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SERIES:  "RESTORING THE CHURCH'S TRUE IDENTITY"  

 

Session No. 7    A COMMISSIONED PEOPLE  

 

INTRODUCTION  

 

A Church is not a Church if it does not have and express the missionary heart of God. To allow ourselves to become a 'club' for our own fulfilment and comfort or a 'fortress' for our own safety and protection is to deny our King and betray His Kingdom. We are a commissioned people....commissioned to penetrate our community and culture with the good news of the Kingdom of God.  

 

[1]  Please read LUKE 4/18,19 at this point  

 

The Bible says that we are fellow-workers with God (2 Cor.6/1) but we can only work WITH God if we are doing what He is doing in our world today. In other words, our agenda must be replaced by His agenda; there is no room for us to do our own thing when it comes to being a commissioned people. The very idea of being "commissioned" conveys the concept of another person's initiative and authority rather than our own.  

 

GROUP PROJECT:From the above Scripture passage, identify the 5-fold agenda of Jesus Christ in His earthly ministry. Try and write them in your own words.

1._____________________________________________________________________  

2._____________________________________________________________________  

3._____________________________________________________________________  

4._____________________________________________________________________  

5._____________________________________________________________________    

[Please note the reference to the Holy Spirit having "anointed" Jesus. Remember session No. 6 on being a competent people and the centrality of the Spirit who empowers us? Evidently, that was true of Jesus, too. Read ACTS 10/38 for the same emphasis. The "empowering" or "anointing" or "enabling" of the Holy Spirit is the pre-requisite for any effective, God-honouring ministry.]  

 

We believe that the gospel message remains unchanged. (Yes/No?)  

We also believe that God's purpose to seek and save the lost remains unchanged. (Yes/No?)

We believe that the same Holy Spirit power that enabled Jesus to do the Father's Will remains unchanged and is available to us today. (Yes/No?)  

 

Very few believers would want to disagree with the preceeding statements. Further, we have never had so much access to training seminars on how to share our faith as we do today. We know that the fields are white and ripe for harvest. But just how do we fulfill our commission? How do we BE disciples and how do we MAKE disciples?   As in all things, Jesus is our model. How Jesus fulfilled His mission is the key as to how we are to fulfill ours because they are one and the same.  

 

QUESTION: What do you learn from the following Scriptures about Jesus' "method of ministry"?  

a.  Luke 15/2________________________________________________  

b.  Luke 19/1-10_____________________________________________  

c.  John 4/7_________________________________________________  

d.  Luke 7/36-39_____________________________________________  

e.  Mark 6/34-44_____________________________________________  

 

There are, no doubt, many other references that you would include in such a list but the above is a small sample.   The ministry of Jesus included both words and action. His was a very balanced ministry that was both verbal and visual. As we read the Gospels, we are hearing words AND seeing works: i.e. declaration and demonstration. Do you sometimes get the sense that we have lost that balance?....that we are big on words at the expense of works (or vice versa)?.....that we don't practice what we preach?  

[1]   DECLARATION   Can you recall some of the key occasions when Jesus excelled in teaching and communicating God-truth and spiritual reality?  

a. Name one occasion when He taught a crowd  

b. Name one occasion when He taught an individual  

c.What was one of His favourite methods to (verbally) teach truth?    

 

[2]  DEMONSTRATION   The works of Jesus were a vital component for Him to fulfill His mission. People could both hear and see the gospel. Consider the following examples of Jesus "doing" the gospel and write in what you note about this aspect.  

a. Mark 1/21-28 _____________________________________________________  

b. Mark 2/3-12 ______________________________________________________

c. Mark 10/46-52 ____________________________________________________  

d. Luke 7/11-17 _____________________________________________________

e. Luke 13/10-13 ____________________________________________________  

 

WOULD YOU NOW READ LUKE 9/1-6 AND LUKE 10/1-9  

 

Luke 9 is an account of the commissioning of the "Twelve". Luke 10 is an account of the commissioning of the "seventy two" others. In both cases, Jesus sent them out to SAY something and to DO something. Can you identify the content of both those categories from the passages?  

a. SAY_____________________________________________________________  

b. DO______________________________________________________________    

 

In the Great Commission (which we believe to be the basis of our own commissioning), Jesus commanded the Apostles to teach those who became disciples "to obey everything I have commanded you..."In other words, everything that they had been taught and commanded to do was to be passed on to the next generation of disciples who were to pass it on to the next generation who were to pass it on......right down to this day and our generation.  

 

We are a commissioned people. We have to come to grips with the question, "What is the nature of our commission? According to Matthew 28/18-20, what are we called....  

A. to be_____________________________________________________________  

B. to teach__________________________________________________________  

C. to do ___________________________________________________________  

 

At a more personal level, we each need to be convinced of our individual commissioning and the authority or authorisation that Jesus has invested in us to be His Kingdom agents in our world and in our local community.   Is that a matter of prayer for you now? Do you need to alert your group to any areas of doubt, ignorance or fear so that they can pray for you as you go out into your God-given assigment this week?    

 

FOR YOUR READING THIS WEEK KEY THOUGHTS: "SPIRITUAL WARFARE" AND "CONFLICT"  

  1. Luke 11/14-22
  2. 2 Corinthians 10/1-6
  3. Ephesians 6/10-20
  4. 1 John 3/1-10
  5. Revelation 12/1-12
  6. Revelation 22/1-17
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