough.
    What did Jesus do? He invested in a few.
    He shared his life with a few.
    So they could do the same.
    Jesus made followers and now He is sending them to make other followers.
    Are you and I doing this?
    Are we making followers of Christ who are making other followers of Christ?
    A good question to help us understand this is: did the disciples understand what Jesus was telling them to do?
    Yes… because of culture.
    Learning was not done in a classroom as we know it.
    Learning was a Master/Learner relationship.
    A student attached themselves to a teacher.
    They would follow them.
    Listen to their teaching.
    Watch their lives.
    They would begin to walk, talk, and eat like the teacher .
    When that teacher died. One of the students would step up and continue teaching.
    Remember that John the Baptist had disciples - followers.
    Paul had disciples.
    This was a normal way of life.
    1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV
    1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

    In this context a disciple is a follower of Christ who makes other followers of Christ.

    Jesus taught his disciples formally and He shared his life with them. That is the example they knew to follow.

    B. How is a disciple made?

    There are three “steps” if you will to making a disciple.
    If we miss any of them, we may have played a part in making a disciple, but we did not fulfill the command given to us by Christ.
    The first one is not mentioned, but assumed.

    a. The first step in making a disciple is salvation.

    Notice I said this is the first step?
    Just leading someone to Christ is an exciting thing but you did not make a disciple. - There’s still more.
    When we give a tract to someone - that’s great!
    BUT still didn’t make a disciple.
    We accomplished ONE part of what Christ told us to do.

    b. The second step in making a disciple is baptism.

    This is important because it is when a new believer publically identifies himself as a follower of Christ.
    Not only that, but you and I understand the tie to a local church!
    BUT, once again, if we lead someone to Christ and baptize them, we still haven’t fulfilled the Great commission.
    Look what else Jesus says we need to do...

    c. The third step in making a disciple is teaching them to obey ALL of Christ’s commandments.

    We often treat the baptism of a new believer like a graduation ceremony. Instead we should treat it as we would bringing a baby home from the hospital.
    A ton of joy, but recognizing the job is just starting.
    We are to teach them to observe or obey ALL of Christ’s commands.
    When will we obey all of life’s commands?
    Ephesians 4:11–15 ESV
    11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 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, 14 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. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

    c. The third step in making a disciple is teaching them to obey ALL of Christ’s commandments.

    Paul gives us a great picture of what this looks like.
    Building up (as in construction)
    It takes work.
    It takes time.
    It takes a plan.
    It cost something.
    Helping each other grow up so we are not spiritual children.
    Paul says this is the work of the saints.
    In Hebrews 5, talking to the general church public.
    The Saints.
    Not specifically pastors.
    The author calls out a problem and a responsibility.
    Hebrews 5:12 ESV
    12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
    There is a problem with immaturity - lack of spiritual growth.
    It is hindering them from being the teachers they should be.
    Have you ever considered that God expects you to be a teacher?
    Catch the length of this.
    Until we all attain to the unity of the faith.
    Until we become spiritually mature men and women.
    Until we are of the measure of stature and fulness of Christ.
    We will never be fully like Christ on this earth!
    Our detective skills tell us a discipleship program will not work.
    This is more than a 10 week or year program!
    Brad Hoff - Trying to write a discipleship program.

    C. What do I do about this information?

    a. Jesus tells Christians to go.

    If this doesn’t seem hard already, it will now.
    There is a problem with the American church.
    We have programized the Great Commission.
    We put a lot of countless hours of work and countless dollars into evangelistic programs and our churches are still dying.
    We keep trying to bring the world into programs and activities so Pastor or someone can preach the gospel to them.
    But Jesus said GO INTO THE WORLD!!!
    The Barna Group has found that 95% of evangelical Christians have never led someone to Christ outside of an organized church event.
    We are not consistently and intentionally going into the world.
    It isn’t wrong to invite a neighbor, co-worker, or unsaved friend to church.
    What’s wrong is if that is all you do.
    Let me share a verse with you that God has used to change the way we think about going into the world.
    Luke 19:10 ESV
    10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

    a. Jesus tells Christians to go.

    Jesus - the one I am to follow came to seek and save.
    The word “seek” means: to plot against.
    Jesus came to plot against sinners for the sake of the gospel.
    Jesus had lunch with tax collectors.
    He purposefully went through Samaria and met the woman at the well.
    Not only that...
    Ephesians 1:4 ESV
    4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
    Galatians 4:4 ESV
    4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

    a. Jesus tells Christians to go.

    Every part of His crucifixion was a conspiracy, but not one part of it was out of God’s plan.
    He was plotting agains you and I so He could save us.
    How much effort do we put into going?
    We are learning to plot against those around us.
    What does that look like?
    It starts with prayer (for 1).
    Then we need to be intentional.
    Find a way to put yourself around unsaved people and live on mission when you are around them.
    Think strategically.
    Do something you enjoy doing!
    Pastor Mike and his tractor.
    Micah and inviting neighbors over.
    Brad selling pens.
    Krista and her desk mate.
    Rich and I.
    I want to make this clear.
    People still invite their unsaved friends, neighbors, and relatives to church.
    But they understand their responsibility if they come to Christ.

    b. Keep it simple.

    It is easy to get overwhelmed.
    FIRST: Remember Acts 1:8
    Acts 1:8 ESV
    8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

    b. Keep it simple.

    You are where you are for a reason.
    Where you work.
    Where you live.
    Where you go to school.
    Where you shop.
    It starts there.
    As you grow, God may allow you to expand your reach.
    That’s also what the local church is for!
    Don’t try to reach the world. Look for one!
    95% of evangelical Christians have never lead someone to the Lord outside of Church.
    So if you lead ONE you are beating the odds!
    Win One
    Lead One
    Follow One

    4. The ability Jesus promises.

    I am with you always.
    Jesus is the one doing the work.
    We are simply the instrument.
      • John 17:14–15ESV

      • Matthew 28:18–20ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 5:20ESV

      • Matthew 28:19–20ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 11:1ESV

      • Ephesians 4:11–15ESV

      • Hebrews 5:12ESV

      • Luke 19:10ESV

      • Ephesians 1:4ESV

      • Galatians 4:4ESV

      • Acts 1:8ESV

  • I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

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