Reinforcing Foundations: Missions (Isaiah 6; 2 Corinthians 5)
Salt and Light
In our church covenant, after expressing our commitment to give ourselves daily to God and then expressing our commitment to give ourselves to each other as the family of God, we then express our commitment to give ourselves as light and salt in this dark world, that those who are strangers to God may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. The order of the church covenant is intentional and crucial. Our devotion to God moves us to sincere fellowship with one another, which leads to lives of missions and evangelism. Authentic Christian fellowship always gives way to missions. We as Christians are to be committed first to each other, those who are of the household of the faith (Ephesians 4:32, Galatians 6:10, etc.). However, that sincere encouragement, love, service, and fellowship with one another blossoms into ministry and outreach to those that are outside the household of the faith. There is an evangelistic effect to us loving one another well (John 13:35).
Motive for Missions: The Glory of God (Isaiah 6:1-9a)
In the verses preceding Isaiah’s cry, “Here am I. Send me!” we find an awesome description of the majesty of God. Isaiah’s motivation to be sent by the Lord was the displayed glory of the triune God. Isaiah had witnessed the glory of God and he had experienced the kindness of God in Christ in the forgiveness of his sins. Therefore, he was now perfectly willing to “go and tell” of that glory and salvation. In the same way, if we are truly worshiping the living God, it will result in evangelism. In fact, it is impossible to truly worship God while remaining indifferent as to whether or not anyone else worships Him. The glory of God is the only incentive for missions that will last. We have been saved in order to worship God with our entire lives (1 Peter 4:11).
– Would you say that the glory of God is motivating you to do missions (i.e. evangelism)? How does having the glory of God as the motive for missions affect the way that we do evangelism?
Method for Missions: The Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)
God sent His Son into the world as both the message and messenger of the good news that God saves sinners. Christ then sent His disciples into the world (John 17:18; 20:21). Soon after He sent His Holy Spirit into the disciples, or the Church, and the Holy Spirit now sends us out from our churches to proclaim Christ’s message of salvation. In other words, God reconciles us to Himself, and He then gives us the ministry of reconciliation. Christians are now ambassadors, representatives speaking on behalf of the King! The mission of the church cannot be less than the whole church bringing the whole gospel to the whole world. God has determined, and therefore designed, that missions flow our of the local church. This means that the whole church is to be gazing at Christ, glorifying Christ, and proclaiming Christ where God has placed us.
– Are you tempted to think that evangelism is the responsibility of the “enthusiasts,” and not your own? Do you daily consider your privilege and responsibility to be an ambassador and representative of Christ? While you might not be out on a street corner preaching or packing your bags for Southeast Asia, in what ways can you be responding to the glory of Christ by making His glory known to others?