The Church Part 13

This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “The Church”.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

We are continuing in our series on the church. We have talked about the church being people, our relationships with God, the people of God and the future people of God, all being developed in the context of worship, discipleship, fellowship and mission. We are going to continue our discussion on mission today.

Scripture Reading

2 Corinthians 5:13-15 (NIV)
13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 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.

Last week, we started talking about the mission of our church. We are using 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 as the foundation for this discussion and we will be looking at verses 13 through 15 in just a moment. Before we do, I want to talk about a concept I mentioned briefly last week, when I talked about the church having a tendency to circle the wagons. The reality is that we have been called to hang out with the culture, the church is to be a force, not a fortress. The idea of being a force I think is expressed well by using it as an acronym.

F.O.R.C.E

Frontline
Operation
Reconciling (Radical Message)
Caring (Radical Hospitality)
Encouraging (Radical Generosity)

As part of our mission of One More, we are to be a FORCE. In the process, we will be involved in presenting a radical message, with radical hospitality and radical generosity. The idea of radical in this sense meaning not what people expect.

1.) Outreach that makes people say what?

Ice cream truck, community movie nights, free soda giveaways, 1 Dollar Car Washes, whatever we can do to make people stop and think.

2 Corinthians 5:13 (NIV)
13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

This is about demonstrating a

Radical generosity.

We are trying to destroy stereotypes and opinions that people have of the church, and God. If the way they have been thinking is challenged by an act of kindness or encouragement, then perhaps they will be open to rethinking some of their ideas.

2.) Our motivation is love

2 Corinthians 5:14 (NIV)
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

Love in a postmodern world is defined by acceptance. We have to accept people where they are. The perception of many people is that the church does not do this. We are not seen as accepting. To overcome this, we have to realize that acceptance is not licensing sin. It is not saying that sin is not a big deal. It is loving people where they are and trusting God to work in the areas that need to be straightened out. We are still the people with a

Radical message – Good News

Remember the heart of the Good News or Gospel message. Christ does for our sins, was buried, and was resurrected on the third day. The ministry that is produced by the Good News is one of reconciliation. People being reconciled to God because He has made a way for restored relationship in Christ. A way for us to be forgiven from our sin that has caused the separation and be restored and reconciled into fellowship with Him now and forever.

3.) Ministering for Him is our calling

It is also where we find life

2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIV)
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.

The Apostle Paul gives us some advice on how to live out this calling.

Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

As we present this radical message, with radical generosity, we are to be inventive in

Radical hospitality

Making people feel loved, accepted, comfortable, so that God can touch and heal. In the Greek, hospitality means love of strangers. We need to remove religious barriers that are keeping people from hearing the radical message of Jesus.

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