Faithlife
Faithlife

The Message, The Messenger, or The Mess In Me? Pt. 2

Gospel According to Paul  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

Communicating the Gospel

There is a dramatic story concerning the life and influence of King George V. In the latter years of his reign, it was his custom to broadcast a Christmas message to the empire. During one of these broadcasts, when the ears of the world were waiting to hear the voice of the king, an engineer observed that an important wire had snapped. America was cut off! Time was of the essence. Suddenly, as though nudged by an angel, a mechanic seized the broken wires. Holding one in each hand, he was thus able to complete the circuit which permitted the royal message to be transmitted to the United States. The voice of the king passed through the body of the engineer.

In the broken connections of our world, how can the Word of the Lord be heard unless it passes through the preacher?

Romans 10:14–15 ESV
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Mission Insite is a tool, presented by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) to the LCMS, to to help workers gain a clearer picture of the mission environment in which churches minister. This research indicates that, here in Gary, about 1/2 of this city, approximately 40,000 men, women, and children, do not believe in the Gospel. They might be familiar with going to church, might even know of the name of Jesus, but they are not trusting in His promise. Instead, the work of the Law in their hearts condemns them, so their either try harder to do better, or they try to muffle the accusations that burden them by turning away from God and the gift of His Son. They do not look to Him as the Author and Finisher of their faith. They do not come to Him for the forgiveness of their sins. Finally, they do not share that Good News with anyone else.
Pastors, evangelists and teachers are gifted to the Church for the equipping the saints. As representatives of Christ, we to go to our neighbors in love, presenting God’s gifts of Witness - Mercy - Life Together in ways that help carry the burdens of life and also confirm the precious truth that God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that who ever believes should not perish, but should have eternal life. We also do the work of ministry, the building up of the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11–12 UBS4 w/Swanson
καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας καὶ διδασκάλους, πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων εἰς ἔργον διακονίας, εἰς οἰκοδομὴν τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ,
Ephesians 4:12 ESV
to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:12 ESV
to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:11–14 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
All of this is done through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit who applies the Word of God to our hearts and into our lives. God works in us, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure, so that we can “work out” or manifest our own salvation in this unsaved world (Phi 2:12-13).
Philippians 2:12–13 ESV
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
It is the work of the Law to force you to focus on yourself - what you are doing.
James 2:8–10 ESV
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
The Love of Christ turns us away from ourselves, first to Christ Himself, “the author and finisher of our faith,” and then to those for whom Christ died, not ourselves only, but for our neighbor as well, for the stranger as well as the loved ones, for the enemy as well as the friend. As a result, we are no longer to be stressed about our success in obedience. As we walk by faith and not by sight, walking in His steps, as the Scriptures say, “we are strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” Paul encourages us concerning this truth, saying in Romans 10:6-8,
Romans 10:6–8 ESV
But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
God come to us, in Word and Sacrament, and we receive His gifts in the Divine Service. Therefore Paul writes in ,
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
What we receive from God, we share. The knowledge that it is God’s gift comforts us regarding “the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts.” That gives us the “blessed assurance, Jesus is mine” as we think on His promise:
Romans 10:9–11 ESV
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
God is no respecter of persons - He harbors no prejudice, unlike men who exercise or desire to exercise authority. God freely pours out His gifts of grace in these last days:
Romans 10:12–13 ESV
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
We know these things to be true, because God has declared them to be so in His Word, that lives and abides forever. It was true for the early church, it was true for the church of the Reformation, and it is true today.
It is true whether other hear us, and believe the report, or whether they reject it. It is trustworthy because there is nothing wrong with either the Message or the Messenger. God is Holy, and His Word is Holy. Through the precious blood of Christ, we, the earthen vessels that He is pleased to use, are also made holy by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We have no reason to fear, either of failure, or of danger. Neither our weakness or others hostility will frustrate the mission of God. We know, not because “we read the end of the Book,” but because we know how it began: “In the beginning, God!” Therefore, as I close this message, we confess, as has every generation of the Saints in the 3rd article of the Apostle’s Creed:

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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