*This is a portion of a sermon preached at the GBCB youth camp this summer.*
Yesterday we covered the Church and its mission. In Matthew 28:18-20 Christ gave the Church a Mission. The Church is to make disciples of Christ everywhere. Today, I want to talk about the work that is left for you. If God is going to accomplish His plan through the Church, which He has already said He will, then it will take individuals like you to accomplish this. We can try to avoid the Mission of the Church, we can ignore it completely, or we can depend on Church leaders to do the work, but the truth of the matter is that Christ has commanded the Church to do the Mission. As we have learned this week the Church consists of everyone who is a follower of Jesus. If you proclaim Christ as Savior, then you must also accept the responsibility to do the work of the
I hope that you do not have the attitude that you are too young to do the work of the Mission. Right now you are sowing the seeds for your future. There is a direct correlation between sowing and reaping that has been established by God. We cannot just ignore the cause-and-effect relationships of this world. Do you realize that what you are sowing in your lives now as students you will reap your entire lives as adults? Do not think that you can just grow up and then take things seriously. If you do not start now, you may never start. Guys if you have a problem with pride, or lust, or lying, or gossiping you better nip it in the bud because it will not go away when you get older. You can either sow sinful seed, or you can do the work of the Mission and sow the seeds of the Gospel. These are questions that you are never too young to start dealing with.
What I would like to do this morning is give you some practical strategies for completing the Mission. I am going to talk a lot about things like attitudes, and motives, and your heart. These are the areas of your life that will have to change before your actions will.
I want to encourage you to live a life that is worthy of your calling. These are the words of the Apostle Paul that are found in Ephesians 4:1. We have already looked at this passage with reference to the unity of the Church. I want to look at it again because there are two absolutely necessary pursuits that every Christians needs in their lives. First, we must pursue peace. It is absolutely necessary to be at peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ if we are going to do the work of the
Mission, and sow the seeds of the gospel. In the first three verses of Ephesians 4 Paul instructs his readers no less than five times to pursue peace. We are to be “humble,” “gentle,” “patient,” “bearing one another in love,” and “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The basic idea here is that Christianity as a whole presents an entirely different perspective from the world. We are to put the needs of others first, serving them. We are to follow the example of Christ who put our needs first and ultimately died for those who had turned their backs on Him. This is the kind of attitude that brings someone to the Master’s
Mission to train from remote area missions. Paul goes on and in verses 4-12 to expound upon this idea of unity. There is one Church, and this is so primarily because there is one God over the church. In verses 11-12 we see that God has given the Church many gifted individuals to accomplish one goal; “To equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” In other words, we are to make disciples. It is important that we preserve the unity that God has given the Church by being at peace with those who are truly doing the work of the
I told you that there were two things in this passage that every believer must pursue. We find the second pursuit in v. 13. We must pursue Christ. To Paul the culmination of the work of the Church is the knowledge of Christ, and maturity in Christ. To Paul the work of the ministry is not an end in itself. The work of the ministry is a means to “attain… the knowledge of the Son of God,” and “mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” To Paul this is what it was all about. It is a pursuit of Christ. It is treasuring, and adoring Christ above anything else. To pursue Christ any less than this would be to live lives that are not worthy of our calling. This is exactly what Christ was talking about in Matthew 6:24. You cannot serve God and wealth (insert what you are serving here) at the same time because God deserves all of your service. To pursue Christ half-heartedly is to not pursue him at all. Start pursuing Christ whole-heartedly right now! We serve money, and lust, and popularity all because we want pleasure. We want what we can get from those things. But what I am telling you today is that you will receive more pleasure from pursuing Christ whole-heartedly than you can ever imagine. In Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 Solomon points out the vanity of pursuing riches, and the advantage to pursuing God. In riches we find nothing. If you are consumed with money then you will never be satisfied with how much money you have. But, if you are satisfied with God then you will be occupied with the joy in your heart. Who do you think has more joy in their lives; the Master’s Mission missionaries out on the field and the candidates here, or the rich man who has worked his entire life for riches that he knows he will loose when he dies? These are the pursuits that you will need in your life as you work to sow the seeds of the gospel.