Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why do you do the things you do? AND How do you do the things you do?

I. Why do you do the things you do?

(Ill.) From Don Quixote... “To add a measure of grace to this world.”

A. You do this because you believe: FAITH

1. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. [2] This is what the ancients were commended for.” [Hebrews 11:1 – 2]

a. Sure and certain of what can not be scientifically proven or reasoned through by philosophy.

b. NOT superstition.

1.) Superstition gives power to events... credits good and bad by what we do or do not do.

2.) Superstition gives power to objects... (e.g.) idol worship.

3.) Superstition gives fear and guilt.

c. In a world easily given to various forms of superstition the example was set for us by “the ancients.” (The rest of Hebrews 11)

2. “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, [9] for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” [1 Peter 1:8 – 9]

a. Faith sees God at work to bring people to salvation.

b. Faith’s ultimate goal is the “salvation of your souls.”

c. Faith brings an “inexpressible and glorious joy.”

B. You do this because you are passionate: LOVE

1. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.... [8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:5,8]

a. It starts with God pouring out His love in our hearts.

b. We understand this when we understand God’s demonstration of love in the Jesus’ death for us.

2. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. [31] The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:30 – 31]

a. We love God with everything we have...

b. We love others as if they were ourselves.

c. Love is not just a feeling, it is action: service.

C. You do this because you have no choice: COMPELLED

1. “But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” [Jeremiah 20:9]

a. Jeremiah was agonizing over the fact that every time he spoke something bad happened to him. He even accused God of deceiving him. [See Jeremiah 20:7 – 8]

b. Fact: God has called people to speak and He has put into their hearts and bones a fire that cannot be held inside.

2. “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! [17] If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.” [1 Corinthians 9:16 – 17]

a. Paul understood that preaching was not voluntary.

b. In other words, there is no reason to boast or have a reward.

3. “For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. [15] And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” [2 Corinthians 5:14 – 15]

a. The same love that won us compels us. We know we are right (“convinced”). We must speak.

b. The message is basic:

1.) Christ died for all (salvation is offered to all but not necessarily accepted by all).

And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his (Jesus) name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:47]

2.) This changes the central loyalty of lives so that we no longer live for ourselves but for Jesus. (In other words, holiness.)

II. How do you do the things you do?

A. God has given you AUTHORITY.

1. “This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority--the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.” [2 Corinthians13:10]

a. The purpose of the authority is to build people up not tear them down. The idea is servant leadership.

b. “Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. [43] Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” [Mark 10:42 – 43]

1.) Never think that something is “beneath you” because according to Jesus every one of His leaders is “beneath”everyone and everything else.

2.) Jesus’ example: He washed the feet of the disciples. This was the duty of the lowest servant in the house.

2. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” [2 Timothy 3:16]

a. The Bible is the main source of our authority.

2007 Book of Discipline: “The Bible has authority over all human life. . . . Whatever is not found in the Bible nor can be proved by it is not to be required as an article of belief or as necessary to salvation.”

As long as people hear the Bible, there is a chance they will hear from God.” [Kenton Anderson]

Three most common complaints about preaching (preachers): You talk to long, you talk to much about yourself, you don’t use Scripture.

b. You can make a lot of mistakes, but this one will gut you of your authority and mute the voice of God! Failing to use God’s word.

B. God has given you a PLAN.

1. “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong-- [12] that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. [13] I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. [14] I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. [15] That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.” [Romans 1:11 – 15]

a. WIN: Paul wanted to gather a harvest [v 13] and preach the gospel [v 15]. Sinners are saved.

b. BUILD: Paul wanted to make the believers strong [v 11b] and to have mutual encouragement [v 12]. Saved are sanctified.

c. EQUIP: Paul want to give them some spiritual gift [11a] (used for service). Sanctified are (useful) servants.

[My personal goals: to see sinners saved, the saved sanctified, the sanctified become (useful) servants.

2. “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, [12] to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up [13] until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:11 – 13]

a. God’s design was to establish certain types of leaders with different roles but one purpose.

b. The purpose is to train God’s people for service. [Develop another set of people able to do the work.]

c. All this is aimed at calling people to “the obedience that comes from faith.” [Romans 1:5]

3. This was based on what Paul understood as God’s directive for his life:

Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. [Romans 1:5]

a. Racking up a statistic verses life change... Donald McGavran’s “Search theology” vs “Harvest theology” frowned on the fact that we are busy without a harvest.

b. Goal is two fold: call people from among... and call people to obedience that comes from faith.

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