TRCC Radical Kids in Worship

“A deep sense of the unknown and the mysterious can rise in the soul of a sensitive child in solemn worship-if his parents are going hard after God themselves. A deep moving of the magnificence of God can come to the young, tender heart through certain moments of great hymns or “loud silence” or authoritative preaching. These are of immeasurable value in the cultivation of a heart that fears and loves God.”  ~Children Desiring God, The Family: Together in God’s Presence

We value our children as vital next generation agents of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, so we are intentional about their training from the investment in their first cross-cultural gospel work to their God saturated Sunday mornings to their inclusion on a scheduled basis in corporate worship.

These are not throw away times. These are opportunities to train and equip our children for greater things than the American dream. Don’t throw that away because it may be tough some days. It’s worth it. For the glory of God build the church!

Ephesians 2:8-9

Ephesians 2:8-9

Ephesians 2:8-9 is the gospel in a nutshell. According to Kent Hughes, “…the most cogent (lucid / strong) summary of the dynamics of salvation to be found in Scripture…All who have not been saved, or who are not sure of their status, would do well to shut out all distractions and give attention to these words of life.”[1]

Salvation / saved

These are good bible words and good Christian sub-culture words. I would never advocate that we not use these words.

“Salvation” and “saved” give reference to our state before we were in Christ. We have well unpacked that state we were in before we were in Christ.

“Saved” understands that I was an object of wrath and would be under the eternal condemnation of God if it were not for the elective love of God to redeem and repair and thus display is glory in love.

Make no mistake, those who are not “saved” will be a display of glory as well. They will be an eternal display of Father’s glory in justice for shunning the Son of God’s work in his death to rescue man from the fall.

But, we, who are in the church (the community of the kingdom of God), are in Christ. We are not longer in the domain of darkness. We are in the kingdom of the Son.

But, how did we come to be in the kingdom? How did we come to be members of the church that is making proclamation of Father’s manifold wisdom to the rulers and authorities? How did we come to be in Christ so that in the coming ages we may be shown the immeasurable riches of Father’s kindness toward us?

  1. Salvation is by grace through faith v. 8a

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.”

The end is our salvation and the means is grace and faith.

We were in darkness, and now we have been made alive and transferred to the kingdom of light. We were in the prince of the power of the air, and now we are in Christ.

How did we get there?

Grace and Faith

Grace is the unearned favor of God. Or you could call it God’s goodness to those who deserve only punishment.[2]

We have been saved due to the goodness of Father when we deserved only punishment.

We have been saved due to the favor of the Father based on zero merit of our own.

How did a dead and rebellious, flesh living, object of wrath get goodness and favor?

According to chapter 1 verse 5 he predestined us to adoption as a sons and daughters through Christ Jesus. As a result, the powerful gospel found us and made us alive together with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

What about faith? Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen. Faith believes at the deepest levels that their hope is as good as provided even though it has not yet been realized.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, through Isaac shall your offspring be named. He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead…” (Hebrews 11:17-19)

How did that happen?

Father graciously, before the foundation of the world, adopted Abraham from Ur and took him from the “gods” of his fathers (likely the gods of the Gilgamesh Epic) and showed him his grace and faithfulness and Abraham was made able to believe. Abraham’s faith was the result of the grace of the Father to rescue him from false gods, give him ears to hear his voice, call him from that land and into the gospel of making Father’s name great among all nations.

We are no different from Abraham. We were dead and doing our own thing, but Father full of grace made us alive (whether we were 20 or 4) and thus made us able to have faith that we could be sons and daughters of his.

  1. Salvation is not by our work v. 8b-9

“And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

When Paul says, “…this is not your own doing…” he is referring to being “saved” therefore referring to the means by which people are saved.

In other words our salvation is completely the work of Father, Son and Spirit.

When we ask the question about why we are in Christ and our friends and family who are not Christians are not in Christ and our answer is that we just evaluated the data and made a better decision, then when we stand before Jesus Christ at the end of the age we will have to demand our salvation as payment due to our superior decision-making. They didn’t choose wisely, so they get hell. We did choose wisely so we get heaven. Give me my due, Jesus. Negative. That is not how it works. This is arrogance in thinking one gets salvation because of anything they do.

2 Timothy 1:8-9

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

Romans 3:20-28

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

What do we take from this truth that we are saved by grace through faith and not by our works?

  1. Father is good!

Father is the ultimate standard of Good and all that he does is worthy of approval.[3]

  1. We understand that a redeemed world is better than a world that never needed to be redeemed.

Have you ever wondered why the fall? Why not just keep things pristine? Why elect those in Christ from before the foundation of the world to be saved by grace through faith? Why all the language about being saved? Why didn’t Father just plan a no-fall created order?

John 11:1-44

Jesus let Lazarus die so he could display the glory of God and instruct Mary and Martha that he, Jesus, is life “…I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (v. 25-26)

The bible informs us that although creation has fallen, it will someday be restored and evil be destroyed; fallen humanity and a fallen created order will one day be redeemed.

In fact, we are told that the end will be even better than the beginning because of a newly created heaven and earth and a multitude of nations will be gathered in thanks and joy that can only be had because they were rescued.

They can know thanks and joy truly because of the contrast of having been blind to and ignored and disdained the truth. Therefore, a world redeemed is better than a world that had never fallen.

Father will not only be worshiped for his grace and mercy but also for his justice. In the fall the full glory of Father was put on display at the cross and redeemed man is better than man who had never fallen for seeing and boasting in the cross.

  1. The worship of the nations is a fixed reality and our right involvement can only produce eternal fruit.

This follows comes not so much on the heals of “grace and faith” but on the metanarrative of Scripture that tells us Father saves by grace through faith.

See, father does not just intend to save you and I by grace through faith. Father intends to save folks from all peoples by grace through faith. That is what he told Abraham.

Galatians 3:8 “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall the nations be blessed.’”

  1. We give thanks

Psalm 50:23

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

  1. We obey

1 Samuel 15:22

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”

 

  1. We worship in word and deed

Romans 12:1

A people who will not offer their lives as a living sacrifice is a people who have not received salvation by grace through faith. Although no “Christian” would hopefully ever say they have earned their salvation, there are many who hold on to their lives as though they have to achieve some non-kingdom standard of success rather than obey the Lord, and these refuse to worship as a living sacrifice.

Although no “Christian” would hopefully ever say the Lord owes them anything, there are many with sour dispositions (not talking about a true wrestling through seasons of life that cause the external to be down and hurting) because somehow things have been harder than they perceive they should have been or someone had done something they didn’t life and they make it their aim to be as unhappy as they can be and drag as many down as they can with them. They refuse to take joy in the Lord as a living sacrifice. There is no song because they are just sour.

We sing not because we like a style. Lord willing one day TRCC will be so “not white” that we look like the kingdom in a gloriously multi-cultural Revelation 4 and 5 display and I promise you, the music won’t be “your style”. It will be clear it is for Jesus and we are just participants whose aim is to make Jesus big not our style. We sing, whether it sounds like R & B or the eclectic southern rock / bluegrass thing we have indigenously at TRCC. We sing because we’ve been saved / rescued / redeemed and Jesus is worth our sacrifice of praise.

[1] Kent Hughes, Ephesians (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1990), p. 71

[2] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), p. 1243

[3] Ibid,. p. 251

Ephesians 2:1-7 Part 2

Ephesians 2:1-7

Chapter one emphasized our blessings of being in Christ. We possess deep and rich “blessings” because we are in Christ.

We have been chosen before the foundation of the world in Christ.

We have been predestined to adoption as sons.

We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.

We have lavished on wisdom and insight and know the mystery of Father’s will to unite all things in heaven and earth in Christ.

We have an inheritance in Christ.

We have the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of our inheritance and as our great counselor.

We have the ongoing enlightening of our spiritual insight.

We have the great power of Father, Son and Spirit at work in us, on us and for us.

And we have Christ as our great and Chief Shepherd, the Head of the church which is his body.

Chapter 2 is going to emphasize our great position of being in Christ. Being in Christ has not only caused us to possess some amazing gifts but being in Christ has caused our spiritual location to change.

We are going to see our position in Christ through seeing our position outside of Christ. Not only that, but we are going to see how our position changed.

The belief that mankind is not completely fallen and that some of his volitional capacity is in tact and man is somewhat ok lends itself to see salvation as a merely good decision on the part of the saved and Jesus as begging and pleading with man to convince as many as he can to make a good decision and avoid hell so that he can have some companions.

This, however, is not the metanarrative told in Scripture, and our commitment, devotion and passion for worshiping the Lord as living sacrifices will suffer when we don’t understand who we were, who we are now, and why we were rescued. These three truths are what we are going to see clearly via contrast in Ephesians 2:1-7.

Remember, Paul wants us to understand who we are in Christ so that our affections and actions will be properly affected and directed. So, I invite you to drink deeply of our identity in Christ and so be prepared to do the work of the kingdom.

1. Who were we? 1-3

a. Dead in trespasses (fall by the wayside, fault, error) and sin (missing the true end and scope of our lives)

“We should not hesitate to reaffirm that a life without God (however physically fit and mentally alert the person may be) is a living death, and that those who live it are dead even while they are living.”

b. Following (preposition: down with, from, according to) the course (age regarding a season) of the world (order / which John describes as the lust of the flesh and eyes and pride in possessions)
“World” from cosmos is used 186 times in the Greek New Testament and almost every instance has an evil connotation. Linked here with “course of this age” this language means the present evil age (see Galatians 1:4 “…who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age…”).

c. Following the prince of the power (Satan) of the air (the celestial air surrounding the earth), the spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience 

d. Lived (aorist passive – giving hope that things have been changed by the elective work of the Father) in the passions (strong desires) of our flesh (metaphorically meaning the body separated from the soul having been corrupted by sin and ruled by sin and at odds with the redeemed soul)

The dead, those without Christ, are dominated by the world, Satan and the flesh. The world system dominates from the outside, the flesh dominates from the inside, and the devil dominates from beyond. – Kent Hughes

This state of fallen man is the perfect storm. Outside, inside and beyond.

e. Carrying (doing) out the desires (desires that result from the will) of the body and mind

f. By nature (natural condition, natural disposition – see Romans 5:12-14) children of wrath

People who are captive in this fallen state are 1 Corinthians 2:14 type folks. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

This fallen state of man is not good and completely opposed to the truth. Paul’s description of fallen man is actively suppressing the truth (Romans 1:18). Fallen man, though he denies it, knows there is a God, but they don’t give thanks to him and their foolish hearts are darkened further (Romans 1:21). Fallen man has exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

Man in his fallen state continues the rebellion.

Ultimate questions and ultimate answers have to be given by fallen man, so when he answers them the answers can cause problems.

Origin: Where did everything come from?

Identity: Who am I?

Meaning/Purpose: Why are we here?

Ethics: How should I live?

Destiny: What happens when we die?

There are three very broad categories through which people must answer these questions: naturalism / transcendentalism / theism

The consequences for humanity when they answer these ultimate questions in a spiritually dead state can be devastating.

For example: If I don’t believe there is anything beyond the natural world, then where I came from and where I’m going is of no consequence. Who I am is merely a highly evolved animal. My meaning is identified by me alone and if my purpose seems to be less in this physical life then my suffering has no meaning. Since there is no ultimate authority outside this world to answer to then how I live it totally up to me. Therefore, when I die it’s all over, so maximize this life because there is nothing after it.

What results from this thinking?

–   Physician’s assisted suicide because suffering has no purpose

  • Marxism / Leninism and the mass execution of all people weaker who are the anti-thesis to the revolution
  • Abortion and euthanasia from the hands of Margret Sanger and eugenics (control human breeding by keeping the desirable traits and extinguishing the undesirable ones and races) as one of the largest government sponsored ethnic cleansing campaigns to ever exist
  • Meaning, since its not objective, resides within the individual. So, for Hitler to execute Jews was no big deal to him. They were “Jews” not humans. But with no objective truth to hold him to a fixed ethic he made devastating choices. “This is what it means to me.” is the mantra of deconstruction. When words lose their meaning people die.

This is who we were and what we were capable of! This is the kind of stuff produced by the fall.

2. Who are we now? verse 4-7

Perhaps the starkest contrast in the bible is presented starting in verse 4.

a. Objects of mercy (compassion and active pity) and love (affectionate regard, goodwill, benevolence regarding God’s love)

b. Made alive (quicken, to bring to live) together with Christ

We are now 1 Corinthians 2:12, 13, 15, 16 who have the Spirit and understand the things given by Father because the Spirit interprets them for us and we have the mind of Christ!

c. Saved (delivered, rescued from danger) by grace (to rejoice, show favor, take pleasure in)

d. Raised (this word is only used here in the NT; to raise up together) up with Christ and seated (to cause us to sit down with; rest with) with Christ in the heavenly (celestial; heavenly; spiritual dimension) places

This is our position of being “in Christ”.

Although we are in Christ, we are still waging war. We will have to fight against the world system of lies propagated in world views that seek to carry on the rebellion. We are going to have to fight the battle from beyond and armor up for the spiritual struggle. We are going to have to learn to put a sword to the flesh (Romans 8:13 – put to death the deeds of the body).

3. Why were we rescued? verse 4-7

a. Father is rich in mercy v. 4a

b. Father loved us before the foundation of the world with a great love with which he loved us v. 4b

Father’s love for us is not now or ever due to any foreseen goodness or good decisions we make. Father’s love is completely because he loved us with an elective love to rescue us and present us to Christ as a bride without spot or blemish.

c. Father is gracious to the objects of his mercy and love v. 5

“…by grace you have been saved…”

This happened while we were dead not due to our savvy exercise of an unencumbered will.

c. So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable {to excel or surpass} riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ v. 7

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

4. What is our response to this salvation?

In view of God’s mercy we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice which is our worship Romans 12:1

Ephesians 2:1-7 Part 1

Ephesians 2:1-7

Just so you are familiar with the inner workings of my thinking, I want to tell you that this morning’s message is one gigantic introduction to Ephesians 2:1-7. We’ll actually deal with the exposition of the text next week. However, with so much going off in my soul after PAN and with so much being dealt with in this text, the introduction is as long as a typical sermon on the text. So, there…

As we study Ephesians, we remember that we the church are a pillar and buttress of the truth (1 Timothy 3:14-15). The church is the elected gift from the Father to the Son that the Son goes to the cross to secure through his suffering, death, burial and resurrection. The church is not a throw away Sunday activity that has no significance. The church is not a manifestation of a savvy business plan or a superior crafted strategy or a gimmick to attract unsuspecting stragglers.

The church is the community of the kingdom of God through whom Father is making his manifold wisdom known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places (Eph. 3:10). The church is, despite appearances some times, the precious and loved bride of Christ that he is washing and cleaning up with the water of the word that he may present the church to himself without spot or blemish.

And since we are a real church it is necessary that we study what Scriptures say about the church, its leaders, its function and its position as being “in Christ”.

This is what we have been doing. We studied 1 Timothy and learned about our function and the precepts that guide our function. Since Timothy was shepherding the church at Ephesus, we deemed it necessary to study Ephesians in order to see our position and our mission as it was being lived out in the city of Ephesus and the surrounding areas.

We have discovered that our position of being “in Christ” is central. Who we are determines what we do. So Ephesians is going to give us plenty to engage in personally and corporately, but we are still digging into the glories of what it is to be “in Christ”.

In our text today, we will see the contrast of what we were “in trespasses and sins” contrasted with what we are “in Christ”.

This week we are not going to unpack the full details of the passage just yet. We will do that next week. This week I want to use the passage as a spring board (not the correct way to preach a text, but adequate when used as introductory to an actual exposition of the text) to encourage the body to continued action for the sake of the gospel.

We just came off of PAN. This church did itself proud. Your work to pull off PAN is the fruit of pouring into people, countless hours of preparation and teaching and discipleship and radical life group time and many other investments of time, emotion and energy. TRCC, you did fantastic! But its not just the actual conference that was cool. What is really encouraging is that this fellowship is known across organizations and on the field for its commitment to the task. TRCC, you do well.

But the work is not done.

We face the reality of being in the rebellion against the rebellion. Our enemy has dealt a grievous blow in the garden that has brought death and destruction to created order and to man as image bearers.

Jesus’ work as the ultimate missionary to come, take on flesh, show us glory, live perfectly, die, rise, provide atonement and justification has set in motion the rebellion agains the rebellion and the mission continues today until all peoples have representatives in the kingdom.

Our mission is to make disciples of all nations. But what work lies before us in taking on the mission?

1. We are in a war between the kingdom of God and the domain of darkness and this war is for the souls of people

A. There are 3 kinds of people: Free, Captors and Captives

1. Colossians 2:8 tells us to not be taken captive

2. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us to take every thought captive to obey Christ

3. 2 Timothy 2:22-26 tell us that there are people who are taken captive by Satan

to do his will

Those who are captive are captive because they are born into the rebellion as active participants in the rebellion and the values of the rebellion are lived out naturally their desires and actions.

Captives believe the lies of the kingdom of darkness and actively propagate those lies into systems and cultural norms.

Listen to Ephesians 2:1-3

Dead

Walking (living in) deadness

Following the course of the world – No such thing as “freedom” apart from Christ

Following the “prince of the power of the air” – Actively following Satan and his hoards of demons

Living according to the passions of the flesh

Carrying out the desires of the body and mind

Children of wrath

First, we need to understand that our work lies not so much in dealing with systems, but in rescuing individuals from the domain of darkness.

Second, because we seek to rescue people from the domain of darkness we do have to grope around in dark and broken systems that can be frustrating to deal with.

Third, as citizens of the kingdom we can begin to create new systems that are constructed on the the values of the kingdom. This takes Spirit gifted entrepreneurs who can be created in their own domain of society as a member of the Kingdom of God.

Fourth, we must realize that the Lord’s chosen instrument to any domain of society may be one of the domains own members and it will take us rescuing them by the gospel in order for them to be saved and discover they are the Ephesians 2:10 instrument to created a new system.

But all this starts with rescuing men and women from captivity to the rebellion by the powerful gospel.

2. The beliefs and values of the Kingdom of God stand opposed to the beliefs and values of the rebellion (world system / domain of darkness)

The problem is that from the fall on mankind has been a captive to a system of beliefs and values that stand opposed to the truth of God.

Our passage is a prime example of this.

We are told in our text that people who are not in Christ are dead due to being in sin, and therefore, following Satan as their leader.

You don’t think that stands opposed to those outside of the kingdom? Try conversing with a non-Christian about their status of following Satan.

Chances are that just hearing this offends sensibilities at some part of your own soul even now. How deep is the rebellion when even freed citizens of the kingdom find kingdom truths offensive?

With our discomfort about the bible’s truth claims comes a temptation to concede things we just can’t give up on.

C.S. Lewis said in God in the Dock, that Christians “…are tempted to make unnecessary concessions to those outside the faith…We must show our Christians colors, if we are to be true to Jesus Christ. We cannot remain silent and concede everything away.”

Let me just give you a few places where we battle ideas.

Jesus taught that God created humans male and female (Mark 10:6). Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Huxley, Russell, Rorty and their disciples disagree. They insist that humankind is a product of chance, spontaneous generation, and evolution. Matthew D’Agostino says, “We’re not absolutely sure what life looked like once the process was fully underway: something like algae, the biologists suggest, a foamy blue-green pond scum.”

Jesus warns that we are not to fear those who kill the body, but rather those who can destroy body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28). But Wundt, Watson, Skinner and other atheistic psychologists have developed various psychologies based on their conviction that we have no soul and there is no hell to avoid. These psychologists define man as evolving, physical, sexual animals with no spiritual dimension. We are animals seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.

Jesus claims that he and the Father are one (John 10:30). But Freud, Nietzsche, Rorty, Dewey and their followers say that there is not eternal Father, that faith in God is a mark of weakness or insanity, and that persons and cultures create their own reality and morality.

Jesus says we should love God with our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). But Marx and Lenin assert that there is no God and that we must eliminate the bourgeois (conventional, middle class, conservative) by violence if necessary.

Jesus tells us he is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). But Dewey, Rorty, Foucault (Michael) and their disciples insist there is no resurrection and that life itself is an accident of nature.

Jesus promises that he will prepare a place in his kingdom for those who love him (John 14). But Freud, Marx, Nietzsche and their disciples believe that all religion is an illusion, wishful thinking, and an opiate of the masses.

Jesus teaches to give to Caesar (government) the things that are theirs and to give to God the things that are God’s. Humanists and naturalistic systems of thinking believe nothing belongs to God because there is no God to whom it belongs, therefore, we should get all we can, save all we can and get as comfortable as we can because this life is all there is.

Jesus teaches that people love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). Richard Dawkins believes that “the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

So, we can we do to prepare for this battle to rescue people and transform systems in bringing the Kingdom of God to bear?

3. Develop your ability to engage in the rebellion against the rebellion

These are just entry points. These are not full blow strategies for engaging the world. Those kinds of strategies come in community by listening the Holy Spirit and obeying your Ephesians 2:10 purpose for existing.

a. Don’t read your bible…Study your bible.

b. Read and digest other viewpoints on key issues (psychology, sociology, politics, education, biology, etc.)

c. Put yourself in difficult and challenging situations. Don’t go for comfort. Rather, go for training to be in the conflict.

d. Stretch your intellectual boundaries. Become a better thinker.

But don’t abandon truth or be taken captive with lies. Keep the Scriptures front and center and view all things through the lens of Scripture.

This will come as you challenge yourself with other viewpoints and difficult situations.

e. Engage in the domains of society as an analyzer of the culture and as salt and light for the culture.

f. Be a diligent manager of your time and portion it out to what matters most.

4. What are some goals in this rebellion against the rebellion?

a. Be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ not just a person looking for pragmatic means to some contrived successful end.

b. Strive to know what you believe and why.

If you engage people who need to be rescued you will get your belief system challenged. You must know what you believe and why you believe it.

c. Engage in the rebellion as Jesus taught: shrewd as a serpent but innocent as a dove…without compromise but without any one being able to blame for wrong.

How do you engage? You must learn to obey the Spirit as he lead you and leads your community of people (RL Groups).

d.Be a faithful ambassador of Jesus Christ above all things. Don’t strive for success. Strive to be a person of biblical character and integrity that is willing to die for the sake of the gospel. Success is a mirage. Faithfulness is the target that you can hit.

e. Be a worshiper of Jesus Christ in all things everywhere!