READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l In 1 Cor 3:-5-9, Apostle Paul used an agricultural imagery process to show us we have an equal role in kingdom partnership with God, and our assignment is to obey God and fulfill the Great commission.
- Different Assignments, One Mission (v5-6)
Difference between Mission and Missions
Mission- “the broader understanding, referring to everything the church is doing that points toward the kingdom of God”
Missions- “The specific work of the church and agencies in the task of reaching people for Christ by crossing cultural boundaries.”
This is based on the idea that God is the one who initiates & sustains the mission. The Mission of the church is set by God and we need to catch God’s heart for the world. (Titus 2:11) The grace of God offers salvation to all people. Mission in the biblical sense concerns the proclamation of the gospel in the kingdom of God in word and deed throughout the world.
We can see Mission in three strands:
(Matt 28:18-20) Gospel to transform every community and people group (God’s mandate)
(Mark 16:15) Gospel of salvation for every human being (Missions cross-culturally)
(Matt 25: 37-40) Gospel to serve the poor & marginalized (Missions in your community)
- God’s Responsibility – The Conversion and the Growth (v6-7)
We have different assignments and one mission in God’s kingdom partnership that involves both God and man. Some of us may have a “Messiah complex” where we hold the responsibility of God in our own hands and the outcome of the person’s salvation upon our shoulder. We need to trust God’s sovereignty and be faithful, to obey and carry out God’s mandate. At the end of the day, it is God that does the transformation work. Jesus Christ is the foundation for the ministry of the Church and the Holy Spirit leads us in planting and watering. God does the conversion and growth. God has commissioned us through His son Jesus Christ to this Kingdom partnership and particularly to be His workers in the field.
- Our Responsibility – The Workers to Evangelise and Nurture (v6, 8-9)
Evangelising- “Go and make disciples of all nations…”
Nurturing- “…to teach these disciples to observe everything Jesus had taught them.”
Like Paul has planted, Apollo watered, we are one in purpose to bring people to Christ. We are God’s fellow workers and we are God’s field. We need to be in the right environment for us to grow. All of us have a part to be “be the mission community”.
A practical step forward: we need to set mission as a way of life. Outreach is not a one-time event, but everyday event as we look at the people around us. (1 Cor 9:22-23) Like Paul, we seek to ‘find common ground”. The work of missions is a process and it takes time. We can start by tilling the soil. (1 Cor 3:6) If evangelism is planting the seeds of the gospel, pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of their heart and mind, preparing an individual to at least be willing to listen to the truth. Tilling the soil involves removing the weeds and undesirable things so the soil is soft and ready for seed planting. It is for us to show practical acts of kindness and love. We can start right where we are, example, Wesley Methodist Christians Outreach & Social Concerns Ministry.
We have different assignments, but we have one mission. It is God’s responsibility to do the conversion and growth. It is our responsibility to be the worker to evangelize and nurture – to plant seeds, to show acts of Christian love and kindness around us. Though sometimes we may not see the harvest, we know God’s redemption is still at work.
(Sermon notes by Caesiapeah Lim)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- What is missions to you?
- What challenges have you faced in doing outreach and missions?
- Share an experience of a cross-cultural mission trip or a local outreach to someone or a community group?
- What practical steps can you take in living out missions as a lifestyle?