A Declaration In Support of Multi-Ethnic Churches & Racial Healing From The Glocal Family of Churches

As a member of the Glocal Family of Churches, TRC stands in unity with our brothers and sisters in this declaration. Thanks to my brothers who penned this document that speaks of us well and is dripping with the gospel of the kingdom. Please read below:

A Declaration In Support of Multi-Ethnic Churches & Racial Healing Presented by

The Glocal Family of Churches

Over the last several years, a number of public events have taken place across our nation, highlighting the racial divide still haunting many of our cities. These events have sparked protests, riots, divisive social discourse, and a spirit of anger among many of our citizens.

In light of these events, the Glocal family of churches publicly declares that these events will not divide our congregations. As pastors, we stand in our pulpits this morning—Asian, White, Black and Latino—proclaiming that we are one in the Holy Spirit, we are all made in the image of God, and we all carry equal worth and value.

Jesus prayed for the unity of His church. In fact, He proclaimed the identifying mark of His divinity and our relationship as His children would be our unity in Him and our love for one another (John 13:35, John 17:21). He did not suggest this unity would happen simply through preaching or programs, but that it would come as we intentionally live and worship together as one.

Unfortunately, only 14% of churches in America are multi-ethnic. By choosing to be mono-ethnic, many churches lose credibility on this divisive issue, even though we unquestionably have the answer.

We declare: This answer is the good news of Jesus. By his incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, God made a way for all people to live in relationship with Him. There is no division among people who have experienced this gracious love.

We further declare: The witness of the church is made credible when we choose to exist as multi-ethnic churches that seek justice for all, radically loving all people. We believe that the church must rise during this time in history by living and worshipping together as one, being unified in our ethnic and cultural diversity. By doing so, we display the Kingdom of Heaven.

We further declare: We will strive not only to live as multi-ethnic churches, but also as churches who strive for justice, strive to celebrate and integrate all ethnicities and cultures, and strive to stand with the oppressed and broken. We do so with the hope that Jesus will be glorified so that the world will see that He is the Son of God, the hope of all people.

Acts 14:1-28 The Kingdom Keeps Taking Enemy Held Territory

Acts 14:1-28

The Kingdom Continues to Take Formerly Held Enemy Territory. Satan and his petty counter kingdom is losing because the curse has been broken and King Jesus is advancing his reign.

 

Paul and Barnabas are continuing on the “first missionary journey” as Luke chronicles for us the work of the kingdom.

 

Acts 13:1-12 shows us how the Spirit launches the movement of the team to the Acts 1:8 plan of the “end of the earth.”

 

Acts 13:13-52 shows us the strategic shift to the gentiles, as the Lord had set Paul apart for, and the effective ministry of the gospel to call out the hidden peoples that the Father has given the Son.

 

Now, we continue in our front row seat to watch the Spirit general the great commission through the faithful and obedient service of the “first recorded missionary team”.

 

We have the opportunity to learn from them what we can expect and what we can do to be more than spectators in discipling the nations glocally!

 

As this “mission trip” heads to its final phase, we are going to see 4 scenes. We will see the team at 1) Iconium, 2) Lystra/Derbe, and 3) their strategic discipling and oversight work as they pass back through to see and further equip the disciples, and finally 4)  reporting back home and resting up.

 

What do we see? What does it mean?

The Team at Iconium 14:1-6

Notice that Paul and Barnabas’ ministry is not in the dark, rather their ministry is very much in the public square.

 

There is gospel transformation 14:1

The gospel is the power of God for salvation. Romans 1:16

 

God bears witness to his gospel through signs and wonders 14:3

As C.S. Lewis says, “…we live in a magical world…”

 

God graciously witnesses that the work is valid through the inexplicable and powerful and mighty activity of breaking into the fall and setting straight what the curse has made crooked.

 

Much of our problems that revolve around the supernatural is that we westerners are tainted with a naturalistic worldview in which we are duped into believing that everything is biological first and only.

 

In fact, however, this world is spiritual and physical.

 

Signs and wonders dropped out of heaven through the spoken word or performed through the hands of a skillful and faithful servant of king Jesus (doctors heal with means that are the result of God giving the common grace of wisdom to mankind in order to restrain the fall) are there to point to the reality of another world and the King of that world and the fact that he is renewing all things and bringing them under his rule (Ephesians 1:7-10).

 

There are multitudes of signs and wonders. The questions are, “do you have eyes that see?” and “are you engaged enough in the work to be present when the signs and wonders are manifested?”

 

Illustrations: 1. Restoration Rome 2. Multitudes of pastors in a church our size 3. Churches about to be multiplied from a church our size when others believe it’s only a result of being “large” or having “enough money”.

 

There is gospel division 14:4

Luke 12:51-53 “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

 

The team encounters Satanic scheming 14:2, 5

 

What do we do with this?

  1. Engage the public square and do it with integrity and learned skill.

 

  1. Act like the gospel is powerful by sharing it not helping it and expect fruit.

 

  1. Expect signs and wonders and ask for eyes that see and ears that hear in order to enjoy i.

 

  1. Gospel work is not always peaceful. Often its internally messy.

 

  1. Expect Satanic scheming

 

2 Corinthians 11:12-15

“And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

 

We have to also remember that sometimes Satan comes disguised as an angel of light. Not all Satanic hindrance comes as violent opposition. Sometimes it’s a soft nudge off of “true north”.

 

The Team at Lystra and Derbe14:6-20

The team responds properly to the Satanic scheming 14:6

Paul and Barnabas have a mission, and this scheme to kill them is found out and they escape.

 

It is never the intent of Scripture that workers just foolishly allow themselves to be killed. When opportunity to escape is provided, it’s biblical and wise to move to the next part of the work.

 

It, however, is biblical and wise, when there is no other option, to die well while holding high the gospel.

 

It is biblical and obedient to risk everything for the sake of the gospel. It is the mission we are all called to.

 

Example: Turkey/Coup/Goals/Stay and Continue/Go

 

The team continues to preach the gospel 14:7

Paul and Barnabas continue on by preaching the gospel.

 

All of the uproar did not hamper their gospel work. They went to the next city and preached!

 

The team encounters what the fall has wrecked in a crippled man 14:8

 

As Paul is preaching he sees that the Lord has given faith and administers healing to the crippled man 14:9-10

Notice that the man “listened to Paul speaking”. Paul is preaching and the crippled man is hearing.

 

Not just listening. He’s hearing with God given hearing.

 

God has given this crippled man “healing faith”.

 

Paul recognizes this and simply receives What God has done.

 

The team experiences the confusion of the domain of darkness 14:11-14

The confusion they experience is the confusion of the lie of “gods” other than the one and only God.

 

“The preaching, and especially the healing, impressed the crowd, but they had the wrong idea and mistook the apostles for gods. There is an ancient story about these same two gods visiting a town in the area. They were not recognized and received only a cool reception. In anger they destroyed the town that had been so inhospitable. With such a folk-tale circulating in this region, it is hardly any wonder that the crowd reacted in the way that they did, bringing forth a bull and wreathes and wanting to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas after a simple healing. The legend also helps to explain why they assumed the visitors were those particular gods rather than a god of healing, as might have been expected from the events themselves. The crowd, when excited, spoke in their native Lycaonian language. The language barrier may in part explain why the people so easily misunderstood the apostles’ message and why the apostles had so much trouble discouraging the sacrifice (18)”.[1]

 

The team has to correct the confusion and apply truth to the situation 14:15-18

Paul and Barnabas use the confusion as an opportunity to proclaim a message of salvation and an opportunity to repent.

 

The team encounters Satanic scheming again in slander and physical abuse 14:19-20a

 

The team receives effective healing themselves and continues on to effectively preach the gospel in Derbe 14:20b-21a

 

What do we do with this?

  1. In all the global work that we do and will do, we value the kingdom not safety, move on purpose with mission driving us, with wisdom not afraid to pay the price, willing to withdraw to preach another day or willing to die if no other option exists.

 

  1. At all times we preach the gospel.

 

  1. We address the brokenness of the fall by healing as God gives us the ability to see the faith he has given and receive his gracious gift (either supernatural healing without means or supernatural healing using natural means).

 

  1. We address and correct the lies of the fall with truth and tact.

 

  1. If abused for the sake of the gospel we receive it as well as the supernatural sustaining of God’s power.

 

Strategic Observation: The team establishes then sets up order 14:21b-23

Titus 1:5 “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you…”

 

Churches are planted with believers and then order and elders are appointed from within.

 

Paul and Barnabas, being apostolic (14:14 refers to Barnabas as an apostle as well, thus helping us to see the nuance of the appointment of Jesus for eye witnesses who are “sent” to bear witness to the resurrection and the gifting of the Spirit for being “sent” to establish and push frontiers), have planted new works in new locations.

 

Now they get the pastoral and prophetic honor of shepherding these churches into functionality.

 

The team as made many disciples 14:21b

This is the place where they tried to offer sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas as Zeus and Hermes. But the gospel has been effective and they have made disciples.

 

The gospel has won people to the faith and the text tells us that the apostle’s returned to put in order the churches by doing two tasks:

 

Task 1…The team strengthens the souls of the disciples by encouraging the churches to continue in the faith 14:22

The grammar suggests that strengthening the souls of the disciples happens by encouraging them in the faith.

 

They must have taught a lot about Jesus, his word and the Spirit!

 

Task 2…The team teaches these new churches that suffering is part of entering the kingdom of God 14:22c

 

Paul, being a living example and bearing the marks of identifying with Jesus right in front of them, has abundant credibility to speak this message to them.

 

The team appoints pastors in every church through fasting and prayer and then commits them to the good shepherding of King Jesus 14:23

 

As the team is passing back through on their way home they find other opportunities for the gospel 14:24-25

 

What do we do with this?

  1. We must take God’s strategy as our own strategy…preach, plant, order.

We say… “Seminary, order, plant.”

 

It’s vital to recognize that God’s order involves the shepherding arising from the disciples of the church not from outside the church.

 

This is how we function at TRC.

 

Your pastors have come from within the church not without.

 

Every church has what Alan Hirsch calls MDNA (missional DNA) because every church as Jesus followers who have the Holy Spirit.

 

He can put the noble desire within whoever is qualified to shepherd God’s people. And he can also gift Barnabas type apostles (remember verse 14 called Barnabas an apostle although he was not designated one by Jesus, therefore, apostle by gifting for frontier work as opposed to eye witness of the resurrection) to preach, plant and order.

 

  1. We must strengthen the souls of God’s people by teaching the text of Scripture.

 

  1. Take every gospel opportunity that comes our way.

 

The team returns home to report about the good grace of God and rest up for the next challenge 14:26-28

 

The team provides a report to their home church 14:26-27

This is the church’s opportunity to hear of God’s work and give thanks together for it.

 

The team reengages with home and rests up for the work that lies ahead 14:28

The local always fuels the global. The ministry at home will prepare the goers to be ready to go again.

 

There is an unbreakable link between local and global. If the local has no global flesh in the work then there is a short circuit in the local. If the global is not reporting to or interested in the local’s engagement, then there is a short circuit in the global.

 

We call this dynamic, GLOCAL!

 

What do we do with this?

  1. We work for a paradigm shift in the professional missionary model to a domain engagement model where the local and global feed off of one another.

 

We will be working on this as we expand our work into other locations in 2017.

 

  1. We report, take who the Lord raises up to go next, rest and go again until they all know!

 

Worship!

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

 

[1] Conrad Gempf, “Acts,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 1088.

Acts 13:13-52 A Gospel Shift in Strategic Focus

Acts 13:13-52

A Gospel Shift in Strategic Focus

 

Up until this point in Acts, the gospel of the kingdom has been expanding and taking in new and previously enemy held territory.

 

Now, the gospel has invaded the frontier of the end of the earth as Acts 1:8 has promised.

 

I want to make a point right here regarding our exposition and application of the text.

 

The applications are good, but they are truthfully not earth shatteringly new. They are some of the same applications we’ve seen already.

 

What I want to make you aware of is the encounter you can have with the God who inspired the text as we study the text.

 

What drove C.S. Lewis to his early atheism was the cold and dry externals of the Irish Anglican church that could not speak to the intangible “Joy” that had happiness and even heaviness embedded in it. There were longings in him that could not be satisfied in this world, which would lead him to conclude that he was made for another world. We may say that he and we were made for another “kingdom”.

 

Don’t let the search for some life changing application on this side of the kingdom fully come rob you of having your deepest longings for satisfaction met by encountering the King and his kingdom that is in our midst.

 

I want you to experience the text and it’s Writer. Then, and only then, will our observed applications have some weight.

The Lord is the Lord of his mission and it’s strategic shifts, so don’t miss him in the mechanics of the shift to the Gentiles we will see today.

Lets look at our text today and see what the Lord has for us.

 

What do we see? What does it mean?

The Gospel of the Kingdom is Powerful and Attractive v. 13-43

Paul and Barnabas are speaking to Jewish folks and Gentile converts to Judaism (God fearers…Gentiles acting like Jews). v. 13-16

 

The team prepares the people in v. 16-25 by recounting the story of Israel that climaxes with John the Baptist and telling that it was God who was preparing them for the coming of his Messiah.

 

They speak in context and show Jesus to be the promised Savior through his resurrection.

 

The team declares to the people in v. 26-37 that Jesus is that Messiah and that through his resurrection he has Jesus is the proven one to redeem the people of God.

 

They quote the Old Testament to show Jesus’ as the one who died for their rescue and the Father’s approval of the Son in raising him up. v. 33-35 (They do this because they are speaking with a group who believes and values the Old Testament.)

 

The team applies the gospel message in v. 38-52 by recounting how the gospel grants forgiveness of sin, justification (ESV translates in verse 39 justified as “freed”) and rescue from God’s wrath.

 

The missionaries use Habakkuk 1:5 to prove that there is a coming judgment. This passage is not a promise of good things. It’s a promise that the “Chaldeans are coming!” And the Chaldeans are coming to bring judgment (see Habakkuk 1:6). v. 40-41

 

Note the people’s response in v. 42, 43.

We see that these folks “begged” them to come back and tell them the story again next time they gather.

 

The scene is a little like after church. Folks are gathered around Paul and Barnabas and begging for more, and Paul and Barnabas encourage them to continue in God’s grace as they investigate more of Jesus.

 

Note the interesting strategy employed by the team in verse 43. They didn’t try to seal the deal. The let them hang on the gospel and told them to continue in the grace of God.

 

These folks they were preaching to were close to the kingdom. They were not Gentiles who had no knowledge of God. They were at least knowledgeable about some solid basics and needed Jesus and the resurrection to round it out.

 

Paul lets it hang on them. Paul trusts Jesus to seal the deal. Jesus will build his church. The saved will follow Jesus.

 

Don’t misunderstand. This is not cavalier playing with the sovereignty of God. This is inspired Scripture showing us that when people are close, you don’t have to yank them into the kingdom. Jesus will build his church.

 

The church will be planted and those who Jesus will draw to himself will come out from among those who don’t follow Jesus and they will be part of his church.

 

Matthew 13:44, 45 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

 

When a person is brought to see by the supernatural work of the gospel they will come after Jesus.

 

What do we do with this?

  1. Know your context. Know the customs of your context. Fit in. Be part. Don’t crush unnecessarily, things and customs. When invited, tell the gospel of the kingdom.

 

  1. Don’t force the gospel. The gospel does not need help.

 

  1. Learn to tell the difference in ripe “fruit” un-ripe “fruit”. You don’t have to yank someone kicking and screaming into the kingdom.

 

  1. Be a recipient of God’s activity. Therefore, take the posture of a recipient rather than a warrior who is ready to force the issue. This displays trust in God, humility and wins favor with people we want to reach.

 

A Providential and Strategic Turn of Events v. 44-51

Remember, Jesus saved Paul to make him his ambassador to the Gentiles.

 

Acts 9:15 “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.”

 

Paul has preached to Jews and Gentile converts to Judaism. But this city is predominantly Gentiles who have not converted to Judaism.

 

Word has spread and almost the entire city shows up to hear the gospel. But the team gets to preach some, because, as we’ll soon see, Gentiles believe and turn to the Lord! However, the preaching service gets cut short because the Jews stir up a controversy.

 

Paul’s response is gold in quoting Isaiah 49:6! Paul trusts the providence of the Lord. After all, Jesus did knock him off his horse at just the right time. And Paul trusts the Scriptures.

 

So, Paul takes the counsel of Isaiah 49:6 as understanding it’s time to turn to the one’s Jesus knocked me off my horse for.

 

Note the gentile’s joy in verse 48!

The gentiles have heard the gospel. We see this from verse 44. They whole city has turned out.

 

The gospel gets preached because we read that the Jews, in jealousy, began to contradict what was being taught.

 

The Gentile’s joy over this turn of events is astounding. They rejoice and glorify the word of the Lord!!!

 

They get saved!!!

 

Note the gentile’s salvation comes as appointed fruit from an eternal gospel v. 48.

The Scriptures tell us that God has elected a people for Jesus as a gift from the Father to the Son (John 10ff; Ephesians 1) from all nations. The tragic reality of the fall is such that Adam and Eve in their freedom chose condemnation for many. But God being rich in mercy has taken it upon himself to save some from the tragedy of the fall.

 

The promise is that the preaching of the gospel is powerful to save.

 

Paul and Barnabas get off enough Gospel in the city gathering to call in the hidden people of God!

 

Verse 49 then tells us that the word spread out from that moment to the whole region. Why? The word spread because the gospel of the kingdom is like yeast in dough. These new followers of Jesus take the message viral and it spreads supernaturally into the souls of people.

 

There is now a church in Antioch of Pisidia (this is on the “Roman Road) and those opposed to the kingdom drive the ambassadors of the kingdom out of their region.

 

Note the strategy! Jesus builds his church in a place that will provide continual viral access to the gospel of the kingdom (located on the Roman Road).

 

What do we do with this?

There are missiological and daily applications to this text.

 

Missiological Applications:

  1. The church has to be involved enough on the front lines of ministry to take note of divine shifts in God’s activity among the nations, and then take gospel opportunities.

 

Paul and Barnabas respond to the providential shift not by fighting the Jews, but by turning to those who will hear!

 

  1. The church must always be flexible enough to shift any non-prescribed strategies to match the activity of God.

 

There are some things the Scriptures prescribe.

 

Much of the church’s work is adapting strategic implementations to achieve the prescribed mission.

 

Jesus doesn’t always tell us is exactly how to implement the mission.

 

That gives us freedom to see him at work and join him rather than continuing to swing away on strategies that are losing effect or have lost effect years ago.

 

The Spirit is opening doors for TRC outside of our country. Doors seem to shut off I country and doors seem to open in multiple other places.

 

OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU: Eric Cone and I would love for you to have us come and talk to your RL group about the strategic shifts taking place in our opportunities to engage the world. Just set us a date and we’ll come share.

 

Jonathan and Amber Pewitt set such an opportunity up for me to come and share about the global work and it was great for me and for their group. The Lord is putting together a team to engage a city in N. India in February that is strategic in many fronts for engaging domains and for a base to engage our country or provide rest for workers in our country.

 

  1. There are paradigm shifts taking place in the global work of the gospel. There is a shift away from the “professional missionary” model to a “domain engagement model” that mobilizes the whole church not just a few “special forces” Christians.

 

We want to be part of that.

 

READ “LESSONS FROM THE EAST” – Bob Roberts, Jr.

 

Daily Applications:

  1. Be quick with the gospel! Don’t think you need to assist it.

It moved people in the city. It will move people in our city.

 

  1. Expect opposition from the dominion of darkness.

 

  1. Trust the providential turning of events and roll with what Jesus is doing.

We often fight against turns in events thinking somehow sinful men are sovereign over God. God is the one who turns events.

 

1 Kings 12:15 “So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”

 

Walk in the providential circumstances of the Lord with great hope he is at work. This is the foundation off of which we can reject bitterness and embrace God’s grace in all things.

 

Joy and Fullness of the Spirit as the Result of Rejection v. 51-52

Note that there has always been in Acts success and as well as rejection of the kingdom of God.

 

That will not change in our work.

 

We can expect both.

 

After being driven out of town, Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their feet as a testimony against the instigators of the uprising for their rejection (see Mt. 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5) and move on to the next place.

 

This is not a rejection of the people or a lack of love for them. This is witness that one has done all they can in the apostolic work of “establishing” and that they are not guilty of failing to preach the gospel there. In fact, there are now believers there, and we can accept that they have begun to meet together and the Lord Jesus is overseeing that work just fine.

 

Disciples from the now established church will come along and engage in evangelism daily, but for Paul and Barnabas, witness has been made, disciples have believed and it’s time to move forward and trust Jesus to keep building his church.

 

This is apostolic work at its finest. Preach, teach, establish and move to the next work of “starting” and “establishing” while disciples keep making disciples.

 

Take note of the fact that rejection and ejection from the location does not dampen their joy or abundance of the Spirit.

 

Joy and Spirit power are not contingent upon external circumstances!

 

They could rejoice because they knew Jesus was in charge and the Spirit’s presence is Jesus’ promise kept to them.

 

What do we do with this?

  1. Keep expecting success and purposeful rejection.
  2. Be ready to move on if the Lord is sending you on. He’s in charge of people’s response to us.

 

However, make sure we are not being moved on because we sinned and treated people with contempt or was foolish in our engagement.

 

Paul and Barnabas’ confidence to say they had done all they could included their acting with integrity toward the people and the city.

 

In other words, they don’t act like jerks and then shake the dust off their feet as there are leaving like they were innocent.

 

When we act right and do right and are rejected, we can move on in peace and innocence knowing that the Lord is sending us on.

 

  1. Don’t let your joy be tied to people’s response to you. We don’t work for people’s approval. We work for King Jesus.

 

  1. Fullness of the Spirit is a result of faithful obedience to the Lord as a promise given because we have not quenched the Spirit’s presence through disobedience.

 

Worship!

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

Acts 13:1-12 To the End of the Earth…A Movement Begins

Acts 13:1-12

To The End Of The Earth…A Movement Begins

 

Acts records for us the powerful expansion of the Kingdom of God from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

 

The powerful gospel of the kingdom has made disciples and it is doing so in every domain of society and the church is popping up as planted all over the place.

 

What Acts 13:1-2 records for us is how one church, Antioch, played its part in the plan of King Jesus to expand his rule into every domain of society.

 

So, we want to pay attention to what God does in Antioch and what we can take away and practice, as we too want to join in on the advance of Jesus’ kingdom to the end of the earth.

 

What do we see and what does it mean?

At Antioch, Barnabas and Saul invest a year in teaching and equipping Acts 13:1/Acts 11:19-26

The abundance of teachers at Antioch is the work of the Spirit.

 

But the Spirit uses means.

 

The uses the created means of sowing and reaping to teach us. Sowing and reaping are woven into created order. When we sow single seeds in the ground they multiply because the sower tilled the ground, planted the seed, watered, waited and harvested.

 

Jesus used this principle in the parable of the sower. The word of the kingdom (Matthew) is what is sown. The locations of sowing are people. There is either a harvest or not which points to the condition of the person not the power of the seed.

 

When Barnabas and Saul sowed the year of faithful teaching into Antioch, it’s no surprise that there was a harvest.

 

Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” – Luke 6:40

 

Barnabas and Saul sowed their lives and teaching and reaped disciples that were like them.

 

What do we do with this?

  1. Sow liberally your life into the lives of others teaching the word and watering with time and follow up with them in mentoring.
  2. Expect a harvest that multiplies.

 

At Antioch there was an abundance of prophets and teachers v. 1

There is an abundance of gifted people because the Holy Spirit gifts his church to serve his purpose, and he does so through the gifted service of faithful workers.

 

Antioch is going to become an epicenter of a global movement.

 

Antioch is not a large church. Antioch is not the Village Church. Antioch’s pastor is not Matt Chandler. As a matter of fact, we don’t know who the pastors are at Antioch. The pastors are unnamed!

 

What we do see is that there is an abundance of prophets and teachers.

 

Prophets tell the word of the Lord. Prophets ask the question, “What does the Lord say about this?” Or prophets proclaim with power and authority, “Thus says the Lord!” Another way to say it is that prophets encourage with the word.

 

Teachers learn and explain the word in a way that people can grasp it and make application of the word.

 

Antioch was the place where Barnabas, a prophet/teacher, went to get Paul and brought him there (Acts 11:25-26) and they equipped the saints at Antioch for an entire year.

 

So, now there is a prophet/teacher/apostle combination discipling the church at Antioch.

 

Ephesians 2:20 tells us that the church is founded through the ministry of apostles and prophets while Jesus is the cornerstone that lines it all up and gives it soundness.

 

These are not offices. These are gifts given by the Spirit for the advance of the kingdom in the general population of the church.

 

Jesus did not institute hierarchical structures, so why would he then found the church on a hierarchy that he took so many pains to tear down in the practice of his disciples? He told the disciples not to act like that.

 

If the Lord only gave out administration, there would nothing to administrate!

 

The Spirit gifts with expanders and heralds of truth that there may be advance that then needs other gifts.

 

The Lord selected an apostolic gifting (ideas, moving forward, not remaining stuck) with a prophetic / teacher gifting (what does the Lord say about this and how can we explain clearly?) to go and plant churches in the advance of the kingdom.

 

So, one year later we find Antioch, equipped through the ministry of Saul and Barnabas, full of prophets and teachers and ready to multiply their influence.

 

A key ingredient, supplied by God’s providential hand in Barnabas going to get Saul, is the apostolic and the prophet/teacher.

 

Antioch is ready to impact the world.

 

What do we do with this?

  1. We have to become aware of the gifting of the apostolic, prophetic, and teaching gifts.

This is one of the purposes of pastor/church planter training.

 

God is raising up form TRC pastors/teachers/planters (who is typically apostolic) and this is a tremendous grace of the Lord!

 

Jeff Williams, Justin Owens, Graham Garrett, Eric Croft, Ryan McKinney, Andrew Hackler are all men the Lord has raised up and they are in training. We are assessing their gifting, teaching them about pastoral ministry, the apostolic work of planting churches, theology, and the great commission while observing their learning and service in the body.

 

This is a result of years of sowing the teaching of God’s word and the Spirit moving mightily in our church (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

 

  1. We must recognize the work of the Spirit in gifting leadership for multiplication. If the Lord is raising it up he is doing so for the purpose of gaining by multiplying.

 

  1. Every church has kingdom expanse potentential because it has people in it. The key is faithful teaching, emphasis on the kingdom, calling for faithful men to respond to the biblical challenge, training them and releasing them.

 

In worship and fasting the Spirit spoke calling and strategy v. 2

It’s noteworthy that the church at Antioch did not move to practice until they had majored on the most vital part…worship and fasting.

 

Making much of Jesus corporately and setting the body in a place to receive what is happening in the soul due to worshiping Jesus puts the church at Antioch in a place to be a launching point of a movement.

 

What is worship?

Worship – Communion with God in which believers by grace center their mind’s attention and heart’s affection on the Lord, humbly glorifying God in response to the revelation of the glory and majesty. – Dr. Leafblad

 

What is fasting?

Fasting – “Fasting is one of those things in which the body shows its sympathy with what the spirit is passing through; it is a means of expressing our desire to be low before God, and in the attitude of humiliation.”

 

Worship and fasting put us in reception mode.

 

When we are in reception mode we are ready for calling and strategy.

 

The Spirit strategically selects Paul and Barnabas and places his calling on them to be “set apart for the work he has called them to.”

 

It does not say the Spirit got explicit on the content of “calling”, but we have to assume he did because we’ll read in verse 3 that they sent them off and these two clearly know where they are going.

 

Why might the Spirit pick these two? What is the Lord’s strategy?

Remember Ephesians 2:20? The Lord builds the church on Jesus as the cornerstone with the apostles and prophets as instruments.

 

Paul is not listed in Acts 13 as a prophet or a teacher. He is an apostle.

 

What is an apostle? An apostle (not the office of eye witness to Jesus’ resurrection, but the gifting) is one who builds, starts, and casts vision.

 

Barnabas is a teacher/prophet that is part of the crew listed at Antioch.

 

The Spirit paired up an apostle and a prophet/teacher and sent them out in a pair in order to 1) obey Jesus instruction on sending out two by two and 2) to compliment gifting because the Lord works in community due to being a community (Trinitarian theology in practice).

 

What do we do with this?

  1. Attend corporate worship and engage. Worship daily in private and weekly together.
  2. Make a discipline out of fasting (real fasting not doing without non-necessities).
  3. Be ready to hear. Hear the word as you read it. Hear the sermon. Engage in RL and listen.
  4. Discern the Spirit distinct from your flesh. Sin is deceptive and will mask itself in justifying itself. The Spirit will always be consistent with the Scriptures.
  5. Be prepared to obey as quickly as possible. Delay will dull your sensitivity to the voice of God.
  6. Identify those apostolic gifts for starting, expanding, building and those prophetic gifts that encourage with the word for the sake of growing and building the kingdom RATHER than staying static.

 

Antioch responded to the Spirit’s call by fasting and praying to send v. 3

The senders fasted and prayed and acknowledged the Spirit’s call.

 

The goers left behind the comfort of the family.

Each party “suffers” in some measure.

 

Suffering is part of our identifying with the Lord Jesus. And it’s not just the goers who get the honor of suffering with Jesus.

 

The senders get to suffer in withholding sustenance from themselves for the sake of identifying with Jesus and for the honor of standing with the goer in spirit and in sustaining and interceding prayer.

 

What do we do with this?

  1. We actively send to the nations according to the Spirit’s call.
  2. We must be fasting with and for our people.
  3. We must be praying with and for our people.

 

Paul and Barnabas and John Mark take specific action in active obedience, encounter resistance, exercise Jesus’ authority, and see fruit v. 4-12

We have to draw the conclusion that since they were sent by the Spirit and went to a specific place, these guys were following the Spirit’s direction.

 

These two servants take along a helper, John Mark.

 

It would be appropriate then to say that the Spirit led Barnabas, Paul and John Mark to their work.

 

Note that it does not take them long to encounter resistance.

 

They encounter a Jewish magician/false prophet named Bar Jesus (son of Joshua).

 

With the Scripture’s clear teaching against practicing magic and the dark arts, it’s clear this Jewish “prophet” is Jewish in lineage only and not in obedience to the Scriptures because he’s operating in Satanic arts and influencing the Roman appointed governor of the region.

 

Paul, who now begins to use his Greek name strategically and will be called by that name from now on, rebukes the resistance and by the authority of Jesus stems the influence of the Satanic over the work of the kingdom.

 

As a result, the proconsul believes the gospel and is astonished.

 

What do we do with this?

  1. As we fast and pray and worship, let’s listen for clear instruction from the Spirit.
  2. Work toward explicit obedience to the Spirit’s leading.
  3. As we do kingdom work, expect Satanic hindrance.
  4. Exercise the authority of the kingdom.

Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore…”

  1. Expect Jesus to save the lost and cause them to be astonished at his awesomeness!

 

Worship

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD (Yahweh)! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

KDSC – Our Spiritual DNA

KDSC Fall 2016

About every six months we want to revisit our spiritual DNA that fuels the vision of TRC so that we don’t forget the mooring of vision and gospel centric strategy.

Vision:

For the glory of God we will disciple the nations by being and producing radical followers of Jesus Christ.

That vision is a theological statement, a missional statement and a strategic statement.

Theology – The glory of God

Mission – Disciple the nations

Strategy – Being and producing radical followers of Jesus

The glory of God is the theological vision of the Scriptures. God’s glory was shoved to the back of man’s desires at the fall and he will not share his glory.

Isaiah 48:11

“For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”

By my count, 2, 118 times the Scriptures refer to the glory (weight) of God. It’s kind of important.

How would God be glorified?

God is glorified by discipling the nations as Jesus, God in the flesh, left us here and empowered us with the Spirit to do.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him as we obey him (my spin on a “Piperism”).

How in the world are we going to accomplish such a large vision?

We will achieve the vision by being and producing radical followers of Jesus. This is how we will produce the fruit of discipling the nations.

Radical means “of or going to the root or origin; fundamental; forming or basis of foundation.”

John 15 tells us the origin and fundamental source of lasting kingdom fruit is abiding in Jesus. Not more effort. Not better systems. Nothing wrong with effort or systems, but they don’t produce kingdom fruit.

The lasting fruit of discipling the nations for the glory of God will come from our abiding in Jesus.

We go to Jesus.

We rest in Jesus.

We hear Jesus.

We obey Jesus.

We do Jesus’ work with his methods and always evaluate whether we are using his methods or the world’s methods.

We learn to wait.

We celebrate fruit.

We receive pruning from the Good Father so we can be more fruitful.

We abide.

We call this abiding relationship the RADICAL LIFE.

The RADICAL LIFE consists of three relationships: UP-Communion/IN-Community/OUT-Collision

What is the spiritual DNA that informs how this vision gets fleshed out?

KDSC

  1. Kingdom

The gospel is the gospel of the kingdom. It is not the gospel of salvation.

“The kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through entrance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty and freedom.” – Tim Keller

“Kingdom” shows up 160 times in 151 verses in the New Testament. The “kingdom” in the New Testament is distinct from the kingdom in the Old Testament.

In the NT the kingdom is more than Israel, and the king is not a man. In the NT the kingdom is the people of God from all nations and the king is Jesus.

Everything in the OT is preparing us for the reality of the Kingdom of God that would be inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming, advanced by the church as the people of God and fully consummated at the restoration of all things when Jesus returns.

Let’s review some passages about the kingdom.

Matthew 6:33

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (food, drink, clothing, necessities and some amenities {all good and perfect gifts come down from the Father of lights with whom there is not shadow due to change})

Matthew 6:10

“…Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Mark 1:14-15 (this passages gives the gospel its content and how one enters – kingdom – repent – believe)

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.”

Matthew 13:44

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Matthew 13:31-32

“He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Matthew 13:33

“He told them another parable. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.’”

Ephesians 1:7-10

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

The good news of the kingdom is more than salvation from sin. It is that, but salvation from sin is just the entry into the larger work of the kingdom!

The culture of rescue from hell as the goal of the gospel has not only short sighted the work of the church, but it has pillaged discipleship for the church.

If the gospel is just a rescue from hell, then once I’m rescued from hell there is not much to do other than help get others rescued from hell, huddle up and wait for rescue. The point of Jesus saving you is his praise in rescuing sinners and then his glory is his people filling the earth, proclaiming the good news and healing the domains of society as salt and light.

Salvation is not just salvation to heaven. Salvation is being made alive to see and know the king and his kingdom but then to participate in bringing the king’s rule to application in your home, your church and your domain of society on a global scale.  

The good news of the kingdom makes salvation possible for all who will believe and gives those who believe a mission to subvert the work of Satan through making disciples and engaging the domains of society in all nations and establishing the church as the outpost[1] and community of the kingdom by the Spirit’s power as we wait for Jesus to return, complete the kingdom’s establishment and completely bring Satan’s work to an end.

  1. Disciple

The gospel of the kingdom is powerful. Romans 1:16 says that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

The gospel makes disciples.

What is a disciple?

Matthew 28:16-20

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

In keeping with the mandate given in the Great Commission a disciple is someone who has been made a disciple, baptized and is learning to obey everything Jesus taught.

“been made a disciple” – through the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of Jesus Christ through the verbal proclamation of a disciple of Jesus Christ through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in the powerful gospel, a dead and counter-gospel enemy of God is reconciled to Father and given the Holy Spirit and thus birthed to new life in the kingdom of God.

“baptized” – baptism is a post-conversion activity in which the transformation of the gospel is recognized by the community of the kingdom (church) by entering into the water to be immersed and brought back up from the water thus putting on display for the public the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus that has been made effective in the death of the candidate’s bond to the curse, the removal of the guilt of sin and their resurrection to new life in Christ.

“learning to obey everything Jesus taught” – the baptized follower of Jesus Christ now begins the journey of life in the community of the kingdom, as a student of the Manual in community (private and public), working out the reality of their salvation and membership in the kingdom of God by engaging their domain of society as salt and light with the powerful gospel among all nations

A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ who has been taught (by someone) and is continuing to learn (personally and corporately-RL Groups) how to follow Jesus.

Matthew 7:24-27

A disciple is a person who epitomizes their relationship with Jesus in hearing and obeying!

Discipleship and the Radical Life – Discipleship is practiced in RL!

A disciple hears and obeys through communion with God.

A disciple hears and obeys in covenant community.

A disciple hears and obeys in colliding with culture and making disciples.

  1. Society

Disciples of Jesus live in society and have gifts that suit them to work and function in various domains of societies structures.

This is God’s strategy for completing the Great Commission.

What is Society?

Society is composed of groups of people who work within their own areas of expertise or “domains”. Society is the structured system of organization for large-scale community living.

These core structures of society do not change.

The people working within these domains meet the basic needs of society and keep it functioning.

Why is the Society so important?

The domains of society become crucial in the transformation of a city.

Those who assume leadership in these spheres of influence have the potential to completely reshape their city, its values, priorities, and practices.

The Scriptures teach that domain leaders function with a delegated authority from God (Romans 13 / Government as a domain / Given authority to execute justice).

God is sovereign over domains, intends to transform all of creation into a new created order at the restoration of all things (Revelation 19-22) and is in that process now as his people preach and heal.

In directing his people to bless their cities and the nations of the world, God is calling us to engage domains as a way of seeing God’s kingdom come to people and entire cities.

How does this concept look in real life?

Kingdom mindset question: “What if the church were the missionary?”

Engaging Domains Is God’s Plan from the Beginning: The Creation Mandate: Genesis 1:26-28

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

  1. Man was made to have dominion over the whole earth (every sphere of society).

 

  1. The fall made man more of a casualty of creation’s brokenness rather than a “subduer” of creation and society as a whole.

 

  1. When Jesus came, he broke the curse of the fall and began bringing all things back under his reign (Ephesians 1:7-10).

 

  1. Jesus has given us the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:15-20), so we have the powerful good news to bring salvation and restoration to all nations.

 

Thinking about Jesus’ followers engaging every domain of society creates 4 key shifts.

  1. From needs to assets

This shift is one of mindset. This is not an organizational change or shift in processes, rather this is a shift in how we see each other as members of the community of the kingdom.

We move from asking what we need to evaluating assets to be given away in serving our individual and collective domains.

We move from asking: “what did you get out of the service today?” to “how can I engage my domain of society with the gospel of the kingdom?”

  1. From programs to domain engagement

This shift has organizational implications. This changes how we organize for work and what work is undertaken.

This is more Spirit-led as members of the community of the kingdom take ownership and responsibility for action.

You begin to ask questions like:

“What is my domain?”

“How can I begin to mobilize people in my domain who are in the kingdom to take this domain for the kingdom?”

“How can I partner with others to make changes in this domain?”

  1. From working for the city to working with the city or from simply funding the cross-cultural worker to partnering with the cross-cultural worker to get glocal resources in the work

This shift is one of relationships and expectations.

This changes how we interact with the community.

Here the church becomes more of a partner to help create solutions rather than simply a provider of a check or other resources.

It becomes a flesh in the game mentality.

We begin to realize that Father has placed valuable people resources in the community of the kingdom and those people are valuable glocally.

We begin to interact with other religions in the engagement of our society’s domains and get to make disciples!

Evangelism and great commission work begins to become natural (as well as part of the culture of a church) as we engage like this.

This multiplies the great commission work force because now everyone is a great commission disciple that can have impact locally and globally.

  1. From managing ministries to leading members

This shift impacts decision-making.

The decision is not what ministries are the pastors going to run, but what will the pastors do in releasing the body to supply it’s part in the kingdom.

Ephesians 4:11-16

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry (teaching, praying, engaging domains as examples), for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

The power of the kingdom is NOT contained in a few talented men, rather it is the apostolic genius contained in every follower of Jesus walking in step with the Spirit bringing the rule of Jesus to their domain.

  1. Church

The gospel of the kingdom makes disciples in domains of society and from there the church multiplies and disciples make disciples and plant churches or expand a church’s reach through multi-campus models.

  1. What the church is – A local church is a gathering of baptized, born-again Christians who covenant together in love to meet regularly under the authority of the Scriptures and the leadership of the elders to worship God, be a visible manifestation of the kingdom of God, and, ultimately, to give God glory (John 3:1-8; 13:34-35; Acts 2:41; 14:23; Eph. 3:10; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 10:24-25)[2]

The church, properly defined, consists of all true believers in Jesus Christ throughout all time.

  1. What the church does – A church must do only a few things to be a church:

2.1 gather in gospel love to hear the Word preached,

2.2 sing,

2.3 pray,

2.4 give,

2.5 make disciples

2.6 and practice the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Members, those who have covenanted together, lovingly care for one another (1 Cor. 12:12-26), even through the practice of church discipline (Matt. 18:15-17).[3]

  1. What the church’s mission is – The church is God’s strategic plan for evangelism with one overarching mission: to go to all peoples to make disciples, teaching them to obey everything Christ has commanded – including forming new churches (Matt. 28:18-20).

Church Multiplying Hint: If Jesus is building his church, and the church is the bride of Christ, then making disciples must include forming them into new churches!!!

The Bible’s Teaching About the Church:

  1. The Church Has No Prescribed Form

Notice that the church’s manifestation is not prescribed in any passage of the New Testament. The church is intended to take the shape necessary to continue to be like yeast in dough until the whole lump of dough is leavened.

The Scriptures tell us what a church is and does not how it is to look on the outside.

We often hinder the work of the church by unnecessarily prescribing or assuming external necessities rather than majoring on inherent function.

  1. The Kingdom Is Manifested Through The Church

The kingdom manifests itself through the church.

Experientially, the church provides a foretaste of the future reign of Jesus Christ.

The church exists only because of Jesus and is mandated with extending his mission to all nations.

  1. Jesus Builds His Church

Matthew 16:18

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The church is what Jesus is building as the community of the kingdom.

  1. The church Is God’s Agent of Transformation

Some examples of how God transforms in the church from Scripture:

  1. The Church Is An Expression Of God’s Trinitarian Nature

“Professor Colin Gunton, in his seminal work, The One, The Three and the Many, points to the secular search for an ideology that can protect the individual while promoting community. Recent history, he suggests, had been ruled by two competing regimes. In the west, we are products of a world driven by the individual. An increasingly privatized worldview has promoted the rights of the individual above all else. In the east, communism exalted the many. What mattered most was the common good, the people and the nation. The result, Gunton declares, has been two equally oppressive and totalitarian regimes. The answer lies in the discovery of a worldview capable of honoring the one and the many, without either being at the expense of the other. The doctrine of the Trinity presents such an ideology. The God who is Father, Son and Spirit models this unity amidst diversity, and this community of equality. The church, through its relationship with the Triune God, is called to model this for the world.”[4]

The existence of the church is not arbitrary but reflects the nature of the God who is its source.

  1. The church Is God’s Dwelling Place ***

1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:22

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you (plural) are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?”

We often read this passage and read the “you” as singular and make application as if it’s singular, and that then makes our application be off.

Illustration: If I want to take off from RMG and fly to KCHA (Lovell field in Chattanooga) and I’m off by just 2 degrees in my heading, will I hit Lovell field? No. 2 degrees is not a lot off, but 2 degrees off over that distance will put me many miles off course and I’ll miss my target.

When applying Scripture we can’t make it say what we want it to say. And we can’t apply it rightly when we’ve missed it’s meaning.

However, this “you” is plural. This means that the whole church is God’s temple. Does that mean that the Holy Spirit does not reside in us individually? No. He does. But it does mean that his residence in us individually is not intended to keep us isolated. Rather his presence in us is to draw us together.

Therefore, if we harm the body of Christ or neglect the body of Christ we will fall under the condemnation of verse 17 that says, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

  1. The Church Displays God’s Manifold Wisdom

Ephesians 3:8-11

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold (varied, diverse, multi-colored)_ wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,…”

How do we live the church out locally?

  1. As the family of God we grow in our love for and fellowship with each other. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Attend regularly to encourage one another and grow together across demographic lines. (Hebrews 10:25)

Attend a RL group with members who share the DNA and multiply that DNA in others who can impact others.

How do you determine partnership? Vision / Relationships / Collaboration / Family

It’s hard to have deep fellowship with people who don’t share the vision. You just end up arguing over the vision or circling in the wilderness without ever multiplying until the darn thing dies.

A TRC Application: We value the kingdom, and the kingdom multiplies. If you are in a group of people from various churches who just want a bible study, what are they going to do when you start talking about multiplication? So, in order to stay part of that group you have to sacrifice a value you say you are covenanted to.

  1. As the bride of Christ we seek greater love for Jesus and submission to him

2 Corinthians 11:2-3

“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 

  1. As God’s new temple we increase awareness of his presence among us

1 Peter 2:4-8

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”

  1. As the body of Christ we increase interdependence on each other’s gifts

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Try this:

  1. Gather as a RL group, in covenant with other TRC folks
  2. Pray together
  3. Discuss the sermon, texts from the sermon and applications the Spirit gives you
  4. Expect each person to contribute
  5. Anticipate Ephesians 4:11-16 gifts to be manifest (apostles – see the big picture and push for the vision; prophets – speak the word of the Lord as the bumpers for the vision; evangelists – bring in the lost, tell the lost; shepherds/teachers – guide, counsel, instruct)
  6. See the church body equipped to grow up into Christ
  1. As a priesthood of believers we have an increasing sense of God’s joy in our praise and good works

1 Peter 2:5

“…you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The Church Worships

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

[1] The implications of the church being an outpost are huge. It means that the church is launching missions to those not in the purpose of the outpost. The purpose of the outpost is to establish the rule of Jesus. This affects not only our message but our strategy. The outpost must take the form of what it is trying to reach into or risk become irrelevant to it’s target.

[2] Mack Stiles, Evangelism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), p. 71.

[3] Ibid. p. 71.

[4] Dick Tripp, Qualities of the Triune God, http://www.christianity.co.nz/church2.htm