Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, July 11
  • Because Of Your Love
  • The Power Of Your Love
  • Holy Water
  • Do It Again
  • 27 Jun 21
    Ephesians 1:7-10
    Turn to Eph. 1 and 2 Cor. 5
    When we started Ephesians, I mentioned that
    We will be confronted with the Mission of Christ.
    I used the word confronted on purpose because He has a mission, and when we read Scripture, we are confronted with His mission. When confronted, we have 3 options: we can ignore it, we can twist it - make it something it’s not (all about me, MAGA…), or we can actively participate.
    So, what is His mission?
    Ephesians 1:7–10 ESV
    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
    That’s the mission.
    Colossians 1:16 ESV
    For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
    Colossians 1:19–20 ESV
    For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
    His mission is to reconcile - to unite. That word unite in v10 means to sum up or to connect all the pieces that are meant, to be connected.
    The mission of Christ is to unite that which was never meant to be separated.
    His mission is the reconciliation of all things that have been scattered, broken, lost, separated and wounded because of sin and death and chaos and lawlessness.
    The mission of Christ is reconciliation. We can ignore it, twist it or participate in it.
    Now the mission has already been accomplished on the cross - Jesus said, “It is finished.” However, we live in this “already, but not yet” reality of the mission of God. It’s been accomplished, but not quite yet. It’s a spiritual thing. So, Jesus doesn’t want us to ignore or twist so He invites us to participate in the “not quite yet” part of the mission. How?
    I don’t want to get too far into the weeds, and we’ll cover it more later, but in Eph. 3, Paul said that the mystery of God’s plan has been revealed
    Ephesians 3:10 ESV
    so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
    The Church is the means of accomplishing the mission until Christ returns.
    If you have confessed Christ as Lord, you are how the mission gets accomplished - or not.
    The success or failure of the mission of Christ is on our shoulders.
    If you don’t agree with that then why did Jesus say go, make disciples in all the nations?
    We can ignore the mission, twist it or participate in it.
    Turn to 2 Corinthians 5 and let’s expand this idea of how the mission is accomplished through us.
    2 Corinthians 5:9–10 ESV
    So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
    Question - How do you do to please Jesus?
    Not about earning – this is about relationship. If I make no effort to please Susan or Ally, or anyone close to me, what kind of relationship is that? If I’m not focused on pleasing Jesus, whom am I focused on? Eph. 5:10. If the focus is not on Him, it’s not on the mission.
    We need to cultivate a life that’s pleasing to Jesus.
    2 Corinthians 5:11 ESV
    Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
    Question - Do you know Jesus? Not in a religious sense, or …. Do you know Him, respect Him, honor Him …? Know Him as King, Lord, friend …?
    2 Corinthians 5:14–15 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.
    I’m married - I no longer live for myself. I have children - I no longer live for myself.
    Question - Have you been gripped by His love, so much that His love for you occupies your mind, and it pushes you, encourages you to be part of His mission?
    Have you been gripped by His love so that you no longer live for self, but for Jesus?
    If not, be honest with God. Then start praying about it. Jack Deere ….
    2 Corinthians 5:18–20 ESV
    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.
    I sent a text to Susan to encourage and remind her that she is His ambassador. This is what autocorrect sent. Please don’t eat Jesus’ ambassadors.
    Two key words - ministry and message (v18 & 19). God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Ministry (diakonia) - service - servant - serving - action - it’s what we do. He has also given us the message of reconciliation - it’s what we say. Message (logon) - word - verbal communication - telling. Reconciling others to God involves serving and speaking. There is a message that needs to be communicated alongside of our serving (so often our testimony / gospel - “Let your mess be your message”).
    Jesus invites us to participate in His mission of reconciliation through our ministry and our message. We are how the mission is accomplished. And if we’re not serving, and if we’re not messaging, are we really participating?
    God has given each person who claims Jesus as Savior the ministry and message of reconciliation.
    Question -
    Who does Jesus want to reconcile through you?
    Don’t say everyone. Be a little more specific. Neighbor? Person at the …? Who does Jesus want to reconcile through you? Maybe it’s the homeless, maybe it’s missions, maybe it’s children …. Great - remember it’s ministry and message.
    Two final thoughts: If you haven’t received His love, reconciliation - His mission won’t mean a lot. So, the ministry and message of reconciliation begins where? In my heart - between me and God. This relationship (vertical) must be treated as any other healthy relationship … (time, cultivation, submission …).
    Lastly, if we can’t reconcile with one another (brothers and sisters), people on the other side of the room, in our own church, with the people we worship with … how are we going to reconcile sinners to God?
    What are you going to do with the ministry and message of reconciliation that you have been given?
    Ignore it? Twist it? Participate in it?
      • Ephesians 1:7–10ESV

      • Colossians 1:16ESV

      • Colossians 1:19–20NLT

      • Ephesians 3:10NLT

      • 2 Corinthians 5:9–10ESV

      • 2 Corinthians 5:11NLT

      • 2 Corinthians 5:14–15NLT

      • 2 Corinthians 5:18–20NLT

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