Posts Tagged ‘The Gospel’

Discipleship – 1: The Mission

What if we were given one thing to do – just one main mission – and we didn’t do it? Now, this does not imply that this one thing is an all encompassing definition of our lives and all of the reality adjacent to our lives – but, it is the one thing – the main thing we are to do. I guess it would depend upon who gave us the mission and what was at stake . . . right?

When reading , specifically , I see an interesting, rather arresting pattern. The text says that Paul “made many disciples . . . strengthened the souls of the disciples . . . and spent a long time (not a little time) with the disciples.” This is a profound narrative. Paul could have, according to some – should have, kept working “for the faith”, since all of these people were already converts. Yet, he spent precious time encouraging and building up the Church and he spent large amounts of that time. Why? Why would he do that?

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14:1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples. (ESV)

21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples. (ESV)

The Gospel

Christianity is not one of many world religions – it’s reality . . . only because Jesus/God is reality. That is where it must always begin.

God really Is. (; ; )

The Godhead is made of of Three Persons, yet Triune as God (; ; 1 Cor.8:4; ; ,  10:30, 14:9; ) unique in Roles and Personhood, but not essence nor being.

This means the Father is God ()

Jesus is God ()

The Spirit is God () {At this point let me mention the obvious that these are but granular sample-texts within a Sahara of truth the Scriptures teach on the subject}

So, there is God and He is before all things, made all things, holds all things together and will bring to account all things – AND He made it all for Himself. ()

That is what is really going on. That is where it must always begin.

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1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (ESV)

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (ESV)

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; (ESV)

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (ESV)

I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me, (ESV)

16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 28:19

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, (ESV)

18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (ESV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)

27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (ESV)

28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (ESV)

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” (ESV)

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV)

An analogy of sin and Christ

When I was a boy, we lived in a rural part of Alabama. We had a creek behind our home and it had countless joys for young boys in it: crawdads (crawfish), cool rocks, snakes, water and mud – lot’s of mud. We spent a many a summer day in that creek and in the evening, as we were being called in for dinner a common scene took place:

Rob approaches the sliding-glass door at the rear of the house bearing the filthy joy of creek-playing hedonism

Dad: “Stop right there! You are not setting foot in this house until you clean up.”

Rob starts to attempt wiping off the mud – only there is mud on his hands and on every part of his body. Only smearing and deeper staining is occurring.

Dad: furrowed-brow looks

Rob: “This isn’t working.”

What Rob needs is an outside source – something clean that can take the filth from him. Rob needs a clean towel and his brother to spray him with a water hose. Without a clean source to take the stains away, there is no hope.

Truly on this side of the analogy AND the sliding glass doors, the fried chicken has never tasted so good.

Thank you, Jesus.

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Don’t Waste Your Life – Week 2

At the “Blazing Center” of a life lived for God’s glory is the Cross of Christ. This is not only the means of coming to life, but also the means for living it.

DWYL Week 2

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Treasuring Christ Church: Beautiful Feet

My wife and I were commenting to each other that the song, “Beautiful Feet” by Lacrae reminded us of Sean Cordell and those at TCC in Raleigh. With a burden to reach the inner-city – and doing it – they remind us all of the hard work to be done. I think that I have been forgetting that over the past few years. May God give us all “beautiful feet”, like them. If you have never looked them up – you should.

Go.

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