Messengers – Responsibility Jere 6:16-17, 2 Cor 5:1-7:16 James 1:22 For the last couple of months we have been looking at being messengers. Messengers of grace, holiness, oneness (communion), and last week; godly grief that leads to repentance. We started this sermon series in chapter 5 and we are ending it today with a conclusion that I pray you take to heart.
Our world is filled with cults, beliefs, systems, and the false teachers that promote them to be the correct way-the good way but they are not. The people of Corinth were in many ways like us they made choices, they looked and chose the way they would go, either following the desires of the flesh, idols, worldly pursuits or God. Paul in his letters to the Corinthians – and his other letters shows us that he loved and cared enough for people to correct, warn against, and confront false teaching, ungodly living, immorality and division.
Please open your bibles to 2 Cor 5. I am not going to read down thru all of what we have already been over but I do want to review a few of these passages of scripture. To remind us all of our responsibilities as Believers. God’s Word in James 1:19-25
5:10 Judgment day, the last day is coming and I am called to equip you not only for works of ministry but also to do my best to equip you for the journey ahead… Many prioritize something other than Jesus…
5:19-20 You and I are to be ambassadors for Christ, messengers of reconciliation. Jesus became sin for us. Jesus Christ gave himself for all of mankind. A Believer knowing the cost of salvation, His life for theirs, has been bought at a price. The life of a believer belongs to Jesus Christ or else they would still be dead in their sin. Truly the believer can state with Paul I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God… Gal 2:20
A believer looks at others out of the love of God shown to them. It is This love, His love, that compels to Reach Up and Reach Out with the Message of reconciliation. and it is thru the lens of His love, that we look at others. This is the love we need to live out of; that we need to show others. Those outside the Church should see God’s love in us, not duty to a set of rules or laws. We must look at others from the perspective of Love and share with them the message of Christ, telling them “This is the way.”
It is then, as the Church shares that love, that our buildings become places of hope and safety, beacons of light to a world lost in the darkness of division and sin.
Brothers and sisters it is not our steeples, our pews, or our stained glass windows that draws people to the local Church. It is the reputation of the people that gather in the Local church buildings to worship God, it is because of the love and acceptance found with the people, the church.
6:14- 7:1 That Church is to be holy unto the Lord and we are to carry that message of Holiness out with us into the World. Our holiness as believers, as Christians, comes from our relationship with a holy God one who is thrice Holy, completely Holy. For us to be holy is to be set a part. To be in the world but not of it.
A Believers holiness comes from being born again and therefore made a part of God’s family (see Heb 2:11). They are reserved for God’s use: holy unto the lord. Believers experience the sanctifying work of the Spirit. according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ... 1 Pt 1:2.
The holiness of a believer comes from our relationship with a completely Holy God. Believers are set a part for God’s use. Your holiness comes from obedience that comes from your love for God. Otherwise it is legalism that comes from the fear of punishment.
But perfect love… drives out fear. Our part in holiness it to consecrate/cleanse ourselves, according to 7:1, to cleanse ourselves from every impurity of the flesh and spirit bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. And then to take that message, the message of Holiness out into the world.
7:10 Godly Grief vs. worldly grief
6:1 God does not call you to be in ministry with Him, to Be His co-worker, as we read about in 6:1 only to desert you. He promises to never leave or forsake you (Heb 13:5). He is with you, He is for you, He provides, and He enables—the grace of God is yours in Christ Jesus, the very Spirit of God resides within His Church and God’s grace calls some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints (believers) for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Eph 4:11-13 You have the response-ability and the responsibility to fulfill your calling.
God will also equip you as you take your next Step in obedience to His will. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. Prom 2 Cor 9:8.
Question: Have you taken up Your responsibility as a Messenger? What is God calling you to do and be within His Church? How has God’s Grace and love enabled you to be in this World, but not of it?
Further Reading: Galatians 2:20, 5:24, Luke 9:23, Hebrews2:11-18, James 1:19-25, 1 Peter 1:13-23.