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Reaching The Outsiders

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Our sacrifice to God as the priesthood of believers is leading new souls to Christ who were previously outside of the church. Leading new souls to Christ should be the priority (motivation or ambition) of an apostle/messenger of Jesus Christ. And the local church should also understand the call of the apostle/messenger of Jesus Christ and support however possible

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Introduction

Last week’s discussion with our younger generation regarding millennials

Race as a Social Construct

April 2018 special issue of National Geographic focusing on race:

“Skin Deep” by Elizabeth Kolbert

Research has revealed two deep truths about people:
1. All humans are closely related
2. All people alive today are Africans
Science today tells us that visible difference between peoples are accidents of history
There is more diversity in Africa than all other continents combined
What is race exactly?
According to science there is no genetic or scientific basis. Instead it’s largely a made up label, used to define and separate us
The longer two groups are separated, the more distinctive tweaks they acquire
Galations 5:9
Galatians 5:9 ESV
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
In her article “STREETS IN HIS NAME” published in the April 2018 issue of the National Geographic magazine, Wendi C. Thomas states that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther “King is often remembered for speaking of a simple goal: Black children and white children hand in hand, as if they were siblings”
This is also God’s goal for the church, the body of Jesus Christ, that we walk by faith together, as sisters and brothers in the faith.
But sometimes unfortunately we draw distinctions among ourselves within the body of Jesus Christ.
It is in the book of Galatians within the Bible that God says
Galatians 3:25–29 ESV
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Colossians 3:10–17 ESV
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:10-
In other words, we are all suppose to be united together within the body of Christ with Jesus Christ being the head. Since we are offspring of the father of the faith, who is Abraham, then we share the same spiritual DNA which is suppose to be our faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 9:9 ESV
For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Romans 3:9 ESV
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
So nobody who knows Jesus Christ as their savior is to feel like an outsider within their church family
God declared it to us this way within the book of Colossians
Colossians 3:10–11 ESV
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Romans 3:19–31 ESV
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
You see beloved, it is all about Jesus Christ!
Romans 3:19
Roman
And Jesus Christ is in all who believe in him as their personal LORD and savior

Transition

It is in the Bible within the book of Romans that God makes his intentions clear for the church regarding our insider vs. outsider status...
By the time the Apostle Paul, who was a servant of Christ Jesus, set apart for the proclamation of the Good News of God, arrives at chapter 15 of the letter to the church in Rome, he is ready to close this spiritual letter. But as if the Holy Spirit has prompted Paul to tie up some loose ends, he proceeds to provide the reason that God has directed him to write this letter in the first place. You see, Paul needed to bring the occasion of this holy letter into view for the reader. He needed the church at Rome to understand the context of this letter that was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul needed to remind the Roman church of a few things- especially regarding the relationship between the strong and the weak members of the church:
Review
); and sound theology more generally

Body

Paul lets the church in Rome know that his ministry is to reach the outsiders; those who are outside the faith.
Engage In Grace Filled Evangelism & Discipleship
It is all about love (so do not judge your brother and sister in Christ improperly)
But Paul needed to remind the Roman church of a few things- especially regarding the strong and the weak (review ); and sound theology more generally
Paul writes this letter with unusual boldness & frankness in “parts” for them to recall and think about again
Why has Paul written in such a way?
Consider that Paul did not plant the church in Rome.
Yet Paul writes with the authority of a pastor.
God has given Paul grace
The gospel proclaimer receives grace from God
Romans 3:22–23 ESV
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
1 Corinthians 15:9–11 ESV
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Romans 3:23 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Illustrate: Paul could look back over his life and know his ministry work was by the grace of God
1 Corinthians 15Illustrate: Paul could look back over his life and know his ministry work was by the grace of God
- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Do I have a witness?
Illustrate: So I can look back over my life and see how the LORD God has shown me grace
Can you look back over our life and see how God has shown you grace.
The Gospel proclaimer shows grace towards the unsaved and saved
Paul did not plant the church in Rome. So he addresses them as a brother in the faith as well a servant (minister) of the Gospel
Illustrate: Imagine how the Romans felt as they read this letter
The Gospel proclaimer does not provide destructive instruction
Observe how Pauls opens this explantation
Paul is convinced (persuaded/satisfied) that the Church in Rome possesses
Marks of true and authentic evangelism & discipleship
they know right from wrong and does what is right
they have an understanding of the faith due to experience and learning
has understanding due to experience and learning
able to provide instruction to one another
they are able to provide instruction to one another
to correct behavior
to correct belief
Illustrate: When we gain some knowledge from the Bible of right and wrong, we love to correct others, who are “weak”
1 Corinthians 8:1 ESV
Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
Illustrate: When we attempt or try to instruct our youth
We do not want to instruct in ways that are destructive. What are some ways which our instruction can be destructive?
Paul calls them to instruct, not get into an argument!
We want to instruct in such a way that builds up!
So we have to be especially careful how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ- especially those who are new to the faith
Romans 15:1–2 ESV
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
The Gospel proclaimer, through the Holy Spirit, serves the long-saved & newly saved in their sanctification
What does sanctified mean here? To be made Holy & Presentable & Clean before God. Only the Holy Spirit can accomplish this miraculous act in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ
Illustration: the priestly service of offering acceptable (Holy) sacrifices
Humbly Perform The Work Of Sharing The Good News Of Jesus Christ
Jesus gets the credit for new believers in Christ.
John 17:10–12 ESV
All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
So we must always give credit to Jesus Christ for any soul who comes to Jesus Christ. Jesus works through us, but it is God who changes hearts!
So we must always give credit to Jesus Christ for any soul who comes to Jesus Christ. Jesus works through us, but it is God who changes hearts!
Give Glory To God for what Christ accomplishes through us to lead people to Christ
Galatians 6:14 ESV
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
1 Corinthians 1:30–31 ESV
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 11:28–30 ESV
And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
God Glory By our words
Proverbs 18:20–21 ESV
From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
John 17:17 ESV
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
John 17:20–21 ESV
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
John 17:20-21by Pauls word- that which has been stated or said, with primary focus upon the content of the communication
by Pauls word- that which has been stated or said, with primary focus upon the content of the communication
by Pauls word- that which has been stated or said, with primary focus upon the content of the communication
Our content is Jesus Christ:
Born, crucified, dead, buried, & raised from the dead!
Illustrate: We must get our messaging right. Reading a book on branding
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
And Give God Glory by our deeds
by Pauls deed- in contrast to word, to function to work, that which is done, with possible focus on the energy or effort involved. that which displays itself in activity of any kind, deed, action. in contrast to rest. work
How much effort are we putting into evangelism and discipleship: leading and growing souls in Christ Jesus
Romans 12:9–13 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
i.e. Paul has put a lot of effort into bringing the Gentiles to obedience of the faith. Paul has exerted energy.
Illustrate: What do you put your energy into? Does what you put your energy into provide opportunities for people to grow closer to Jesus and get to know Jesus
Or are people asking, are you “really” a Christian?
1 Corinthians 15:
By the power of signs and wonders
By the power of the Holy Spirit
Ambitiously Pursue The Outsider’s Salvation
Getting beyond the four falls of the local church building and congregation
- so those who have never been told of Jesus will see
- so those who have never heard will understand
Illustrate: ambition- literally, act of soliciting for votes. to earnestly aspire to something, implying strong ambition for some goal. have I strived, I have made it my aim
Illustration: Running a campaign to get elected (2018 mid-term election campaigns and the signs all around Boston)
Paul is out soliciting for votes to get Jesus elected into the hearts of all who hear the gospel
Paul makes it his ambition to do the work that Jesus has called him to do- to fulfill the ministry of the gospel
Paul’s ambition is to lead to new souls to Christ; to evangelize those presently outside the body of Jesus Christ
Paul is daring to be different
Paul is charting new courses in his aim to preach the gospel and thus fulfill the ministry of the gospel
Romans 15:14 ESV
I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
Church in Rome
knows right from wrong and does what is right
has understanding due to experience and learning
able to provide instruction to one another
to correct behavior
to correct belief
Illustrate: When we gain some knowledge from the Bible of right and wrong, we love to correct others, who are “weak”
We want to instruct in such a way that builds up
Illustrate: When we attempt or try to instruct our youth
We do do not want to instruct in ways that are destructive. What are some ways which are destructive?
Paul calls them to instruct, not get into an argument!
We want to instruct in such a way that builds up!
Romans 15:1–2 ESV
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Romans 15:
In other words, don’t provide destructive instruction
1 Corinthians 8:1 ESV
Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
Illustrate
Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
In other words, don’t provide destructive instruction
Romans 15:15 ESV
But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God
Paul writes this letter with unusual boldness & frankness in “parts parts” for them to recall and think about again
But Paul needed to remind the Roman church of a few things- especially regarding the strong and the weak (review ); and sound theology more generally
Paul writes this letter with unusual boldness & frankness in “parts parts” for them to recall and think about again
God has given Paul grace
Romans 15:16 ESV
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:16
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles
This is the ministry to which Paul has been called. Paul talks to the Romans as if he is talking to family and people whom he is familiar
Whom is Paul referring to as the Gentiles?
How does Paul minister to the Gentiles (outsiders)?
In the priestly service of the gospel of God, see
so that the offering of the Gentiles (outsiders) may be acceptable,
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
I 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. Do 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.
sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:17 ESV
In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.
Why does Paul have reason to be proud of his work for God, is it because of verse 14?
Note: In Christ Jesus, Paul is proud of his work for God!
Paul is proud of His work, because of what Christ accomplished through him.
So must always give credit to Jesus Christ for any soul who comes to Jesus Christ. Jesus works through us, but it is God who changes hearts!
Galatians 6:14 ESV
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Galatians 6:14
So Give God The Glory!
1 Corinthians 1:30–31 ESV
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
So Give God The Glory!
2 Corinthians 11:28–30 ESV
And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
So Give God The Glory!
So Give God The Glory!
What has Christ accomplished? see verse 18
Romans 15:18 ESV
For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed,
Review concerning bringing about the obedience faith for the sake of Jesus’ name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ
Illustrate: We must get our messaging right. Reading a book on branding
Romans 12:9–13 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Romans 12
i.e. Paul has put a lot of effort into bringing the Gentiles to obedience of the faith. Paul has exerted energy.
Illustrate: What do you put your energy into? Does what you put your energy into provide opportunities for people to grow closer to Jesus and get to know Jesus or are people are asking, are you a Christian?
Romans 15:19 ESV
by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;
by the power of signs and wonders
by the power of the Spirit of God
What is the end result?
Paul has fulfilled (to proclaim, to tell fully, to proclaim completely or to come into any existence or state, to become, to come to pass) the ministry of the gospel of Christ.
Where?
from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum
What is the ministry of the gospel of Christ?
Romans 15:20 ESV
and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation,
Romans 15:21 ESV
but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”
Illustration: Running a campaign to get elected
Paul out soliciting for votes to get Jesus elected into the hearts of all who hear the gospel
Paul makes it his ambition to do the work that Jesus has called him to do- to fulfill the ministry of the gospel
Paul’s ambition is to lead to new souls to Christ; to evangelize those presently outside the body of Jesus Christ
Paul is daring to be different
Paul is charting new courses in his aim to preach the gospel and thus fulfill the ministry of the gospel
Illustrate: Star Trek-

Conclusion

Illustrate: Star Trek-
From Star Trek The Original Series:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
and from Star Trek The New Generation:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
At the end of our passage today, in , Paul quotes Isaiah concerning God’s suffering servant
Isaiah 52:15–53:6 ESV
so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 52:15-53:
Illustration: Our youth and their desire to be original.
We used to want to be original
In hip-hop and rap they promote originality- no shark biters and/or using another’s lyrics. Digging in the crates looking for obscure samples that have never been used before
Remember when you used to want to be original!
The church, the body of Christ, used to be about originality!
Jesus the son of God was about originality!
Jesus told a parable in wh
Matthew 20:20–28 ESV
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 18:10–15 ESV
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Jesus was doing things differently
Matthew 18:
But Jesus Christ Is the Good Shepherd, whom we are to follow faithfully!
John 10:7–11 ESV
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Philippians 2:5–11 ESV
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
2 When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in ev'ry high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
3 His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the 'whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
4 When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand
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