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What is the Church? 3 - The Community of the Sent

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Reading: Matthew 28:18-20
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, Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

I.   Jesus has the Authority

     A.  All authority

           1.  One of the most significant statements in the Bible.

           2.  Answers any question we might have about what Satan’s claims might be.

                 a.   Satan claimed to have the authority to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth (Luke 4:6)

           3.  Even when the evidence hints otherwise remember Who’s in charge!

     B.  Nothing can stand against Him

           1.  Satan can’t stand against him.

                 a.  Although he is making war against God and all God holds dear.

                 b.  Yet he cannot prevail

           2.  The course of history can’t stand against him.

                 a.  Though we humans seem to have tried every method possible of destroying God’s people.

                 b.  Though we live as if God doesn’t matter.

                 c.  Though it seems God is not in charge.

           3.  The Church can’t stand against him.

                 a.  Though at times she seems to go her own way.

                 b.  Though we are confused and imperfect and riddled with scandal.

                 c.  Though the institution of church sometimes seems to stand in the way of the purpose of the Church.

     C.  Our task is to Obey Him

           1.  Since he is no doubt in charge, our simple task is to obey.

           2.  How many times have we prayed “Lord, just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Well, here it is

           3.  This is not a task for the elite, the specially trained Christian Green Berets or Seal Team.

                 a.  These are standing orders for all Christians.

                 b.  This is what we do. Military Soldiers protect and preserve. We make followers of Jesus.

II.  We have an Assignment

     A.  Go and make Followers

           1.  “Go” isn’t the imperative but the process. Lit.: “Going make disciples.”

           2.  You don’t have to go far away, but in your going out into the world, wherever that is, find ways to help non-Christians become followers of Jesus.

                 a.  On the bottom of the message outline is a final fill in the blank.

                 b.  I challenge you to pray for an opportunity to share the good news about Jesus with someone. Make it one.

                 c.  For most of us praying this prayer will be a nervous act of faith.

           3.  We make them followers of Jesus, not followers of pastors, denominations or movements.

                 a.  Lead them to Jesus, he’ll take it from there.

     B.  Incorporate them into the Church

           1.  We are to baptize them into the triune name of God and in so doing they become His people (the only significant definition of the Church.)

                 a.  So baptism is an initiation ceremony into the Church.

           2.  Baptism formalizes their relationship with God like a marriage ceremony formalizes that commitment.

                 a.  It is significant, important and necessary.

           3.  Since they are God’s people, we are to incorporate them and accommodate them.

     C.  Make Fully devoted followers of Jesus.

           1.  “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded”

                 a.  Not “telling them to obey” but teaching them - equipping, showing, explaining, helping.

           2.  “Obey” here also means “guard or be vigilant.” The word is related to a Spanish word meaning “task or homework.” (Tarea)

                 a.  We are to teach people how to do their homework.

           3.  Our job is to turn pagans into evangelists.

III. We have the Support

     A.  We have Each Other

           1.  Paul frequently refers to the partnership he had with the Philippians and others.

                 a.  Paul asks for prayer — Col.4:2-4

           2.  We have each other for support and encouragement and practical advice.

                 a.  It’s OK to dare to be a Daniel when you really do have to stand alone.

                 b.  It’s sheer foolishness or arrogance to ignore help and advice and encouragement that’s all around you.

           3.  Ask one other person to pray for you and with you for the person you will put on the bottom of your message outline.

     B.  I am with you Always

           1.  We have Jesus with us always. [Last week.]

           2.  This is more than an expression of sentimental encouragement—He is with us. Therefore we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

           3.  When we don’t know what to do or say — he is right there with us as a resource.

     C.  The promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)

           1.  We get the Holy Spirit to empower us to be witnesses — to tell about what we saw.

                 a.  He makes us able to do what we don’t believe we can do.

           2.  The Holy Spirit inspires us to want to spread the good news. (Where there was fear before.)

           3.  The Holy Spirit gives us words to say, and insights into people we could never have on our own.

                 a.  The Spirit speaks through us.

The Bottom Line:

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are Sent together to turn people into fully devoted Followers of Jesus Christ.

I will pray for an opportunity to share the God’s Good News with [someone you want to become a Christian] .


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Song: Red#436 Bring Them In

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