Mission, Missions, Missionary

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1 Mission, Missions, Missionary Daily Reading: Monday: Matthew 28:19-20 Tuesday: Matthew 28:19-20 Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 15 Thursday: 1 John 4 Friday: Matthew 4 Saturday: Matthew 10 Today we begin a study of God s mission for us. For the next few weeks we will consider some fundamental principles in an effort to better understand what God s mission is and what role we are to play in that mission. In today's lesson we are going to define mission, missions and missionary. We will see biblically what God s mission is, how God is fulfilling that mission, and what role we are to play as a church and as individuals. I. MISSION A. What do you think God s mission is? B. In whose image and likeness was Adam created (Genesis 1:27)? C. What happened to Adam when he sinned in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23-24)? D. In whose image and likeness are Adam s descendants (Genesis 5:1; I Corinthians 15:21-22)? E. Does God desire to restore lost man to His image? Mission defined: God s desire to restore His own image in lost man by means of salvation. Before the fall Adam had perfect communion with God. He was made in God s likeness and image (Genesis 1:27). God and man were of the same mind and heart, they had the same attitudes and desires. When Adam sinned, he fell from that place and was separated from God (Genesis 3:23-24). He no longer had God s image, but he had a fallen sinful image and he passed that image on to his children (Genesis 5:1). We are all the descendants of Adam and therefore we have the same fallen nature (I Corinthians 15:21-22). Since the fall of man, God has desired to restore in man His lost image. Every dispensation has failed to accomplish this goal. Nevertheless, God s mission has continued down through time and is in force today through the local New Testament Church. This mission is the totality of what God is doing. This mission is not simply a program of the church - it is the very reason for the church s existence. F. Motivation for God s Mission: 1. What do you think motivates God for His mission (John 3:16)?

2 2. Is love part of God s nature (I John 4:8, 16)? What is another aspect of God s nature that motivates Him for His mission (I John 1:5)? 3. Does man seek God or does God seek man (Romans 3:11; John 3:16)? 4. Do you think both aspects mentioned above are necessary motivation for God s mission (I John 4:9, 10)? Why or why not? 5. If God s motivation for His mission is based on His nature, do you think this mission is only an element of Christianity or is it the reason it exists? G. Motivation for God s Mission: God s motivation for His mission is found in His nature. It is God s love for man and His holiness that motivate Him for this mission. The Bible tells us that God is love (I John 4:8,16) and God is light (I John 1:5). Specifically these two aspects of His nature motivate Him in His mission. Mankind has never sought God (Romans 3:11). God has always come to man: In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve hid from God, yet, God went to them. We never asked for a Savior, and yet, God sent one (John 3:16). God s love motivated Him to send a Savior to restore us to His image. God s holiness motivated Him to send a Savior because He couldn t simply overlook our sin, it had to be atoned for. In I John 4:9-10 we find both aspects, In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Both elements are absolutely necessary. One without the other would be a contradiction. If love exists without holiness, there is no justice. If holiness exists without love, there is no grace. God s mission is based on His character. It isn t simply an element of Christianity, it is the very reason we exist. The mission of the church has to do with all that Christianity is. It has to do with the very nature and character of God. II. MISSIONS A. How would you define missions (Matthew 28:19-20)? B. According to the definition found in Matthew 28, is missions getting people to make a profession of faith in Christ or is there more to it? C. Is missions something that takes place only in foreign countries? 2

3 D. What is the difference between God s mission and missions? Missions Defined: Missions is simply defined as the fulfillment of God s mission by means of making disciples. This definition is found in Matthew 28:19-20a, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations [all people groups], baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. When we think of missions we often have an image of an American in a jungle somewhere telling natives about Jesus Christ; while this image is an element of missions, it is not the totality of missions. Missions is not necessarily something that takes place in a foreign country, and it is more than getting people to make a profession of faith in Christ. Missions is making disciples, reproducing yourself in others; it is teaching others how to be a part of God s mission. The difference between mission and missions is that mission is the plan and purpose of God while missions is the fulfillment of that plan and purpose by means of His people. Missions does not have to do with social reform, politics, or economic systems. It isn t about Americanizing foreign cultures. It s about bringing people of all nations into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 1. What motivates someone to be involved in Missions? (2 Cor. 5:14) 2. Our relationship with Christ should progress day by day. Note the progression modeled by the disciples of Christ in the following passages: a. Matthew 4:18-20 b. Matthew 10:1-8 c. John 15:15; Matthew 28:18-20 E. Motivation for Missions: The motivation to participate in God s mission is based on one s personal relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 5:14). It is a relationship between Christ and His disciple that is characterized by obedience. Because it is based on a relationship, it is progressive in nature. Let s make an inspirational application of the ministry of Jesus Christ with His disciples to illustrate this progression. First, a person must come to Christ in response to His invitation to salvation. They then begin to follow Christ, denying themselves and becoming His disciples (Matthew 4:18-20). Through the process of growth, Christ sends them out to make disciples as He observes them (Matthew 10:1-8). Ultimately they go out on their own, not needing any further discipleship on a human level, to fulfillment of the Great 3

4 Commission (John 15:15; Matthew 28:18-20). F. Motivation for Missions: The motivation to participate in God s mission is based on one s personal relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 5:14). It is a relationship between Christ and His disciple that is characterized by obedience. Because it is based on a relationship, it is progressive in nature. Let s make an inspirational application of the ministry of Jesus Christ with His disciples to illustrate this progression. First, a person must come to Christ in response to His invitation to salvation. They then begin to follow Christ, denying themselves and becoming His disciples (Matthew 4:18-20). Through the process of growth, Christ sends them out to make disciples as He observes them (Matthew 10:1-8). Ultimately they go out on their own, not needing any further discipleship on a human level, to fulfillment of the Great Commission (John 15:15; Matthew 28:18-20). III. MISSIONARY A. How would you define Missionary? Missionary Defined: A missionary is one who is fulfilling God s mission. In Latin, missionary means sent one ; the word missionary is not found in the Bible. However, a Greek form of it, apostollos, is found in the Bible and is often translated in the New Testament as apostle. In the early church, the apostles were the sent ones or missionaries (Matthew 10:1-8; Luke 10:1). 1. Who is responsible for fulfilling God s mission (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)? 2. Whose image do we grow into as we grow spiritually (2 Corinthians 3:18)? 3. As we become like Christ, do His desires and attitudes become our desires and attitudes? 4. Is it possible for us to become like Christ and not be part of His mission? 5. Who is the light of the world (Matthew 5:14,15)? Where is that light to be placed? What does the candlestick represent in the Bible (Revelation 1:20)? What does this teach us about our need to be a part of a local church? 6. What is God s ultimate goal? What part do we play in that? What does Isaiah 11:9 tell us about the knowledge of God when His kingdom is established? Do we have the responsibility to take the knowledge of God to the whole world (1 Corinthians 15:34)? 4

5 7. If you are like Christ what kind of desire will you have? B.The function of the individual and the church in God s Mission. Fulfilling God s mission is the responsibility of every believer in Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, the Bible says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. If we have been reconciled to God by Jesus Christ then we are a new creature. Old things have passed away and the new things are of God. Paul is saying that salvation begins a process of changing the believer into the image of Jesus Christ. We now have a purpose for living that we did not possess before salvation. As we continue to grow spiritually, we are daily made more like Christ, His attitudes and desires become our attitudes and desires. We begin to think as He thinks, we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:5). Therefore, it is impossible to grow spiritually without God s mission becoming a motivating force in our lives. This is the promise of Acts 1:8. Our participation in God s mission then depends upon our personal relationship with Him. It is also the responsibility of every local church to fulfill God s mission. The local church is the vehicle that God has chosen to fulfill His mission. In Matthew 5:14-15 Jesus says, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick. We are the light, but the light needs to be placed on a candlestick so that it can be seen. Revelation 1:20 defines the candlestick as the local church. This is no coincidence. God is teaching us that we as individual believers have the light (Ephesians 5:14), but that light cannot be seen unless it s placed within the local church. God s mission isn t realized by the efforts of individuals working independently of other believers - it is centered in the local church. 5

6 Obviously the local church ought to be making disciples in the place where it is located, but God s desire is that all the peoples of the world might have the good news of the gospel. We must reach out to Moulton, the State of Alabama, the United States of America and then out to the whole world. We ve taught that the ultimate goal of God is to establish His kingdom, and that is true. Ultimately God s desire is to establish His kingdom on the earth. We know that there are three phases to that process: in the Old Testament the children of Israel were commissioned to establish a physical kingdom; in the New Testament the church has been commissioned to establish a spiritual kingdom; and one day God will establish both the physical and spiritual kingdoms during the millennial reign of Christ. A characteristic of God s kingdom is that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord (Isaiah 11:9). If our desires are God s desires, and they will be if we are growing spiritually, then our ultimate goal will line up with His. PERSONAL APPLICATION In just a few weeks we will have our Global Impact Celebration. This is nothing more than a business meeting to determine the fate of the pagans. We ve seen today what God s mission is, His plan to carry it out, and our part in it. If you are growing more like Christ then you desire, as He does, to take the gospel to the whole world. Are you like Christ? 6

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