Sent to A People Beyond Ourselves
Christianity is a missionary faith. The very nature of God demands this, for God is love and God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). David Strain wrote, “God is an evangelist. Indeed, He is the Evangelist.” In the article, “God: The Winner of Souls,” David Strain commented:
“Though we may not realize it, behind and before our “lisping, stammering tongues” ever manage to proclaim the good news about Jesus, before we can muster the courage to speak a word for Him, God Himself has been in hot pursuit of sinners to save. Few truths offer more encouragement to us in our efforts to share the gospel than this: God is the great winner of souls.” (Tabletalk Magazine, 9/2017.)
In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus declared:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)
Because these words are so familiar to us in the church, we often overlook the wonderful truth they proclaim. They tell us that the initiative behind the work of Christ on behalf of sinners is God’s.
“Jesus’ work demonstrates and expresses the Father’s prior love for sinners. Jesus did not persuade the Father to save. He does not apply the leverage of the cross to pry salvation from the Father’s miserly fist. No, the cross was the Father’s idea, conceived by His love for unlovely rebels. God, in His love, sent Jesus into the world so that sinners might live.” (David Strain)
The Apostle John likewise proclaims that the Father has sent the Son on a mission motivated by redeeming love:
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
As we continue the theme of God’s calling us “Beyond Ourselves,” we will look at the truth this Sunday that we are “Sent to a People Beyond Ourselves” from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20. As we do, remember, that “evangelism is God’s idea, hatched in the loving heart of the Father. And He is the greatest evangelist.” Do you have the heart of God for others?
Join us this week as we look at the power and presence God promises and provides as we go out telling the good news.
Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed;
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help, thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand. (How Firm a Foundation)
In Christ’s Name,