Fallen Condition: We don’t do evangelism- we don’t seek to reconcile people to God- why? hard, don’t have time, don’t know non-christians,- we live as though we are not ambassadors- but we are- the question is not whether or not we are an ambassador for Christ- its whether or not we are a good one- God makes his appeal through us as a church- is it a good appeal
Motivations for evangelism- Fear and Love- Awe and responsibility before the Lord- The Love of the Lord-
Any good ambassador has these motives- responsibility and love for those he represents
If we are going to make reconciling people to God one of our core values, we better understand if that’s necessary and why its necessary before we move forward.
-not counting their sins against them
-vs. 20- come back to God
Both of those assume their is something wrong- what is wrong
-Grand narrative of Scripture- our first parents sin- now born in sin
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Not just for those who think its true. Its just really true- everyone, everywhere. Has sinned. What is sin?
Everyone, everywhere is dead in their sin. For sin leads to death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Reconciliation is necessary because we have a problem with God- we are sinners and he is holy. But thats not all.
Reconciliation is necessary because the King has come and brought peace. In vs. 20, Paul says that you are God’s ambassadors, which we will get to in a moment, but what’s important now is to understand that ambassador here is not exactly what we think about in terms of foreign diplomats. In the first century the ambassador came representing the King or emperor- and the Roman Ambassador came (Rome being the ruling empire) after the Empire had conquered a people and then declared the terms of peace. So, what that means is that reconciliation is necessary because Jesus has won. And now, he is declaring the terms of peace with humanity. They are glorious terms of peace, which we will get to in a minute- but don’t miss this- the King of the Universe has come friends- he declares this is how you are made right with me- this is huge- again this makes Jesus not just some optional idea- but a King to be submitted to or to be rejected. People cannot be indifferent to Jesus- its either that you follow him and accept his terms of peace or reject him and face the consequences. So, what are the terms of peace, or another way to put it- how is reconciliation accomplished?
vs. 18- 19
- vs. 21-
-Greek- was made to be sin. so that we might become the righteousness of God.
Here is God in his amazing grace treating Christ as a sinner so that the sinner may be treated as righteous.
-Now- because of that- reconciliation comes to the world...Through you, his ambassadors.
-Yes You? - How does God communicate to the world today? How does the King send the terms of peace- through the ambassadors- that’s you. - Vs. 20
God is a missionary God, and God’s primary missionary method is his covenant people.
-No one will come to faith apart from people- God has designed it this way- even the rare case where someone just finds a bible and comes to faith by reading it apart from any interaction with another person- that bible got there somehow. Do you know that you are a part of the greatest story ever- you play a role in the reconciliation of the world.
-view people as God views them (v. 16-17)
-Be the aroma of Christ
2 Corinthians 2:15-16
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
Now, this may be true- it probably isn’t but it is probably true that we don’t know many very well. How do we change that- open your eyes, open your mouth, ask questions, build friendships, ask deeper questions
Chart out your schedule- and pick a few places that you will frequent- invest in those things- and view people as God views them- Dig in and open your eyes to meet people- neighbors, co-workers, workers at restaurants and stores.
God is reconciling the world to himself- God- God- not you.
Its not up to you. God is committed to this work more than you are
You are God’s ambassador- you didn’t choose that- if you are in Christ- by divine appointment- you are an ambassador for Christ- individually and collectively- us as a church- we are an outpost of the Kingdom, an embassy of Heaven- its a package deal- last week- if you get Jesus- you get the Spirit- this week- you also get the mission- thats it. You are brought into your Father’s presence and your Father’s business- reconciling the world to him. And it is an epic business- friends- you are by virtue of your union with Christ connected to the most significant work on the planet- God. God. is making his appeal through us.
Fear of God as motivation- vs. 11- the honor of God is at stake. Live and act like it.
God has commanded that you love God and love your neighbor
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Now you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely that he may love God with a perfect affection. For you do not love him as yourself, unless you try to draw him to that good which you are yourself pursuing. For this is the one good which has room for all to pursue it along with thee. From this precept proceed the duties of human society.
The love of Christ compels us- our love for Christ or Christ’s love for us- yes! Both. Because Jesus so loved you and now you love him- go and love people.
I’m too busy
I have too much to do
I can’t add another thing.
Don’t add another thing. Invite people into life with you. And particularly your life together
Most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.
Think whole life evangelism
easier and harder- not adding things- but radically reshaping how you view all of life.
Not asking you to add anything
No. The church. Use the church.
The invisibility of God is a great problem. It was already a problem to God’s people in Old Testament days. Their pagan neighbors would taunt them, saying, “Where is now your God?” Their gods were visible and tangible, but Israel’s God was neither. Today in our scientific culture young people are taught not to believe in anything which is not open to empirical investigation. How then has God solved the problem of his own invisibility? The first answer is of course “in Christ.” Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. John 1:18: “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son has made him known.” “That’s wonderful,” people say, “but it was 2,000 years ago. Is there no way by which the invisible God makes himself visible today?” There is. We return to 1 John 4:12: “No one has ever seen God.” It is precisely the same introductory statement. But instead of continuing with reference to the Son of God, it continues: “If we love one another, God dwells in us.” In other words, the invisible God, who once made himself visible in Christ, now makes himself visible in Christians, if we love one another. It is a breathtaking claim. The local church cannot evangelize, proclaiming the gospel of love, if it is not itself a community of love.
invite others into our fellowship
invite people into your home- and invite City Hope folks also. Invite me also. Lets do this together.
The Love of Christ compels us-
We have the Holy Spirit
We have the church
Learn, study, and grow in your ability to know and communicate the gospel.