Introducing Others to Jesus – The Greatest Commission – 24/04/22

Passage – Matthew 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

Go – introduce others to Jesus

We do this by:

Making Disciples

Baptising in the Name the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

  • Welcoming them into community: as we baptise we invite others into membership of the church.

A creative minority is a Christian community in a web of stubbornly loyal relationships, knotted together in a living network of persons who are committed to practising the way of Jesus together for the renewal of the world.

To become a creative minority is not easy because it involves maintaining strong links with the outside world while staying true to your faith, seeking not merely to keep the sacred flame burning but also to transform the larger society of which you are a part. This is a demanding and risk-laden and choice.

A Creative Minority, Jon Tyson & Heather Grizzle, p12

A strong faith community is important as we seek to introduce others to Jesus. How can as individuals and a church grow as disciples and serve the needs of others outside the church? What makes a faith community attractive to others?

In the Name of:

  • as ambassadors – we are God’s ambassadors on earth
  • on behalf of – God choses us as his instruments
  • for the glory – all we do is for God’s glory (that people may appreciate his goodness)
  • in the power of – we are empowered by the Holy Spirit

How do the four points above help us as we seek to introduce others to Jesus?

Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you

  • Lifestyle: our words and example; how we live is key to introducing others to Jesus; people learn from hearing us and seeing all we do.
  • In relationship: why are good relationships and willingness to share life together important as we seek to introduce others to Jesus, and teach them his ways?

Evangelism is not just about bringing people to a point of making a decision for Christ, but it is also about helping them embark on a lifetime of obedience to Jesus.

J John: The Natural Evangelism Course

Jesus gave us the greatest commission – yet the church isn’t growing. Why do you think this is? As we continue this series we will see it is vitally important that we introduce others to Jesus.

Commanded by Jesus

Convinced by the Gospel

A church that does not do its best to help others to become Christians is disobedient and guilty of the sin of omission. Jesus said, ‘All who love me will do what I say’ John 14:23.

J John: The Natural Evangelism Course

If we are convinced by the Gospel and our mission, we will seek introduce others to Jesus.

  • Jesus commanded us to go, why is it easy to be guilty of the ‘sin of omission’?

Compassion of Jesus

Convinced its the right thing to do

If we really love God, we will love other people. Jesus was deeply moved by human needs. In Matthew 9:36–38 we read:

The Workers Are Few

Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

In the original Greek, ‘compassion’ is a very strong word, full of deep, gut-level feeling and emotion. It’s about being moved to the depths of one’s heart, ‘suffering with someone’ by entering into their despair and pain. 

Evangelism is not just about numbers; we count people because people count. Because we are made in the image of God, every individual is a person of intrinsic worth.

J John: The Natural Evangelism Course

If we grasp the compassion of Jesus, we will be convinced that introducing others to Jesus is the right thing to do.

  • Think about Jesus’ compassion and how it changed those he met.
  • What do we learn from Jesus’ compassion?
  • Why is compassion key to us being able to live out the great commission?

Conviction of Jesus

Convinced by the power of the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Are you convinced that the Holy Spirit is working in you?

Think about your relationship with the Holy Spirit:

  • What spiritual sifts do you have?
  • Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in your life?
  • When was the last time you felt prompted and convicted by the Spirit?
  • When did you last feel empowered by the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit will help us to live with the same conviction Jesus had, as we seek the be obedient to the great commission.

Apply

As I reflect what have I found interesting? 

As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions

Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?

How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?

Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?

Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?

The Called Out – The Life of Freedom – 13/03/22

Prepare

As we approach Sunday, take some time to read the passage: Galatians 5:1-15.

Engage

As Christians we are called to, The life of Freedom, to run with Jesus in freedom. 

So Paul reminds them and us of the power we, as Christians, live in because of Jesus in verse 1:

Christ has set us free,

Free from the power of sin and satan. From the need to obey rules and laws to save us. This is the power of Jesus and the depth of God love. 

We see the encouragement to:

Stand firm in our freedom. 

As Jesus said after the magnificent sermon on the mount.

Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

The only way we can stand firm is to have confidence that we are standing on the rock of Jesus and his teachings. 

And then we see the challenge:

Do not submit to the yoke of slavery

This is Paul’s desperate plea to the Galatians and to us. 

Don’t fall back, don’t allow yourself to be hindered, don’t get distracted 

As I say all of this I’m aware that many of us may think, freedom, with all that’s going on in my life, we all have issues Many may say I would love this freedom, BUT!

Come to Jesus 

When Paul is speaking of the power of the slavery he uses the word Yoke. That wooden device that was put around an ox to pull the plough.  

Jesus speaks about his Yoke 

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

In Jesus we find rest and the power to live in freedom, as we come to him weary and burdened. 

Learn from Jesus:

The Christian life is all about Jesus, not about the things we do that we think will give us a good a standing in God’s eyes, as the enemies of Paul were trying to say. 

As we continue on we see Paul gives us some contrasts, of the life of freedom and slavery. 

Basically saying in verse 2-4 if you accept doing things in your own power then Christ is of no advantage to you, you are a slave, severed from Christ. You have lost the power of meaning of GRACE. Grace the powerful expression of God’s love and acceptance of us. 

Which as we see in verse 5 the stark contrast to living the life of freedom

5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

The Life of Freedom

•Is lived through the Spirit 

As we read in John 14-16 

The gifts of the spirit, build up the body  and we show the fruit of the spirit.

•By Faith

Trusting in Jesus takes the burden off our shoulders. 

•Eagerly awaiting the hope of righteousness 

Actively waiting living a life of hope now and in the future when Jesus will judge and his righteousness will cover us.

This is the life of freedom!

We see more in verse 6:

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

•Is a life faith working through love

As we continue on in verse 7 we see 

That a life of freedom 

•Is always aware of what can hinder their freedom

•Understands that even a little disobedience effects everything

9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

What is your leaven?

•Understands that obedience costs

11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted?

Look at Jesus 

This is what he was doing on the earth. Helping people to see the burdens the religious establishment had put on the people. Teaching to obey God, taking the cost, but bringing hope and love. 

As Paul finishes this section he returns to love in verse 13

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

•Is not about self

14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

•Through love serves one another

Look at Jesus’ love . 

Love one another, this next weeks and months will be tough as the cost of living increases let us support and seek support. 

Finally note the warning in verse 15

If you are in slavery you will be like this. 

15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Let us live the life of freedom. 

Apply

As I reflect what have I found interesting? 

As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions

Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?

How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?

Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?

Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?