"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matt. 28:18-20, NKJV
Matthew 2:1-2; 11:25; 14:6; 16:16-19; 20:30-31; 28:18-20
Is your church accomplishing its main mission?
Key point: All Christians need to follow the great Commission. We can do this by training and facilitating programs of Discipleship. Thus, the effective church will take Scripture and the call of our Lord seriously, and implement Our Lord's call and precepts into a functioning discipleship, worship, and outreach!
Jesus is Transcendent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent. He is Sovereign, and at the same time, He is Immanuel! God is with us! This describes God in the most powerful and profound language the Jews have and/or that we have: God, THE God who walks beside us and holds us. He is God and is fully able to save us by substituting Himself in our place, living a sinless life, and taking God's wrath upon Himself so we would not be lost forever. He is God who indeed carries us through both the trials of life and through our jubilations, too (Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 24:7-8; Prov. 1; Matt. 1:23; John 1:1-3,14; 4:9-10; 8:56-59; 17:5; Rom. 1:3-4; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:17-18).
In Matthew 22: 42, Jesus asks "Who do you say I am?" As Christ was birthed in history, He must also be birthed into you and evident in you! He is touching you, discipling you so He is fully engaged in your heart and mind, and so He is Supreme in you, too. Your transformation and Fruit are the evidence of Christ carrying you. For Him to carry you, He must be evident in you!
Where is the newborn king of the Jews, the visitors asked?
The very same question is asked of us: Where is He in us and in our church? Is Jesus just a mere baby that is under our domain, or is He the LORD sitting on high? How we see Jesus and how we worship Him in our hearts and minds will govern how you are in life and how you grow in Him. How will your church be? How will it grow spiritually with conviction and discipleship? Will it decline from Him and be a meager club? If so, all you will be doing is keeping the natives happy and content while God goes unnoticed and dishonored and people go unfulfilled and unfed by His Word and Spirit. Herod was deeply disturbed by Jesus, even as a baby. Yet, Jesus comes to disturb! He comes to wake us up from our meager life and complacency and convict us of our sin so to lead us with His love, care and grace to the wonders of life and the eternity to come. So, do we give Him our treasure or our disdain and contempt?
Will we be disturbed so we are convicted and grow, or do we recoil in complacency, hate and pride?
The key that sums it all up: His Glory. This means the Lordship, Supremacy, Sovereign Ruler, and the Holiness of God as a reference to Who He is, requiring our utmost and highest respect and our call to give Him praise for His glory. "To God alone be the glory" was a critical and important slogan for the Reformation (and this must be upheld by any serious believer) and means that all life and all purpose is to give God glory (1 Kings 8:1-11; Matt. 17:1-8; Mark 8:38; Luke 4:42; 6:12; 11:1; John 1:1-18; 4:34; 7:39; 12:23-37; 13:31; 17:5; 19:30; Phil. 2:8-9; Rev. 21:9-27)
Restoration and God's Redemption are at work! Real faith can be used to protect and to serve as well as to glorify God and grow in faith.
Do you know who Jesus is? Does your leadership? How about your people? He is the face of God, the One who eternally lives and reveals to us the Father. He is the One who gives you life and the Light of the Word for your salvation! We know God by knowing Christ. We know Him by knowing His written Word that carries to us His living Word. Are you living your life because of Who He is and what He has done for you? Are you forever devoted to Christ as LORD? Does your character reflect Who Christ is and what He is doing in you? Do you believe in the eternal Christ? Are you living up to what you believe with trust and hope? If not, why not (1 Pet. 4:19)?
Christianity is not earned or presumed; it is not learned or reasoned. It is not built or formed or inherited or purchased. It is something that no price can ever lay hold of--except the price paid on our behalf by Christ! Yet, once we have it, we can learn reason, inherit His character and eternal life, and continually build upon it. For us to have real effectual faith, we have to receive Jesus Christ as our own. We cannot receive Jesus through tradition or custom; we cannot receive Him through our parents or our church or our religion. We must each Him on our own by faith in Him that is real, relevant, and personal. Our faith and knowledge in Christ must be received initially, a move that the Spirit enables us to do.
Have you surrendered to the authority and command of Jesus (Gal. 2:20-21) as He called you to be His disciple by how He lived and what He taught?
If so, then you have the precious promise of His abiding presence in your life! If not, what is in the way?
The principles of the Gospel must impact us so we are influenced and energized by it. The nature of the Christian life is the joy and excitement of being in Christ over all else, and this should be the biggest motivation so the excitement the Christian receives from growth becomes contagious to those around us. This is influence. Being in Christ means living our lives for Him with excitement in all times and all places. This is influence--to know Him and make Him known (Phil. 3:1-14).
What Christ speaks into the universe is done in the universe!
The question becomes is He speaking in you? If so and He is, do you hear His Word?
When one becomes a Christian, he/she is in right relationship; a deep, unbreakable bond is formed with our living Lord, Jesus Christ. Then a response must be made, out of our love for Jesus and our gratitude. We also have His insight and reason to help us know Him through His Holy Spirit and the Bible. The Bible is the platform that contains His Message, Word, and Plan. By this, we are enabled to live unto God, to know and trust Him, to have His spiritual light so darkness does not surround or influence us. We do not have a relationship to the Bible, but the Bible is our guide to our path. This is what Psalm 119:105 states and is also personified in Christ as He embodies and fulfills it…but, we are still called to trust and Obey Him and His written Word. This is so we have His information and insights for righteousness and can avoid the darkness of sin and bad choices so that we do not stumble.
We MUST point our people in that direction, to Christ, by example, heart, instruction and implementation.
This Word is also personal and effectual and refers to the Bible and to Christ Himself, which is now fulfilled. The point is that if we have life by Him, then we accept Him. We should love Him; this love is demonstrated in how we follow His precepts.
Through the fact that Christ is our Dwelling, we must respond to that in our leadership. Now, we have an active, involved, loving, and caring God who knows us as our Creator and who also lives humanity's experiences firsthand. He is the One in whom we can place our hope, love, and faith.
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/