Leave and Go, Believe and Obey

This Sunday we're going to talk about some of the distinctives of Christ Church - namely that we are Reformed in our theology, complementarian in our leadership, Spirit-filled in our motivation and missional in our outlook. One point I'd like to make here because I'm not sure if I'll have time to get to it in the sermon is that we are a missionary people, not just because Jesus tells us to go to the nations (Matthew 28:18-20), but because God told Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 to be a blessing to the nations.

And if we are going to join God on this mission to the nations, then we must respond like Abraham to God's promise and command - we must leave and go, believe and obey:

  • We must abandon the story our culture tells to explain the meaning and purpose of life.
  • We must embrace the seemingly impossible promises of God with an obedience fueled by an ever-deepening trust in God's ability and desire to come through on those promises.

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Deep Theology Is Essentially Missional

From Chris Wright's The Mission of God's People:

Paul's doctrine of justification is essentially missional for it extends the blessing of the gospel, with no ethnic privileges or barriers, to all nations in principle, and therefore demands that it be extended to them in practice - that is, in the practice of evangelism, church-planting and discipling communities who walk in 'the obedience of faith' among all nations.

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We Care About Creation Because It Has Been Redeemed By Christ

So our care for creation is motivated not solely by the fact that it was created by God and we were commanded to look after it, but also by the fact that it has been redeemed by Christ, and we are to erect signposts towards its ultimate destiny of complete restoration in Christ. God's redemptive mission includes creation. Our mission involves participating in that redemptive work as agents of good news to creation, as well as to people.

Chris Wright, The Mission of God's People

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Caring For Creation - No Exemptions

When God created the earth, he created human beings in his own image with the express mission of ruling over creation by caring for it - a task modeled on the kingship of Christ himself. That human mission has never been rescinded, and Christians have not been given some exemption on the grounds that we have other or better things to do.

Chris Wright, The Mission of God's People

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We Are Part Of The Redeemed Creation

Creation is not just the disposable backdrop to the lives of human creatures who were really intended to live somewhere else, and some day will do so. We are not redeemed out of creation, but as part of the redeemed creation itself - a creation that will again be fully and eternally for God's glory, for our joy and benefit, and forever.

Chris Wright, The Mission of God's People

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Sermon in a Sentence - July 25, 2010

Everything we do as a church is missional. Everything we do as a church helps people become family and follow Jesus.

Everything we do as a church is an effort to persuade people to trust Jesus as their great treasure while he makes everything better than brand new.

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Going Global

During last night's gathering, we announced our intentions to go global by planting churches around the world and partnering with other churches around the world. How far we go and where exactly we go is where you come into the picture. Here are three ways for you to help us expand our efforts internationally:

  1. Help us partner with existing missionaries and their churches. Get an email address. Ask for ways we can pray for them. Let the church know how we can be praying. Go and visit for a week and take a team from our church with you.
  2. Help us start new partnerships. Who do you know that is part of a church in a different part of the world? Are there projects we can fund? Do you need to go become part of that community for a year or longer?
  3. Help us plan for long-term sustainability. Let's send teams. Let's partner with receiving churches. Let's take care of our missionaries. Let's help them replace themselves.

Our global mission begins with you. Start here and let's discover together what God has in store for us.

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Big Idea: If You Were A Missionary...

Here's the big idea for this Sunday - a church is a family of missionaries. Here's an idea of what that means for us at Christ Church - this is from The Porterbrook Network curriculum on Missional Community Life:

Imagine you are part of a church-planting team in Spain. How would you answer the following questions?

  • What criteria would you use to decide where to live?
  • How would you approach employment in the marketplace?
  • What standard of living would you expect as missionaries?
  • What would you spend your time doing?
  • What opportunities would you look for?
  • What would your prayers be like?
  • What would you be trying to do with your new friends?
  • What kind of team would you want around you?
  • How would you conduct your meetings together?

In order to reach people living in Spain, we are willing to take risks, get radical and think outside of the box. But if we are missionaries because we have been created by and belong to a missionary God (Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:9-10; Revelation 21:1-5), then why would we be any less creative, risky and radical here in Athens?

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