Faithlife Sermons

2 Timothy 1:3-7 God's Battle Plan to Finish the Mission



If most of us were really honest, every time we talk about the Great Commission we feel guilty.
Don’t be embarrassed. I feel the same way.
We know we are called to make disciples of all nations baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded us.
But we don’t really know how to do it. We assume that only means evangelism and that just makes us feel more guilty because we aren’t very good at that either.
We don’t have a plan. We don’t know how to finish the mission. So most of our efforts are shots in the dark hoping that something will eventually stick.
But is it really up to us? Does the weight of the Great Commission really fall on us?
Or does God have a plan and the reason we feel so tired and ineffective, and like the fields aren’t as white for harvest as Jesus said they were is because we are trying to do it all on our own in our own way?

What is God’s Battle Plan to finish the mission? What’s his strategy? His War Map to save the world in Christ?

It’s time we stop taking shots in the dark and look at how God has designed the Great Commission to go forth.
When we know and understand God’s plan, his war map, we will know how to carry out his orders and finish the mission. Run our race. Keep the faith.
2 Timothy 1:3-7 gives us a three point plan of attack. God’s three point strategy to make disciples of all nations and establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
Spiritual gifts.
The Indwelling Holy Spirit.
And Faith-Filled believers.
Let’s start with the first part of God’s Battle Plan to advance the Kingdom of God on the earth...

I. Spiritual Gifts

2 Timothy 1:3-6 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Verse 6 is where we are going to start.
When Paul says I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, that is the only verb in this entire passage that is related to Timothy.
Every other verb is about Paul himself. I thank God as I remember you. I remember your tears. I am reminded of your sincere faith. They are all things Paul is doing.
Verse 6 is the only verb in this passage that is an action for Timothy, and that gives us a clue for how God wants us to apply this passage to our own life today.
Paul says I remind you, Timothy, to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
We need to remember the context of 2 Timothy. Why is Paul writing this letter?
Paul’s in prison, about to die for his faith.
His whole life has been given to the mission of God. To make disciples and advance Christ’s Kingdom on the earth.
And now, as he’s about to die, he’s charging Timothy to Finish the Mission. To keep it going so that more people would be saved and Christ would be worshiped in all the earth by every tongue, tribe, and nation.
He’s passing the torch, and saying Timothy, finish what I started.
Well what is that? What is the mission that Paul is passing on to Timothy.
Its to advance the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything our Savior-King has commanded us.
Its the Great Commission.
The mission Paul passed on to Timothy and the Mission we have been entrusted to finish is the worship of Christ by all the nations.
That’s why Paul says, Timothy you need to fan into flame the gift of God.
Now what is this gift?
The key to answering that question is when Paul says which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
That is not the first time Paul has said that phrase to Timothy.
In 1 Timothy 4:13-16 Paul said this.
1 Timothy 4:13-16 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
First, this difficult business of the laying on of hands. Apparently Paul was a part of this council of elders who laid their hands on Timothy.
Now this could mean that Timothy was given this gift when Paul and the elders laid their hands on Timothy.
But I think what is more likely is that this is the church’s recognition of Timothy as a pastor gifted and set apart by God for the work of ministry.
We sometimes call this ordination.
And an ordination is not some mystical ceremony where the leaders of the church magically give someone ministry super powers.
An ordination and the laying on of hands is a symbol that a church recognizes a leader and commissions them for ministry. They endow them with authority to use their gifts to lead the church.
So what was given to Timothy by prophecy through the laying on of hands was probably, not a particular gift itself, but an affirmation of Timothy’s spiritual gift and the authority for Timothy to use that gift to serve Christ and his Kingdom.
And the context of this passage actually tells us what the specific spiritual gift these elders recognized in Timothy was, and what authorized him to use with authority to build up the church.
Right before Paul talks about the gift Timothy must not neglect he says devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
Then in verse 15 he says practice these things, talking about the public exhortation and teaching of Scripture, and to keep a close watch on himself and his teaching.
Timothy’s spiritual gift was the gift of preaching.
And going back to our passage, Paul tell’s Timothy he needs to fan into flame this gift of preaching and fulfill his ministry the Holy Spirit has gifted Timothy to do.
The word translated fan into flame literally means to rekindle or stir up a fire.
Anyone that’s ever tended a fire knows you need to stoke the logs to keep the fire raging.
And as we will see in a minute. Timothy had fear. He was unsure he could actually carry out all that God had called him to do, not to mention having to replace Paul, the greatest missionary who ever lived.
So Paul is telling Timothy: Timothy! God’s equipped you for this. He’s gifted you to take the torch and finish the mission.
Exercise your gift. Make full use of it. Develop it. Grow it. Stir it up into a raging fire! Finish the Mission God has given to you! Advance the Kingdom!
And later in this letter Paul tells Timothy exactly what he means by fan into flame the gift of God. 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.


So here’s where we're at.
Paul’s passing the torch. He’s telling Timothy Finish the mission.
Carry out the Great Commission and advance Christ’s Kingdom.
And how you do that…How you finish the mission is by making full use of Christ’s spiritual gift given to you by the Holy Spirit.
He has a war strategy to advance his Kingdom and conquer the nations with his gospel. Your part in the battle is to exercise your gift.
Here’s what that means for us.
Just like Timothy, Christ has given us the Holy Spirit who apportions or gives out spiritual gifts to each person individually as he wills. That 1 Corinthians 12:11.
The purpose of the gifts are to empower us for ministry and help us carry out the Great Commission in a way that only we can, so that the Kingdom of Christ as disciples are made, and grow, and make more disciples, presses on and on.
We are called to exercise our spiritual gifts and fan them into flame to serve the cause of Christ’s Kingdom.
Now. Every time you talk about spiritual gifts there is so much confusion out there, that most Christians don’t even know how to use the gifts Christ has given them.
And because of that, the church doesn’t know how to stoke them into a raging gospel fire.
And the result is the mission stalls out and sputters along because we ignore or we don’t make full use of them, and the very things we need to finish the mission and make disciples gather dust in the corners of our lives.
So here’s what I want to do. I don’t want to focus on each individual gift and how they work themselves out in the life of the church.
That’s beneficial, but that’s a sermon series for another time.
What I want to do is give you a theology of spiritual gifts in general, in hopes that each of us can see what it means to fan into flames the gifts God has given us so that together our church body could be a raging fire for the Great Commission.

Theology of Spiritual Gifts

First, Spiritual Gifts are gifts from King Jesus to further the work of his Kingdom.
Ephesians 4:7-8 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.
Here’s what you need to understand about the ascension.
Most of the time, all we focus on is the incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
But the ascension, when Jesus basically flew into heaven and left the earth has important theological implications for us today.
When Christ ascended, Daniel 7 says that is when God gave him the throne of David.
Daniel 7:13-14 And behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
Its when he sat at the right hand of God until all of his enemies would be made a footstool under his feet. Until Christ conquers the nations with the gospel.
And when Christ poured out the Holy Spirit, and gave gifts to his people that was the sign that Jesus really was on the throne and he gave the gifts to empower his people to carry out the Great Commission and advance his Kingdom on earth.
Now I want to be careful here. Because we can here the Great Commission and words like advance, and automatically assume evangelism.
And evangelism is part of this mission. But the mission is not just making converts, its making disciples. People who learn to live for Christ in every aspect of their life.
So when we talk about the gifts and you think about the gifts, don’t just think evangelism. That’s one of the ways we should use our gifts, but you have to think bigger: Discipleship. Every person mature in Christ. That’s the purpose of the gifts.
Even in Ephesians 4 if you keep reading after it says Jesus gave gifts to men, it says he gave the gifts to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all reach mature manhood which Paul defines as Christ likeness (Eph. 4:11-13).
That’s discipleship. And that’s why God has given each of us Spiritual gifts.
So if that’s the purpose of the gifts, what are the gifts.
We don’t have time this morning to go into every list in the NT and look at each gift individually. So let me give you where the lists are and you can study them on your own in light of the theology of the gifts I’m teaching you today.
There are at least 7 gift lists in the NT. They are in 1 Corinthians 12-13, Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4. That’s where you need to go.
And as you read those lists, I know this might throw some of you, but I believe the miraculous gifts like tongues, the gift of healing, prophecy, and the working of miracles ceased with the age of the Apostles because those gifts were either related to new revelation or authenticating new revelation, but once the Scriptures were complete, which was during the time of the Apostles, those gifts faded away from the life of the church.
Now if that blew your mind, or you want to know more, I’d point you two resources from John MacArthur.
One is a book called Strange Fire, the other is the Strange Fire Conference his ministry put on when that book came out.
Now having said that, let me clear up some other confusion about the gifts no one disagrees about so that you can see how God has gifted you and fan into flame your gifts to serve the Great Commission.

How Do Gifts Work?

First, think of your gifts like a blend.
Scripture is clear that every single Christian receives at least one spiritual gift. But more than likely you have a blend of multiple gifts.
MacArthur has a great illustration using paint. When an artist paints he takes a lot of blue, a little red, a little white to make a beautiful, unique shade of purple.
And God’s the Master Artist painting a masterpiece of salvation, and when he gifted you he perfectly chose the exact blend of gifts he wanted to paint the canvas.
You might have a lot of hospitality, a little administration, and some teaching.
We aren’t all gifted the same way or to the same degree. The Holy Spirit sovereignly chooses and apportions our gifts with perfect wisdom to accomplish the Great Commission exactly as he sees fit.
That’s why we need every member of the body. Everyone of us is unique, give a different blend of gifts by God to make disciples in this church.
Some of you are hands, feet, eyes, and we need all of you if we are going to carry out the Great Commission at Reformation Baptist Church.
Second, spiritual gifts are not ministry specific, but spiritual gifts are for ministry.
No one has the gift of children’s ministry, or first impressions team, or safety.
But maybe you have the gift of hospitality where you can use that gift in any number of ministry opportunities.
You can make kids feel welcomed at at home as their anxiety builds up when mom drops them off.
Or maybe you use your gift of hospitality to meet new people at the church, welcome them to our home, and move them to join the family in church membership.
But here’s also the big secret. Gifts aren’t only designed to be used in the official ministries of the church.
They are meant to be used anywhere you have the opportunity to make disciples. In your home with your kids. At work. At the store.
Be who God’s made you to be and exercise your gifts thinking “How am I making disciples right here right now?”
The idea is ministries are opportunities to use our gifts however we can for the good of others, and we should serve as best we can however God has gifted us, but we should look at all of our life and say, “How am I serving the Kingdom in this area, and this area, and this area?”
Finally, spiritual gifts are not all or nothing. Their not exclusive.
Sometimes, we see an opportunity for ministry and that’s not my gifting, but that’s not an excuse to not serve outside your gifting.
Take me, I don’t have the gift of service, but does that mean I shouldn’t help someone when they need it?
Or what about evangelism. Some Christians are specifically gifted with evangelism. They are just great at it, always bringing the conversation to Christ and the gospel.
But all Christians are still called to evangelize. To share the good news. We don’t just leave it to the professional evangelists out there.
Our main way of serving the body and making disciples is going to be in line with our gifts, but that doesn’t then excuse us from ever serving outside of our gifts.


So with all of that in mind, Paul’s command is to fan into flame the gift God has given you. Use it, grow it, develop it, exercise it, and finish the mission in the way only you can.
And you might say, “But I don’t know what my spiritual gifts are.”
What are you good at? Where are you fruitful? What does it feel like God blesses in your life?
What do you want to do? What ways of serving and ministry excite you? If you’re worst fear is standing up and teaching a group of people, maybe that’s not the gift for you.
Pray and ask God to show you.
God’s not cruel. He doesn’t mock his children. He gave you these gifts to use. He will lead you through your heart’s desire to please the Lord into opportunities to carry out the Great Commission where he has gifted us.
Then when you know your gifts, fan them into flame.
Develop them. Its like sports. It takes practice and training to take your raw gifts and develop them into a finely tuned athlete.
Use the 10,000 hour rule. That says it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Ask yourself what can I do to bolster and develop this gift and make it more effective?
And then, faithfully steward that gift and make disciples.
Like Romans 12:6 says Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.
So the first part of Jesus’ battle plan to finish the mission, is blessing his church with spiritual gifts.
The second part of his plan to advance his Kingdom, is the indwelling Holy Spirit who lives in the soldiers of his Kingdom.

II. The Indwelling Holy Spirit

2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
The for is important because its pointing back to when Paul said fan into flame the gift of God.
In other words he’s saying Timothy, use your gift and fulfill your ministry! Don’t shrink back! Don’t give up! Carry the torch!
And Paul encourages him by reminding him of the Spirit God had given him.
But that begs the question is Paul talking about Timothy’s own spirit and disposition or is Paul talking about the Holy Spirit.
And I think the answer is yes. Here’s why.
Paul says God did not give us a Spirit of fear, but of power love and self-control.
In Ephesians 3:16, remember Timothy is the Pastor in Ephesus so he would remember this, Paul said that believers are strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
So the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of power, love, and self-control and he works those qualities in us to empower us for ministry.
As we grow in our sanctification and effectiveness for ministry, we grow in power, love, and self-control because the Holy Spirit who lives in us is the Spirit of power, love, and self control.
Evidently, Paul thought Timothy was an easy target for fear, and that fear would keep him from being as effective as he could be for the Kingdom.
In 1 Corinthians 16:10-11 Paul said When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. 11 So let no one despise him.
And in 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul told him himself, Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
And that’s right before the same passage we looked at earlier where Paul talks about his gift of preaching.
So think of Paul’s words like this. Timothy, the Holy Spirit has given you a spiritual gift. And he’s not working in you fear so that you would shrink back from using that gift.
Don’t be afraid! Finish the Mission! God has given you the Spirit of power, love, and self-control. Fulfill your ministry! Carry it out by relying on him and let his grace work in you and through you to advance Christ’s Kingdom.
Cowards give up when things get hard.
And the mission God has given us to do is not easy.
Disciple all nations? I already have enough trouble with my family, friends, and coworkers.
That’s not even to mention all the opposition we face. Spiritual warfare, a culture that hates God, and all the false teachers and false churches who make our job ten times harder.
The easy thing to do would be to get discouraged, give in to cowardice, and give up altogether.
To settle into a comfortable Christianity where we love Jesus, sing songs, and life doesn’t get messy.
But God has not given us a spirit of fear. He has given us the Holy Spirit.
I know many of you are scared.
Will I lose my job. Will our government betray us and steal our God given freedoms.
God is over every detail in history.
Psalm 2 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2  The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3  “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4  He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5  Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6  “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7  I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9  You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10  Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11  Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12  Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
We feel the pressure of this present darkness on every front. Gov. Abortion. Hatred and division in our country. But all this is the nations raging against God and his Christ.
We don’t have to fear. We know god loves and cares for us.
The fact is western civilization and the concept of freedoms only works from a Christian worldview that’s submitted to God but that only happens when men and women believe the gospel.
As we watch the nations rage it’s evidence that we have a lot of work to do. To take the gospel and make disciples.
And remember what our lord said. The gates of hell will not stand. We are playing offense. Our king will win.
Be strong in the Lord. Depend on him.
And that’s the only way we can finish the mission, and not give up when things get hard, is if we stop relying on ourselves and rely only on him.
Fear and cowardice is the direct result of self sufficiency.
When we think its all up to us, all up to our natural resources and all on our shoulders its only natural to shrink back from everything God has called us to do because we know its impossible for us if left to ourselves.
We are not sufficient for the Great Commission.
We are not sufficient to disciple our children in the Lord.
To share the gospel with our brother or sister or to lead a small group.
I will tell you I’m not sufficient to be a pastor in myself.
Jesus knew that. That’s why he promised to be with us till the end of the age, and he told his disciples that before they started the Great Commission they needed to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Spirit.
God’s plan demands that we rely on the Holy Spirit and not ourselves to finish the mission because Christ’s Kingdom will not be built by the power of the flesh but by the power of the Spirit.
God alone will get the glory as the Holy Spirit works in and through us to advance the Kingdom.
So what are the resources God gives us through the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission.


First, Power.
The word Power is the word dunamis where we get our word dynamite. It is potent power, effective power.
It is power that answers the need of our weakness.
We labor, we toil, but God works in us the energy and effectiveness to do so.
One of my favorite verses in all of Scripture speaks to this idea.
Colossians 1:28-29 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. [That’s discipleship. That’s the Mission.] 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
We toil, and we struggle, but it is the Holy Spirit working in and through us to accomplish his purposes.
Relying on the Spirit in this way looks like, “God. I can’t do this on my own. Its too great. Its too heavy for me. Will you please work in me.”


Second, God has given us the Spirit of love.
Everything we do should be done out of love for God and love for others.
Spirit-empowered ministry is done sacrificially for the good of others. It’s not done for our name and our glory.
When we use our gifts out of love for God and love for others, there is no limit to how far we will go. We will do all we can to serve God and his Kingdom.
In fact without love, the exercise of our gifts is meaningless that benefits no one.
In 1 Corinthians 13 right in the middle of Paul talking about spiritual gifts, Paul says without love our gives are a noisy gong or clanging symbol and we gain nothing. There is no benefit from our gifts.
So relying on the Spirit means the goal of everything we do is to honor God and bless others.


Finally, there’s self-control.
Another way to translate this is discipline or sound-judgment.
When we rely on the Spirit we are always ready to use our gifts, and further the cause of Christ.
The Spirit enables us to make the best use of the time and keeps us from getting distracted with sin or worldly pleasures.
In other words, when we rely on the Spirit, God in his grace works in us to make our life count. To bring glory to his name, bless others, and walk in the good works God prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10).
Self-sufficiency will rob us of the power, love, and self-control we need to finish the mission.
We can't do it on our own. We can only serve God and use our gifts to accomplish his will when we rely on the gracious work of the Holy Spirit.
God’s Battle Plan for the Great Commission, how God will make disciples of all nations through the preaching of the gospel is by:
First, blessing his church with spiritual gifts they need to accomplish the mission.
Second, filling his people with the power, love, and self-control of the Holy Spirit to use their gifts fruitfully.
And finally, the third part of God’s battle plan is faith-filled believers who trust him and his promises.

III. Faith-Filled Believers

This is where we go back and see why Paul said everything he said before telling Timothy what he wanted him to do.
2 Timothy 1:3-6 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
For this reason.
Timothy, why I want you to fan into flame your spiritual gift, take the torch, and finish the mission, is because I am sure a sincere faith dwells in you.
What Paul is getting at is that the way we will finish the mission is the very same way we live.
The righteous shall live by faith.
The Big Idea of this passage, what we’ve been driving to this whole sermon is...

Jesus has blessed every Christian with spiritual gifts and the Holy Spirit to advance His Kingdom on earth.

The question is to we believe it? Do we have faith that God will do what he said he would do and save the world in Christ?
That he will fulfill the Great Commission and that all the nations would submit to and worship him?
That’s the mission of God. That’s God’s plan.
To redeem this world as far as the curse is found, and fix what is broken through Christ.
We usually only think of the gospel in terms of personal salvation. And the gospel does save. Without it we are lost.
All of us were dead in our trespasses and sins.
All of us were destined for hell and the wrath of eternal judgment and wrath.
But God being rich in mercy sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and pay for our sins. And three days later he rose victorious over sin, Satan, and death to give us eternal life.
But all throughout the Gospels we are told that Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. The good news of the Kingdom.
What’s the Kingdom?
It is the universal reign of Christ over all things.
Jesus came to save the world. He is the promised Messiah that would establish God’s Kingdom, God’s perfect rule, over all the earth.
Everything in our world is broken. The last two years, all we have seen is brokenness.
And its all broken because of humanity’s sinful rebellion against God. Because we refuse to obey him and submit to his Law.
And here’s what’s ironic. We are wasting all this time trying to fix everything ourselves.
To have the Kingdom without God in it.
Secular humanism wants all the blessings of justice, life, joy and peace, but refuses to acknowledge God and give him the glory due to his name.
Sinners can’t fix the world. Everything they build will be just as broken as they are.
But Christ came to plunder the kingdom of darkness and establish once and for all the Kingdom of his glorious light.
In the Kingdom of God justice, blessing, life, and peace reign perfectly, fully, completely.
All the former things, all the broken things in this world, death, famine, cancer, war, injustice, sexual abuse, broken marriages, racism, everything sin corrupted pass away because Jesus, the Savior-King, is making all things new.
The Kingdom is the blessing God originally intended for this world and everyone in it before humanity’s Fall into sin.
It’s God’s plan to bring the blessings of Eden to the farthest ends of the earth, wherever the curse is found.
Imagine it. In the Kingdom, every family, church, government, culture, every sphere of life as we know it will worship God and obey his commands.
Imagine a world like that?
What kind of blessing, life, and joy would the nations have in that Kingdom?
And the glorious truth is, that is what Jesus is building right now. Psalm 110:1, the most quoted verse in the NT says The LORD says to my Lord: Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.
That’s Jesus. And he sits in heaven at the right hand of the Father, where he will reign until all of his enemies, every nation, false God, and ideology is a footstool underneath his feet.
And the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15 that after every enemy has been subjected under his feet, when we can’t possibly imagine how it could be any better, when all the nations have beat their swords into plowshares and worship God, Jesus will return and destroy the last enemy, which is death.
He will resurrect everyone who believed in him and deliver the Kingdom to God the Father. Where God himself will dwell with us and we will be his people, and God himself will be with us as our God.
And once and for all he will wipe away every tear from our eye, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Rev. 21:4).
That’s God’s mission. For Christ and his salvation to have dominion from sea to sea to the ends of the earth (Psalm 72:8).
For all the ends of the earth to remember and turn to the Lord and all families of the nations worship before him (Psalm 22:27-28).
And how is Christ building his Kingdom? How is Christ subjecting every enemy under his feet? Through the preaching of the gospel in the Great Commission. Through his church.
You see, we don’t build the Kingdom. Christ does. We only advance it.
Its his battle plan. Its his war map.
He gifts us, fills us with the Holy Spirit, and remains with us to see this mission through.
Most Christians have a functional theology that the Great Commission is actually impossible. That its a great dream, but it will never happen.
But its God’s promise to save the world, and even if when we can’t see how that is possible with where our world is at today, we see God’s promises by faith.
And faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
This faith answers our fear. All of our doubts. Everything that might tempt us to shrink back from what God has called us to do in cowardice.
If God has given us so much, Spiritual gifts and the indwelling Holy Spirit of power, love, and self control, if he has given us everything we need, how can we fail?
And if we want to be really biblical, Faith says, how can God fail?
If we think the Great Commission is up to us, it is too heavy. It will crush us under the weight. We will shrink back and never finish the mission.
But if we believe with faith that its all up to God, that its his work in and through us, all we need to do is exercise our gifts as faithfully as we can, the very gifts he has sovereignly given us to accomplish his purposes, rely on the Holy Spirit and let God take care of the rest.
That’s his Battle Plan.
Spiritual Gifts.
The Holy Spirit.
Faith-filled Believers.

Let’s Pray

Scripture Reading

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
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