We are constantly being reminded that we live in a fallen world. This week’s terrible news stories of more killings should bring us all to our knees on behalf of those families and friends and communities. It also should motivate us to take seriously our God given mission of Seeking, Saving and Serving.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but this summer’s READY, AIM, FIRE series has really blessed my life! Our Wednesday presenters have done a great job getting us READY and the FIRE sessions that I’ve been part of have all challenged me to get busy about the Father’s business of Seeking, Saving and Serving.
Today’s target in our AIM session is this: Our Saving Mission is a spiritual War. Ephesians 6:10f describe the Christian in spiritual armor, ready for battle and armed with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. We join with our brothers and sisters in the early church as we share the gospel where ever we go. Sharing the gospel is not about comfort and safety, but about entering enemy territory to rescue all who will trust and follow Jesus Christ.
Paul’s final letter to Timothy depicts this well. As Paul faces death, he writes to Timothy words of encouragement and instruction, admonition and commission to help Timothy keep sharing the gospel with others. It’s tough! You can go to jail or worse for simply sharing the gospel and not giving in to fear.
Look at 2 Timothy 1 with me.
Will Ross and I read this letter together at my house yesterday while several of our mothers and daughters were meeting at the Ross’s home. Listen to the tone of this letter. Paul loves Timothy so much. He has trained Timothy to share the gospel, planting churches and setting up leadership within them. Now as a final letter, Paul gives Timothy the charge to carry out the saving mission God has given.
It is not easy. It is not popular or comfortable. It involves great risk and sacrifice. Simply put, it is Spiritual Warfare.
Let’s do an overview of this letter and listen to the word of God speaking to your heart as we do. Listen carefully and you will overhear God’s voice to you and to this church here at Signal Mountain.
Notice the theological foundation especially in 1:8-12
This is an astonishing truth: God extended His grace to us before the beginning of time. Before the foundation of the earth. God’s eternal purposes are not bound by our temporal dimension. God actually purposed His saving work through His glorious grace before there was a planet earth!
This purpose is eternal. It didn’t begin with our sin. God didn’t look down at Adam and Eve and say, “Bummer! They messed up, now what do I have to do to get them out of this mess?” No. Grace, saving grace was in God’s mind before God said, “Let their be light.” God is a saving God and He revealed this saving character through the appearing of a Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is more than about you and I needing salvation. It is a revelation of the Saving character of the eternal God. It certainly benefits you and me as we believe and follow Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord, Son of God, sent as our Saving King who died on the cross to pay for our sins.
The message of the gospel is a deep truth about who God is as Savior and Lord. It is a powerful spiritual weapon against sin and evil in this world. It has God’s gracious power to overcome evil with good.
This gospel is exclusive and totally without equal anywhere by anyone and any time. The name of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins, is indeed the One and only name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Nothing compares to the gospel. Nothing even comes close!
This gospel, when grasped by the human heart, and taken seriously, is worth much more than we can even imagine. Giving your life for the gospel is simply the reasonable thing to do.
The saving mission of sharing the gospel is far greater than anything else this world can offer. But it is a battle, a spiritual war, and the costs and risks are high. Who is equal to the task of sharing the gospel? By God’s grace and power in us, you are! I am!
One of Paul’s constant commands in his letters is this: imitate me, follow my example. Notice how Paul shared the saving gospel, and at what cost.
2 Cor. 5:11-6:10
The saving mission of sharing the gospel is spiritual war.
Tonight we will have Lee Allen sharing with us about WEI where you can get involved in sharing the gospel with people all over the world. All groups be sure to come back here at 6:00 for that FIRE session. There will be a time for the groups to gather to go over assignments as well.
If you are here this morning and need God’s saving work in your life, God’s power to save hasn’t changed. He’s the same loving Savior yet, Jesus the crucified. If you need His saving grace, what are you waiting for? You can come forward during this next song and taste and see that the Lord is good.
We will pray for you and if you are ready to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you can receive the gift of His Holy Spirit today.