Bought by the Blood

March 18, 2009

Three components of mission and the Christian Life

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled  in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. – Colossians 1:21-23

There are three components to faith that Paul states is essential if we are in Christ.  I was struck by this as I meditated on the above verses this morning.  Paul states what I was and what God has done for me.  After that is a litmus test for what it means to have assurance.  I want to be ready for Christ return and not to take the gospel lightly.  That means that I am called to be stable and steadfast with hope in the gospel.  Those phrases seemed kind of nebulous, so I’ve tried my best to break it down.

Stable

A stable faith is one that is without doubting.  It is firm amidst trials and uncertainties.  A stable faith has a singular focus on the truth of God’s character and does not get distracted or enticed by false doctrines and pleas to the flesh.  If my faith is stable then my life will reflect this by not being hypocritical, but by walking in wisdom and earnestly seeking God, so that I may walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel.  An unstable faith does not walk in a straight path, but wobbles like a drunkard with no clear vision and prone to fall.  I need a stable faith to go through the narrow gate, by having my faith be stable I am able to make through it the hard patches and find life and the benefits of the cross.  One of the components of a stable faith is drawing me outside of myself and seeing the needs of others.  I will see them as being like I was before I received Christ, how I was on sinking sand and my world could crumble at any moment.  When I have eyes of compassion like Jesus I will see that there is a world of hurt that is yearning for a shepherd.  As I grow in my faith I see a harvest and desire to labor for the Gospel.  I want those that are perishing to know the stability that I have in uncertain times.  I do not doubt that what I have is what the world is yearning for and to truly love my neighbor is to tell them about the redemption that is offered at the cross.

James 1:5-8 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Matthew 7:13-14  “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Matthew 9:36-38 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Steadfast

God’s ultimate purpose is to make me like Jesus.  As I read Luke nine I am amazed at Jesus’ steadfastness to go to Jerusalem where he will bear the cross and die for the sins of many.  I need that same steadfastness in carrying my cross and daily dying to self.  I should rejoice in suffering as that allows me to an opportunity to know Christ more fully and shine the gospel to a world that is in the dark.  I need to embrace trials and circumstances that test my faith as that will make me steadfast with the final result of conforming to Christ who is perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  To be steadfast is to be immovable, my calling is to take Christ to the lost, in this I must be steadfast, knowing that my labor is not in vain.  In my mission I need to rooted and anchored, knowing that I empowered to do it by the Holy Spirit.  I am not to view anything as a higher priority for this is the mission of Christ and I am to be steadfast in carrying the forth the work that He has started and has promised to complete.

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Colossians 1:24-27 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 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.

Not Shifting from the hope of the Gospel
Consider the Christian life being a manual car with three gears.  Those three gears are works based legalism, hedonistic license and hope in the Gospel.  We have no need to shift gears, but we are called to have our hope firmly in the Gospel and to live our life in that direction.  I do not go out and share the gospel with everyone I met and hand out tracts religiously as if my salvation depended on that.  My hope for salvation is not based on how many people I share the gospel with or how many people come to faith because of me.  Also, I do not take the attitude that someone else will proclaim the Gospel and sit back and do nothing.  It is my honor and joy to have the privilege to proclaim the King of Kings and what He has done for me by bringing me into relationship with Him.  This is not a task I view begrudgingly, but it is a task I don’t deserve and am amazed that I am honored to have such a high calling.  I do not take part in the great commission because I am saved.  I can’t help but to take part in Christ mission because of the hope I have in the gospel and my desire to see others have that same hope.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:15 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!”

Lord, make me sobered by the reality of what will happen to those who don’t know you and increase my faith to tell them of Christ atoning sacrifice.  Give me faith to go out and proclaim your gospel and confidence in your Spirit to soften the heart of the unregenerate.  Make me steadfast in the mission you’ve called me to.  I cannot do this on my own and need your help.  Let my hope in the Gospel be my motivation for sharing Christ love.  I want His grace sacrifice for me motivate me to tell others of His good news.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: