February 16, 2020

Go: Set Goals: Evangelism and Discipleship

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February 16, 2020
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We need you desperately, we need your Spirit. God, this is a train wreck waiting to happen if you don't show up, I am in desperate need of you to fill me with your spirit to proclaim Your word. I don't have all my words together god, I'm a weak vessel. And I'm proclaiming a perfect word. And so who am I to even have this opportunity and privilege to do so God, I'm humbled by this. Thank you for this opportunity. But God, I do pray that you would just love on your people. Well this morning, would you just sanctify some folks who are struggling to share the gospel and don't know really how to get started? But would you also encourage the body, Lord, that there are many amongst us who love to share your gospel? And would you just all encourage all of us to begin to cycling people and walking one another through the faith so that ultimately we might be perfected in you? We love you so much. And we pray these things in a matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Christ, the only name the only name by which men can be saved. pray these things in his name. Amen. Amen.

You could take your seats and take a seat. Well, I want to ask a question. Does the name Billy Mays mean anything to you? Okay,bthere we are. I heard one oxiclean ministry out in the audience. See, I'm not talking about Willie Mays. You know, the Hall of Fame baseball player. I'm talking about Billy Mays. Billy Mays is the dude that brought us oxy clean. And if anybody remembers the oxy clean commercials, you would stop football games and basketball games to watch the oxy clean commercials. The actually clean commercials were awesome. And he had this tagline that he will always say he was saying that it was not Mother Nature approved. Like the only detergent that is Mother Nature approved as he began to say that over and over again. And he had other slogans like, tough on stains but not on color. I loved all his slogans, as he began to say those things. I found myself who never did laundry, going to my mom saying, I will do laundry if you get an oxy clean. See my man Billy Mays understood his role. And he had one job and one job only to bring to the attention of the public, a life changing product. He had one job and one job only to bring to the attention of the public, a life changing product. It's gonna change everything about the way you ask clothes. It's going to change everything about the way you clean your carpet. It was gonna change everything about the way you wash and clean everything. This one product and he had one job bring to the attention of the public this life Changing product wants you to know 2000 years ago, a life changing product showed up on a sea. And it was the best stain remover that we have ever seen in human history. And the beautiful thing about it I know I tell will love this is he too is tough on stains, but not on color. So any and everybody could come in a man. He doesn't wash away our culture. He don't wash away our color. He allows for all of those things to be redeemed, but he removes the same. And we as Christians, not just preachers, not just pastors, not just deacons, not just staff members, but every single person who claims the name of Christ has one job to bring to the attention of the public, not a life changing product, but the life changing person, Jesus Christ.

Our job is to proclaim him so that we may perfect the So we're just going to unpack this literally phrase by phrase look at what the text says. It says him, we proclaim him we proclaim somebody say him. Yeah, let's say like you mean to say him one more time, say him. him. I love this in this particular text, because this is written in the book of Colossians. And I want to just give you a brief background on the book of Colossians. It's a sister book to the book of Ephesians. And it's interesting because these books are so similar, I mean, almost down to the wording. But if I can tell you the nuance, but in distinction between Colossians and Ephesians, it can be found in this. Both are about this wonderful mystery, this wonderful mystery that Jesus Christ, the Messiah would come and redeem all people, not just some folks, not just the Jews, but all people. And while the book of Ephesians emphasize emphasizes the body of Christ collections emphasizes the Christ of the body. See what he wants to unpack in this book of Colossians is an understanding that the people of color say we're all not struggling with Unity, but we're struggling with all different types of DVDs. And what he wants to unpack in the first 27 verses of this book is that Jesus Christ is in a class all by himself. Don't compare him to anybody. Don't think about any other deities. Beside him. He isn't a class all by himself. And this is a word for us as well. Because we live in a culture in a day and age where everybody's just like speak your truth. Do you whatever spiritual walk you have, go for it. If you're just a spiritual person, and you don't need the church or Jesus or you know, the established religions, just do you. But what he was saying to us is exactly what he was saying to them is that you can say that about And every other deity, they could be add on, do you That's cool. But when it comes to the person of Jesus Christ, he changes everything. And if you didn't get that from just verse 28, he wants you to understand that in the first 27 verses so that when he gets to verse 28, you know, the him that he is talking about. So in verse two, he says that he's the grantor of grace. And verse five, he says, he's the bringer of hope. In verse 15. He says these, he's the image of God. In verse 16. He says, he's the creator of the cosmos. In verse 17. He says, he's the glue of the galaxies. In verse 18. He says, he's not only the head of the body, but the preeminent personality. In verse 20. He says, he's the unifier of the universe. And verse 21, through verse 22. He just starts going off and he says, yo, he's the reconciler of the wretched the beautifier of the believer. And the sanctifier of the saints. And then he gets to verse 27. And he just loses his mind and I just want to read it. To them. God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, says that's who he is. And I want you to notice something as he unpacked every single one of those things that he can't help as he's talking about who he is, but to talk about what he has done. He reconciles He grants, he forgives, he unify. She glues things together. It's almost like when you go and try to find out something about somebody or you want to get to know somebody or become acquainted with a friend. One of the first questions you asked when you meet someone is what do you do? And if you were to ask that question of Jesus Christ, that the list would be too long for you to even be able to comprehend. So What we understand in the verse 27 verses of this book is that the depth of his person is inexhaustible, and the breadth of his work is unimaginable. So when you are trying to proclaim a person that is this inexhaustible and does no kind of work that is this unimaginable. How in the world can you do that in a five minute conversation? Well, if you need a summary, just go to First Corinthians chapter two, verse two. And Paul gives us the best summary in the world, talk about his person and his work. I know Christ person and Him crucified his work. In other words, when we share the gospel, and this is what I need you to understand when we're sharing the gospel, we're going out and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. This is the whole goal for Cottage Grove church in 2020, that we go and proclaim the gospel and we make disciples, but in order to do so we need to know who must be said. And it can become very confusing and very hard to again, narrow down an inexhaustible person and to narrow down an unimaginable work. But what we need to go out and do is the same thing that Paul did talk about Christ and Him crucified. Or in other words, tell them who he is, God, tell them what he did die. Tell them why he did it, love and tell them what they received, if they believe everything. Everything.

That's gospel preaching, and that is the message that transforms not just an in person, but the entire world. We are called to go out and proclaim Christ who is worthy to be proclaimed. See, oftentimes, we look at Jesus Christ and we're like, man, holy Love them. I'm enjoying him. I'm experiencing these greatness. But then I get trained to go and share the gospel. And the only way that I can get somebody to believe the gospel is to somehow finagle their mind into recognizing how guilty they are before a holy God that the wrath of God is coming and tell them that Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ died so that they might have eternal life. And we are only giving ourselves one on ramp to the gospel. But I want to set you guys free. The person and the work of Christ is so multifaceted, so holistic, that you haven't unwrapped from any given issue. Why? Because if sin has permeated every single aspect of humanity, the gospel has a response to every single thing that sin has destroyed. So therefore, somebody comes with you with it. Issues of sin. You enter Jesus Christ into that equation and their issues of sin times Jesus equals forgiveness. You can't have somebody come with you with the issue of loneliness. You allow Jesus Christ into that equation. And there are loneliness times Jesus equals Joshua one five, that I will never leave you nor forsake you. You have somebody with the issue of sadness, and you let Jesus Christ be put into that equation and their sadness times Jesus equals john chapter 14, verse 16, where I will send to you another comforter, even the spirit of truth. Do you see what I'm saying? There is so many avenues to the gospel of Jesus Christ, because he is able to restore absolutely everything. And if someone fears death, you allow Jesus Christ to be entered into that equation, and death times Jesus. It don't make no sense unless it is Jesus death. times Jesus equals eternal life. How in the world is that possible apart from Jesus Christ? See that we need to kind of embrace this this kind of perspective of one of my favorite theologians in the world Groot. Anybody remember group? Now grusin man Yo, because grood if you've never watched Guardians of the Galaxy, he literally only says one thing.

I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. And every single time he says it, it's not like he says something different. But him saying the same phrase has a myriad of meanings. We need to as we encounter various issues, just be on repeat, but he is Jesus. But he is Jesus. I'm sad but he is Jesus. I feel good. But he is Jesus. I feel saying but he is Jesus, and what is going to happen when I meet the judge of the entire universe, but he is Jesus. Man, am I going to live after this? He is Jesus. And though we keep repeating the same name, it carries with it a myriad of implications. The same Jesus, addressing a myriad of issues. Him, we proclaim His word for proclaim as a wonderful word. It means to decisively declare something. It means to decisively declare something. I want our intellectuals to understand this real quick that you can't decisively declare that which is not definitive. In other words, Paul is saying that I only go out and proclaim what has already been proven. Do you hear that? When we go out and share the gospel, We're not sharing some kind of mythology. The call of sharing the gospel is to call people to place their trust in that which is trustworthy. See, we proclaim a real person Jesus, who was born in a real town Bethlehem, who grow up in a real town called Nazareth, who did miracles in Galilee and in Jerusalem. And then that same Jesus of Nazareth, who did real miracles in real cities and towns, then was tried by a real governor named pilot, and he was crucified on a real hill called Golgotha. buried in a real Tomb of a real man called Joseph Erica, and he was raised in reality historically and bodily on the third day, he appeared to real people with real eyes who are able to touch his real hands and his real feet Every single one of them said, I'll die to say not what I think happened. But what I saw. We proclaim a real gospel. We are not here trying to tell a good story. We are here to tell his story, historically.

Do you hear that? Do you hear that? Now, as some of you are under the sound of my voice, I may be like, Well, that sounds great. But how do you know that? How you know that? Look at Luke. Luke opens up his whole text by saying this. I want you to know with certainty the things that you have been taught.

Do you hear that? Not guessing check, but I want you to know with certainty, Paul, First Corinthians chapter 15. I love the way he says it. He says listen, he appeared to surface. Then he appeared to the 12. Then he appeared to over 500 witnesses at the same time, and as if that wasn't enough, he says Some of whom are alive right now go ask him. And then he says he appeared to James and then to all the other apostles. And then last of all, he appeared to me. It's not talking about something that he thinks he's talking about what he knows y'all. And he was willing to die to say it. Second Peter chapter one, verse 16. If you need more evidence, you may appear to have been walking with Jesus. He said, we did not follow cleverly devised myths, but we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.

And I love your boy john, you know, john cena thunder, one who wanted to call down fire. He gets older as as as time goes on, as all of us do. And so he starts to settle down a little bit. And he writes this wonderful, kind, kind kind letter. And he says these words to begin it off, he says, that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes and looked upon and touch Without her hands concerning the word of life, what john is saying is that I don't proclaim to you my imagination. I don't proclaim to you my inspiration, I proclaim to you, God breathed information that is true. Now, if we know that that is the case, we must then go out with the kind of authority that Jesus endowed us with in Matthew 28. We're not suggesting the gospel. We're not advising the gospel. We are announcing the gospel, that a man literally lived the perfect life, died a death on the cross and rose from the dead. And this is not my suggestion to you. It's not my advice to you. It is my announcement to you do with it as you wish, but I urge you to believe it, because in believing this, you will be reconciled to the God of the universe forever. But if you don't, you will stand in judgment on Your own, because you have denied the only way to life. Now, after he says him we proclaim. He also then says that we are called to teach and to warn. This is what he says. He says, warning everyone, and teaching everyone with all wisdom. Say that again, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom. If our first point is to proclaim him, then the next point is to disciple them.

Do you see that in the text? And this word for everyone means everyone. So why don't you just go ahead and say everyone? Say it again? Say everyone. Say everyone again. Okay. I love this phrase, because I was looking at it in Greek and I was like, is he just saying like, you know, we just got present everybody. No, that's not actually what he's getting it. He's getting very specific, as a matter of fact, the way that he constructs this phrase is to make sure that you understand that there are individuals within the corporate. He doesn't just say the normal word for everybody. But instead he says Ponta on through Apos, meaning every single man. So we're not just looking for the hole and we're saying, Okay, we got a lot of numbers. So that means everybody No, no, he's saying don't leave an individual out. In other words, Paul does not miss the trees within the forest.

Everybody, every single one, he says warn them. And this word for Warren is a simple word. It means to place something in someone's mind. You'll know that movie inception, right? To play something is literally to incept somebody and a lot of us need to be incepted You know why? Because we have these crazy I don't know where they come from maybe culture lied thoughts that we have in our head that says that God is love. He just loves you so much. He will never judge you. God actually thinks the world of you. sin and all he smiles on it. And when you think about these thoughts, you're like, where do you find that in the text? God is a God of judgment. God is a God of wrath. God is a God of justice, and you stand on the other side of that, apart from him, you deserve the wrath of God apart from him. You deserve the anger of God apart from him, you deserve the justice of God.

Warn them, warn them. Don't allow for them to continue to think what they're thinking. If I could summarize what this means, apply pressure to their perspective. Press on it. Don't allow them to keep thinking what they're thinking We're called to be signposts that cry, dead end, dead end, dead end dead end dead in whenever we see a person walking the path of destruction.

That's our job. And millennials, we got to hear this because you don't make a lot of friends of friends screaming dead it just don't work like the matter of fact, you lose friends screaming dead in.

But here's what was beautiful about it. That while you might lose 10 friends, one of those friends or two of those friends or maybe three of those friends or God blesses you out of 1010 of those friends will heed your warning, turn to life, and you will have made an eternally greater friend. This is our happiness. we warn them for the purpose of caring for them. This is love. It's a matter of fact it'd be unloving to do the opposite. I remember we went down to Florida take our kids to Disney World. Fun, super fun. And before we actually got in there, you can tell you were getting close to Disney World, because they got signs all over the place. And it's almost like a college campus where you start to see Oh, this is Disney territory. And you start to get more and more excited as you're driving it because you're like, Oh my gosh, Disney World, you stop paying attention to road signs, you just can't stop and you're really a giddy as the parents right? Now, how evil it would be to put Disney signs where you know there's danger or evil that would be that's called encouraging them towards their death. we as Christians oftentimes put Disney signs where we know danger is and we have to stop this. Warn everyone.

But then he says this, teaching everyone, teaching everyone. Can't just be warning everybody can't always be Hellfire and brimstone. I mean, like we said last week, right? We don't need just a drill sergeant. We also need grandma. So we need grandma sergeant's. Paul is saying the same thing again. Warn them and teach them. Could you imagine like, you put it in the GPS. I want to go to the Capitol building. And the way Siri responds is by telling you all the roads not to take.

You know, ridiculous that would be. Don't turn left on University. Don't turn right on fours, right. Like you can imagine how ridiculous this would be. Know, if you actually teach well, you will warn in the process. point them to where they should be going and they won't want to go the opposite direction. Teach them in Jesus Christ, teach them with all wisdom. Now what is wisdom? What is wisdom? What is wisdom? Well, we already quoted First Corinthians chapter two verse two, right? And it's in that text that Paul says, The reason why I only knew Christ and Him crucified is because the cross of Christ is the power and the wisdom of God. I love what Charles Spurgeon says, he was writing at a time and preaching at a time where the Enlightenment was on the rise. And if you don't know the name, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, you need to know that name. He's talking about how so many people in the culture are running to these new ways of thinking because they think they're much smarter than people of the past. And it's what CS Lewis would call, you know, chronological snobbery, thinking that you figured it out now when no one else in the past ever could. So he says instead Running to that. He says but turn aside and see this great site and eternal God upon a cross, a substitute, atoning for mortal guilt, a sacrifice, satisfying the vengeance of heaven and delivering the rebellious sinner. Here's what he says, Here is at the essence of wisdom, here is the essence of wisdom and throne, crowned, glorified. Love that. He said, there is no place to see the wisdom of God, better than looking at the cross of Calvary. That's the wisdom of God right there. That's where all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in the cross of Calvary in the cross of Jesus Christ. So if we're going to teach them in wisdom, let us not leave the gospel. Teach the gospel. Think the gospel, preach the gospel, pray the gospel, think about the gospel over and over again. And if you don't know what the gospel is, I'll repeat it is His perfect life, his death and his resurrection from the dead. That provides reconciliation and restoration for you and I. That's what we need to be talking about teaching them in that that is very wisdom. Then he goes on after this, and after he tells you disciple them, he says, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. See, we proclaim him, we disciple them in order that we may perfect them. Now, I want to just take this also just word by word, phrase by phrase so you don't miss what he's saying. First, where he says here is to present somebody a present. Say like me and say, present Okay, so we're called to present, present present. This means to stand somebody up to bring them to the eternal throne room. This is what we as Christians are called to do. In other words, I want to ask the question, do you have anybody that you are ready to present before God? Don't go to the eternal Throne Room Alone. Man, I want to go with some folks. I don't know a lot of people, I want to be able to present a whole myriad of casts and I've been walking with by the grace of God, I want to present all types of different folks, that when we see every tribe, none Tongan nation, I get to bring a whole rack of different tribes, tongues and nations before we presented them cast, say Yo, these are the dues I walk with. I want that. You should desire that as a Christian present, though. But the next word he says here says present them mature somebody say mature, mature, the word for mature actually means perfect, complete, whole. Now as you see that you might be like me asking the question, I can't present myself perfect and Oh. How in the world? Does God the Holy Spirit, expect me to present somebody else perfect and whole? Well, the answer comes in Jude chapter 24, verse 25. After he tells everybody to, to build yourselves up in the faith and to pray and yourselves in the Holy Spirit. After he gets through all of that, he then gets to verse 24, and 25 and he says this, now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you before his presence with great glory and joy. Do you hear that to the God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. To him be glory and majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forevermore. Amen. What Jude understands is what we must comprehend that when it comes to presenting people perfect and whole, the ultimate responsibility is not our own, but Jesus Christ.

I'll never forget I hurt my ankle really badly when I was in Philadelphia playing ball. My wife used to love to come to my basketball games. She loved to come and watch me play and at the time, like, you know, I was felt like I was kind of watchable. You know what I mean? Like, I actually had a little bit of game, not any longer she came to one of my games issue like me. So, at this time, I hurt my ankle really, really, really bad. And we had an on site clinic at on that campus. So my wife after I hurt my ankle, and I couldn't walk and I'm probably like, you know, some of y'all was notice like, you You have a husband who just like, like a level one pain for you is like a level 30,000 pain for him. So I'm like, I can't walk, I'm dying. So my wife comes and she helps me. She takes me to the clinic. And the whole time I'm hanging on her shoulders. I'm hanging on her shoulders, because I can't walk by myself. And then finally, she presents me to the doctor, the physician on site. And at that point, the physician says to her, thank you so much for bringing him here, but I can take it from here.

Guys, this is the picture of what we're called to do as disciples of Jesus Christ, discipling other disciples of Jesus Christ. We are all broken spiritually by sin. All have spiritually broken bones, and we are all needing one another to be our crutches. So we help one another out as we're broken in this life. We walk with them, we talk with them, we tell them it's gonna be okay. We're almost there. We're always Almost there, but once we then present them to the great physician, Jesus Christ, he says to us, thank you so much, but I can take it from there. And in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, he will one day snap his fingers and all our spiritual flaws, all our spiritual brokenness, all our spiritual issues will be forever gone. Present him, present them perfect, knowing that he's actually going to do the job of perfecting them.

But this is why it must be presenting them mature. Here's the most important phrase in Christ. In Christ, not in you and your mom, not in your favorite preacher. In Jesus Christ. What does it have to be in him? Because Jesus is the only perfect one. That's why Jesus is the only dude who I know, could walk into a crowd and say which one of y'all can convict me of sin?

And it'd be dead silent like you got some? Trying, I'm trying, okay. Talk to his brother. I grew up with a cat I can't even take it. Only do look at do this perfect. Hebrews chapter four, verse 15, through 16 says, we do not have a high priests, who was unable to empathize where our weaknesses, but one who in every way was tempted just as we are yet yet yet without sin, without sin, perfect.

So Jesus Christ the perfect became Jesus Christ the perfecter. I want you to know that this same word for mature carries with it the same root of the same word that Jesus Christ cried out on the cross to tell us the hit is finished. So when you are in Christ, like Paul said, you actually Die with Christ, and you are raised with Christ, if you are indeed in Christ, therefore when he said to tell us die, It is finished, he was simultaneously saying to tell us that we are finished. what's beautiful about that? Is that when we think of finished, because sin has entered into the world, the only thing that we can think of is death.

But when you say like you're finished, saying, oh, he's done for goner, no hope. But the reality is, is that Jesus Christ did not come like Satan to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus Christ came to bring life and life abundant. So when you are in sin, to be finished means to be put to death, to be no more to be no longer but when you are in Christ, to be finished means to be complete, to be whole to be perfected. See, this is why it's like almost like a reverse Mortal Kombat. Yo, you're mad at the game, maybe kill somebody. Then finally at the end you like finish here. And then it come with some like crazy elaborate ways like Yo, this was a psychopath who dreamed up this game, you know, some crazy ways to destroy this person. Well, I want you to know that Jesus Christ is the reverse Mortal Kombat, because he came up with an elaborate way not to destroy you, but to perfect you. Literally God in the flesh coming as a perfect man died the death on the cross. You deserve to die as a substitute and being raised from the dead eternally, to prove to you that forever You will be in relationship and oneness and unity with the Godhead don't make sense. I don't understand it, but it's true. But it's true. He has come and Finished us. Therefore go proclaim him. If you claim the name of Jesus, you must proclaim the name of Jesus. Go tell people about it doesn't matter what their issues are start a conversation around Jesus. Talk to Jesus is the solution to anything that they're facing. And we need to be better than Billy Mays, because I bet Billy Mays while we know him by oxiclean, you know, he also jumped off that bandwagon when that one was a cute number, and then he went to kaboom. Remember that too, right? Same face, same person. And then when that was a fan, no more he jumped off that bank bandwagon went to mighty buddy, y'all remember, buddy, buddy? And he just had all of these different things. And the reason why is because oxy clean is life changing for a moment. But it isn't life changing eternally. But we get to proclaim the name of one who is life changing eternally better. The work that he did 2000 years ago will stand the test of time. Why? Because of his person in his nature. He is the one who's told Moses, that My name is I am who I am not I am or not I was not I hope to become but I am. So therefore his nature stands in the perpetual present. Well listen, if his nature stands in the perpetual presence, so does his work. For He did not say it was finished. He did not say I hope to finish it one day like all of us do with our various tasks around the house, amen.

But he says it is finish. It was finished, it will always be finished and it will be finished until eternity. So, therefore proclaim him, preach him with authority, knowing that through preaching him, we will see perfected people by the glory of God. Amen.

Let's go before the Lord, thank you so much, father for your word. Thank you for the the true essence of the gospel. We don't go out to teach something that we've imagined. We don't go out and teach something that we hope is true. But we go out preaching what we know to be true. Thank you that we have assurance God, thank you that you have truly been risen from the dead. Thank you that you did appear to the people that you appear to and thank you even for their blood that they said in order to prove it God. Every single martyr everyone was that is another testimony of the reality that you are indeed the Christ, the Son of God. So let us fill us with your spirit fill us with boldness so that we might proclaim you so that they may be perfected, so that we all might be wondering. We love you so much. Pray all these things in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All got people say, Amen.

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