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:11st Missions focus: Power of Identity· Steve Brown – “Each of you is a theologian· Everyone here today that is a Christian is a warrioro If you are not a Christian the Lord is seeking to enlist you this morningOne soldier, on his return from war was questioned about his experiences. He What is the lesson you would give to anyone going into combat?- Never forget that you are at warBeloved, we are at war! The battle is spiritual but it manifests itself in the physical.The events of Charlottesville were and are a horrendous expression of sin in our world. But we ought not be surprised. It is odd when the church is shocked that sinners actually sin. More, that sinners only sin and, because of that, sinners are always inventing new ways, expressions and shocking ways to sin! But I suggest to you this morning that many are shocked by this because they have forgotten that we are at war and HAVE FAILED TO REALIZE that the devil will not give ground easily or without a fight that is unlike anything you have ever experienced.But the expressions of sin are not the war. They are the fruits of it. The war is when the church actually confronts the kingdom of darkness and beats it down with the weapon of the word of God.We must see every expression of sin as an attack on the glory of God in Jesus Christ. · White nationalism and black nationalism are confrontations to the glory of God.· The Neo Nazi groups and the Nation of Islam are confrontations to the glory of GodWe are not to imitate nor retreat from this present darkness: INSTEAD, WE ARE TO SPEAK TO IT THE POWERFUL AND THE PENETRATING WORD OF THE LIVING GOD. AND WE MUST NOT STOP UNTIL THESE HATE GROUPS ARE CONDEMENED OR SOME OF THEM CONVERTED; WE MUST PUSH AND PRESS UNTIL, AS Habakkuk said,
ESVFor the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
That is the focus of RENEWING LIFE CHURCH because that is the mission given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. That mission is clear:WE ARE TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH! But for the next couple of week I want to prepare is for the war. You see, not only should we never forget that we are at war, but we must NEVER BEGLECT BEING ALWAYS READY AND PREPARED FOR THE WAR! says that we must
ESVbut in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
“… always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you….,


Spurgeon: Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter


The word order “Christ Jesus” points to the reality that Jesus is Lord – Messiah. Specifically, Paul teaches in this word order the emphasis on the certainty of salvation for those who have believed in JesusThis is important beloved, because § if our identity is in ourselves; § if our identity is based on our being able to be perfectly obedient to the Lord; § if our identity hinges on the need for me to be above sin§ if our identity means that I should not and will not battle with sin, · stumble in sin · commit sino IF OUR IDENTITY IS BASED ON ANY OF THE ABOVE: –WE WILL NOT FINISH THE MISSION.- If you have believed in Jesus - and if it is your humble desire to live for His glory- and if it is your hungering to grow in your love for Him I NEED YOU TO KNOW THAT HE ALONE IS YOUR IDENTITY. · YOU ARE SAVED NOT BECAUSE OF YOUo Your perfectiono Your righteousness· YOU ARE SAVED BECAUSE OF HIS WORK FOR YOU ON THE CROSSBy His PerfectionBy His RighteousnessTHE REASON WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT IS BECAUSE THIS IS ALL WE HAVE WE HAVE ONE MESSAGE AND THAT MESSAGE IS NOT· Look at me· I am good· I am sufficient· I am I am I amOUR ONE MESSAGE IS· Look at CHRIST· CHRIST is good· CHRIST is sufficient· CHRIST is the Great I amYou see, when you know your identity in Jesus. - When you know that He has saved you and secured your salvation by His · PERFECT life · and by His WILLING deathYou will fight in the mission even when you are a mess because the gospel declares that JESUS MAJORS IN MESSED UP PEOPLE!THIS IS WHAT THE DEVIL DOESHe points to your mess and says: “See, you cant be on the mission you are messed upTHE DEVIL POINT US TO OURSELVES AND MAKES US THINK THAT OUR INDENTIY IS FOUND WITHIN USSO WHEN WE ARE MESSED UP, OR MAKE A MISTAKE OR FALL INTO SINTHE DEVIL POINT YOU INWARD, NOT UPWARDAND HE SAYS TO US WHAT IS TRUE: YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD BE…YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO EVEN BE ON THIS MISSIONYOU EVER FELT THIS WAY?LET ME ASK YOU THIS:Where else can you go where the one qualification to belong is to not be qualified to belong?What Job do you know will hire you because you are not qualified?What race do you know where the goal to get in is to be unqualifiedBUT IN THE KINGDOM, GOD WORKS DIFFERENTLY· God is not looking for qualified People· JESUS QUALIFIES THE UNQUALIFIED BY HIS LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION
ESVHe has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
ESVFor consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
ESVBut God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
ESVGod chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,


He is a Servant (slave) of Christ.In describing himself, the first thing that Paul says about himself is that he is a servant of Christ Jesus. Literally speaking, he is a slave of the Creator Lord – Jesus Himself. The term, slave, in used in the OT of those who were servants of Yahweh. So, Paul is saying that he, in his ministry from the Lord, stands in the line of the prophets as one who speaks, accurately and directly for the Living God. This is more than a description of him; it is the way in which Paul identifies himself and the very essence and purpose of his existence.Above everything else that he does, he is first and chiefly a slave of the Lord.As a slave he is bound by the will and the purposes of his Master. He has no thoughts that are not his master’s thoughts and he has not actions or movements except those which his master has commanded and would approve of. Yet, this is not a position in which Paul is bound unwillingly.To identify as a servant Paul is saying that his life is in absolute submission to the authority of Christ. He lives a totally submitted, committed, obedient and humble life; he lives in complete and utter devotion under God’s absolute ownership.This is who Paul is: This is his self-confessed identity. This is why Paul has no problem with carrying out the mission of the Lord: he belongs to the Lord – body, soul, mind and strength.Look at
ESVI have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
In order to be prepared for the war of taking God’s glory to the ends of the earth, we must understand and embrace our servant and slave identity with Christ and know what that means for our lives. One of the difficulties in the church being on mission for the global glory of the Lord is that we have forgotten or have chosen to neglect the reality that our confession of faith is more than a confession of belief in Jesus Christ. Our confession of faith is our confession of submission and absolute surrender to the will of our new master – Jesus Christ.The reality is that I will serve other out of my service to my Master. Yet, I will not serve anyone if I do not serve my master. But, when I am serving my Master I will be giving the whole of my life for my brothers and sisters and for the lost if because I am giving the whole of my life to my Master - Jesus. He served us by giving His life; we will only serve Him when we are willing to give our lives for others! Why is this the case?See, Paul was not simply the servant of Jesus; he was the servant of Jesus because he had a heart for and the heart of Jesus. · He felt what Jesus felt· He thought what Jesus thought. · He condemned what Jesus condemned · He celebrated what Jesus celebrated. IS THAT NOT WHAT SLAVES DO WHEN THEY LOVE THEIR MASTER?You see, Paul gave himself totally to Jesus – his new Master – because he had, in the past, given himself totally to his old master - sin and self. Under that Master of sin and self, life for Paul was all about Paul (who was then named Saul). Under that master he gave his all to self because his heart was the heart of sin and self. But when this new master, Jesus, met him, all of what he was like garbage to him.Paul says in
ESVBut whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
DO YOU HEAR PAUL?What was once considered the best thing in the world; what was once prized, and cherished, loved, adored and seemed worthy of my whole life, WHEN I MET JESUS, my heart changed and my affections changed. I saw my old Master (sin and self) for what they really were – empty, vain, lonely and destined for hell.: He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved SonThis is why he was a glad slave of this Master – Jesus Christ. He delivered Paul from a future of eternal doom to a kingdom of love See - When we come to be loved by the Lord and saved by Him we are instantly His slaves; we are His servants to do as He pleases and what He wills. We will gladly walk in total surrender of our lives and our wills under and in submission to His will and commands for our lives when we see that this Master has saved us from that old master of the flesh which was robbing us of our greatest joy and pleasure – and that is making the name of Jesus known.


Spurgeon: Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter

“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter” - Charles Spurgeon

To be called literally means to be …PAUL CALLS HIMSELF AN APOSTLEapostle (Greek apostolos, a term derived from a verb which means to send, to send away on a commission, to dispatch) LET US QUICKLY MAKE SOME DISTINCTIONS:There is the office of an apostle and then there is the spirit of an apostle:OFFICE OF AN APOSTLE: Represents the 12 who were specifically selected and chosen to walk with Jesus. When Judas betrayed the Lord the Apostles had to choose another to replace him. Here is what they said they were looking for: Acts 1:21.22
ESVSo one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
SPIRIT OF AN APOSTLEIn this way · “it refers to any gospel-messenger, anyone who is sent on the spiritual mission of the Lord and brings the message of salvation. (; , ; ; ; cf. 1:1; and see also ). Therefore there are none today who can be called an Apostle like Paul (the office of Apostle is done with John in Revelation).Paul was an apostle: God called him to write the authoritative wordNotice this reality. No one simply chooses to be a Christian: we are called: chosen – selected – plucked out from the mass of humanity to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.When Paul was converted he was, at the same time commissioned. When he was saved he was, at the same time sent.However, there is one essential fact to know about being called:

We are not called to be a “Christians” as we understand it; we are called to be a ambassadors of the kingdom of God.

This is how Paul puts it ()
ESVTherefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
An ambassadorIS LIKE One who goes on an errandWhen a parent sends a kid to the store that kid has a mission and a purpose: it is not to get what they want: it is to get what they were told to get.They go to the store with the desires of the parent in front of them. They don’t have the right to do anything but what the parent tells them to do. To do otherwise will have some consequences.Let them go often and forget what they were supposed to get or act like the money you sent them with is actually their money§ Discipline§ Denial of another opportunity · This is what the Lord has done; he has Called us and commissioned us to go to the store of this world and to do His business in it!Everyone is sent, but what you are sent to specifically comes down to two points of affirmation:

i. Internal Calling: By affirmation and calling from the Lord

ESVBut when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,

ii. External Calling: affirmation & confirmation from the body

ESVNow there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
ESVWhile they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Notice, Paul did not DECIDE on his calling: He was sent by God to a calling!· Part of our struggle with fulfilling God mission is that we can sometimes operate in a good work that is not our work:o We Stop, Give Up: Not Because We Are Bad, Lazy, Or Whatever (This Could Be The Case)o But More Often Because We Find Our Passions At Odds With What We Are Doingiii. Those uniquely called to establish the gospel


He is set apart Servant of Christ plucked out of the world When men and women enlist in the military they have to go through the painful process of boot camp. I have never been to boot camp but I have heard the stories of those who have. It is intense! It is demanding. It is a life changing experience –and that is what boot camp is really forIn Boot Camp recruits are not just physically challenged and changed; they are mentally challenged and changed as it relates to loyalties and priorities. For instance, when they get to boot camp · Take your phone from you· Script what you say to your parents on your first phone call· WHY IS BOOT CAMP SO INTENSE?to train 18 year olds to run to the sound of gunfire and perform under fire and the threat of death.Those at war need an entirely different thought process than those who are at ease.What this means: excommunicated:

i. Kicked out of the world by the gospel

Set Apart literally means “EXCOMMUNICATED”
ESV“You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out.
ESVAnd you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them.
ESVBut I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples.
ESVDo not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
ESVWhat accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
ESVWhat agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The gospel challenges and changes our loyaltiesIt speaks of another King and His Kingdom and calls us to live for that King and His kingdom, alone!Jesus said
ESVIn the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
and 2
ESVI appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
ESVDo not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paul also says in verse 15
ESVthat you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
ESVAnd he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth;
ESVfor you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.
ii. Kicked out of the world for the gospel We are excommunicated - kicked out of the world by the gospel so that we can, without rival proclaim the gospel to the world!Paul’s calling of untimely … You may think that you are less than and may be thinking to yourself:a. Who will listen to meb. Who will hear me c. Who am I to tell anyone But by the grace of God… i. You are not preaching youii. You are not preaching about your goodnessiii. You ARE preaching the Lord and His graceAND KNOW THIS BELOVED AND NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THIS TRUTH THAT I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU:

there are some who have been appointed by the Lord to hear the message of the gospel FROM YOU AND ONLY YOU!

ESVAnd he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth;
ESVfor you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.
1. Our main purpose must be the clear, consistent, courageous and Christ centered proclamation of the message of the gospel which will continue to a. Pluck men out of the world for the glory of the Lord
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