The Church is Called to be...Missional.
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:1–1:10
Key Truth: The Church is called to be missional in all of life as a result of God’s electing grace provided in and through the coming of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Q: What comes to your mind when you hear the word “missional”? Do you think of it as something separate from work, family, and recreation? Do you think of it in individual terms or corporate terms or both?
“People don’t go to church on Sundays to support their pastors in their ministry. The pastor goes to church on Sunday to support the people in their ministry.”
- Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission
Text: The Church is Called to be Missional:
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
1:1-3: Trinity of Classic Christian Virtues and Their Results:
“True faith is active: it brings to the Christian’s view the Lord Jesus Christ, as having in him a fullness of all imaginable blessings treasured up for the use of the Church...(L)ove is a laborious grace: it is always seeking for something which it may do, either for God or man. It cannot endure to be idle...(Hope) is a patient grace, leading us to expect all that God has promised, however long we have to wait for it; and to fulfill all that God has required to the utmost possible extent; and to suffer all that God has ordained us to suffer, in hope of final recompense; and finally, to continue in a constant course of well-doing, even to the end.”
- Charles Simeon, Horae Homileticae; Philippians to 1 Timothy, Vol. 18
Q: Is faith, love, and hope visible and tangible in your life and in the life of CCC or are these merely abstract concepts reserved for special times and places?
1:4-7: Imitation and Example:
“God has chosen us in Christ not simply for our own blessedness, but also for the purpose of being His instruments of blessing to others. The Christian life is fundamentally a life for others. To be in Christ is to be with Him in God’s mission to the world.”
- Samuel H. Larsen, Gripped by a Global God: One Greater Than Jonah
Q: What evidence is there in your life of whose you are and what you are about? What has influenced most how you live (Said another way, who or what are you imitating)?
1:8-10: Sounding Forth:
“The highest of all missionary motives is neither obedience to the Great Commission (important as that is), nor love for sinners who are alienated and perishing (strong as that incentive is, especially when we contemplate the wrath of God) but rather zeal- burning and passionate zeal- for the glory of Jesus Christ...Before this supreme goal of the Christian mission, all unworthy motives wither and die.”
- John Stott, The Message of Romans
Q: How is the word of the Lord and our faith sounding forth from CCC in the immediate area and beyond? What should we focus on or do to facilitate this?
The Church being called to be missional means:
-our faith, love, and hope will result in something visible and tangible for the betterment and flourishing of those within our sphere of influence
-our election will be evident and distinct in our imitation of and transformation in the image of Christ and other faithful saints
-the word of the Lord and our related faith will sound forth far beyond our current context
Q: What is ONE area in which you can live missionally? How can the church help to equip you in this ONE area?
Benediction: Nehemiah 8:10