July 28, 2019 - Sermon Notes
GO FISH: SHARED MISSION
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The Great Commission is not something we do on our own strength.
We do it in His Power. The Holy Spirit has a way of using some word or verse that we say because, the power isn’t in our personality or intellect, nor in our skills of persuasion. It’s in His Spirit-anointed Word, and His Word doesn’t return void. It accomplishes God’s purpose.
We go to do His Purpose. Jesus told us to “make disciples of all the nations.” We don’t need to travel the world to make disciples of all nations: they are right here, at our door, watching us, observing us and deciding if they want what we have. Therefore if people are watching, we need the Lord's Presence with us because there is nothing attractive about us without the Lord’s presence.
We go with His Presence. As we draw on God's power and adopt His purpose, we will emanate His Presence. And He reassures us that He will be with us always, even to the end of the age.
Evangelism is the main purpose for the church; and it’s more than just an individual mission, it is a shared mission.
Specifically, our shared mission is:
The gospel in action: The extent to which we love one another validates and communicates our faith. It is a witness to the world of the power and authenticity of the gospel. Genuine love and forgiveness between Christians is evidence of God’s presence; evidence that’s more powerful and persuasive than miraculous healings, or speaking in tongues, or any of the supernatural signs and wonders.
The multiple testimonies of transformed lives: Your testimony may be extreme and radical, or it may be a simple one of deciding to follow Jesus at a young age. Both kinds reveal God’s love and mercy because all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But as powerful as your story is, it's only one story, it’s only one voice. A person hearing it may dismiss it as something unique to you alone. However, it is much harder to disregard the witness of an entire church; the transformation of hundreds of lives.
Intentionality in building strong relationships: An evangelizing church provides an essential network of relationships to support seekers as they consider the claims of Christ. Coming to faith is a process that may take weeks or even years of being around the church, hearing the word preached, and seeing it lived out, before it finally all clicks and the person says, "I believe in Jesus". During that time, the relationships with people in the church is what keeps them coming back. We must be intentional in building community and strong relationships.
Encouraging one another to continue fishing: We need to feel that we’re not the only ones out there sharing the gospel. We need people with whom we can share our joys and our disappointments. We need to cheer each other on and encourage one another when the gospel message isn’t received well and we need people to rejoice with when someone comes to faith.
The shared mission of the early church turned the world upside down. When you open your Bible, you'll notice there is no chapter 29 in the Book of Acts. we, as the current church, have been commissioned to write the story of Acts 29 until the Lord Jesus returns. Acts 29 is being written as the Good News of Jesus Christ is being lived out in our day to day lives. We are writing Acts 29 as we fish for the kingdom, as we live as salt and light, as we influence and take small steps towards people. Acts 29 is being written as you and I share this mission and reach out to those who don’t know Jesus.