Scripture Reference: Ephesians 4:11-16; John 15
God expects his children to grow in Christ and grow in maturity.
Ephesians 4:15 mentions “speaking the truth in love”. Maturity comes as we all learn to speak the gospel into each others lives.
What is the gospel?
Who is Jesus?
A perfect man, lived a perfect life, the God-man, the promised Messiah sent to savers from sin and death, crucified, buried, raised on the third day.
What did Jesus do on the cross?
He exchanged His righteousness on the cross for our sin because we deserved death.
He rose from the dead to show HIs power over sin and death.
What must we do? What is the action of the gospel?
Repent, believe, put our trust and dependence in what Jesus has done for us.
Follow in baptism; the act of obedience publicly expressing our faith to the world.
What happens after we repent and believe?
2 Corinthians 5:17
We receive the Holy Spirit
We are adopted into God’s family
We are commissioned with God’s authority to make disciples of Jesus
If we believe in the gospel, how do we grow in it?
free from the penalty of sin (positionally justified)
free from the power of sin (continually being sanctified)
we are not free from the presence of sin, but we should abide in Him and in His Word.
“if you abide”; “if you keep my commandments”
I John 4
“this is love”; “this is the gospel”
“put to death”
The essence of sin is unbelief in the gospel and in who God is.
If we are sinning we:
don’t believe His greatness
don’t believe His glory
don’t believe His goodness
don’t believe His grace
Scripture Reference: Acts 4-10
What does the vision of God look like for the church? What we want is what God wants for us.
Fear is at the heart of rejection of the undeniable truth(s).
The people had great faith, were of one heart and soul, helped each other, embraced others needs and helped them to meet those needs.
Ananias & Sapphira
They had deception in their hearts
They held back from God
The apostles were imprisoned because of the fear of what happened with Ananias and Sapphira.
Stephen was stoned because he spoke the word of God and there was fear among the people because of what he taught.
Stephen responded in faith and continued to speak God’s word among the people.
ACTS 8-9 - Fear and Faith Collide
Saul meets Jesus on the road to Damascus.
The invitation to catch a new vision was given to Saul.
Every opportunity is the chance to step out in faith or recoil in fear and do nothing or just stay comfortable.
Any act of disobedience is death to the vision God has given you; a vision of what might have been.
God’s vision for Cornelius; a God-seeker
Cornelius was a centurion with power, standing, and influence.
Cornelius was a “devout man”; “feared God with his household”.
Cornelius had a feeling of conflict and a sense of fear regarding what he was to do,
He had a need
He called out to God
God heard Cornelius
Cornelius stepped through the fear
Fear is being overwhelmed with God and stepping out in faith and obedience.
The people had a fear of association because of who Cornelius was.
God’s vision for this “gospel seeker” was that He sent a “gospel speaker”.
Peter had a fear of being made unclean by association.
(v 20-21) Peter obeyed God and stepped out in faith and through the fear.
Romans 10 - Don’t let any fear of association or discomfort keep us from doing as God has asked us to do.
SO WHAT? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
We are people desperately in need of a Savior.
There are people waiting and wanting to hear the gospel that we know and have.
We should go without misgivings or hesitation.
God is not one to show partiality.
Give them Jesus.
We should reflect the diversity of our field.