JOHN 17:3-4, 18
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do… As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-21
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus is the great missionary: he left the comforts of his heavenly home and came to the earth to reveal the glory of God and to die in place of sinners. The ultimate aim of Jesus’ mission can be summed up like this: because we have substituted ourselves for God- by living as if we were King- Jesus substituted Himself for us- by dying as if he had sinned. Jesus then saves and sends Christians as missionaries to the world. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, if you have been saved by Jesus, you have been sent by Jesus. All Christians are missionaries. Missionaries introduce people to Jesus, seek new creations, have a global vision, and are Jesus’ ambassadors in the world.
Q.1 Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that was new to you or had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
Q.2 What stands out to you in John 17:3-4, 18 and why?
Q.3 What stands out to you in 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 and why?
In Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Brett said, “Do you ever wonder why we love stories of great adventure, action, and accomplishment? It’s because those stories tell of characters that are on a great mission. Far greater is the mission of the church than the mission of today’s fiction. Where they bring a sword, a gun, or even a wand, we bring the message of the cross. Where they bring the message of the world, saying, “this is what must be done to be free…” we bring the message of the cross, saying, “It is finished! Everything you need for freedom and lasting joy has already been accomplished by Jesus.” The sad thing is that many Christians exchange the mission Jesus has sent them on for another mission- movies, books, video games, sports, shopping, career, food, drink, etc. In John 17, Jesus reveals to us that lasting joy is interconnected with living on mission with Jesus (see John 17:13).
Q.4 If you were to take an honest look into your life- what you spend your money and time on, what you pray and long for- what kind of mission would you say you’re on?
*Remember that true joy comes from living the mission that Jesus has sent you on- to make him known! Pray for each other in light of your answers to question 4.
Q.5 Discuss tangible ways that we can live as missionaries in our neighborhoods, jobs, schools, cities, and the world.
Let Jesus himself, the Great Missionary, be your motivation to live the joyful mission of telling of the salvation of Jesus “…the founder and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
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“Jesus Sends His Church” was preached on March 24th, 2013 by Pastor Brett Baggett at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee.