So yesterday I mentioned some of the challenges of preaching out of Acts 2:42-47 (which should be incredibly easy… but its not). The reason I wrote the blog yesterday was because I was sitting at my local Starbucks, STUCK, not knowing where to take the sermon. So what I did was I stopped and prayed. And as I prayed God brought the point of the passage to my mind….
The Church is the community formed around the cross for the sake of God’s glory…
As I was thinking of ways to preach this sermon I was stuck in a action oriented mentality. “This is how we do church.” “We need to do this.” “If we aren’t doing this we aren’t being the church.” “These things are hard to do.” “We need to do some more praying.” DO DO DO! I was ignoring a crucial fact… the church is the called out community! The Church is created by God not by us! DUH! The point is you don’t teach, pray, fellowship, give, evangelize and become a church. NO, the Church is the community called out by God. Its so easy to get these two things it confused. The list of things isn’t a list of things we do… it’s a list of things we are. These actions are a part of our identity….
- Christ was generous towards us on the cross so we can be generous towards one another
- Christ opened up a path to the father so we can pray confidently as sons and daughters of God
- Christ endured suffering on the cross so that we can be glad and rejoice with sincere hearts
- He became powerless so we could have the power of the Spirit
These things are more than just what we do… they are who we are.
We are generous. We are prayerful. We are joyful. We are powerful. All because of Christ’s life and death on the cross for us. Because these things are things that we can’t manufacture on our own they inevitably point to Jesus. We as a community are given our identity by Jesus so if your community is its generous that’s because of him. We don’t get the glory. We don’t get the attention. He does! If we can be glad and joyful its not because we are positive people. Its because we can be glad and joyful in Christ. So our joy points to Christ. Its something that we can’t get the glory for, only he can get the glory for that. Now if we are doing signs and wonders… on our own… there is something weird about that. Anyway, if we pray and someone gets healed; if we prophecy and someone is encouraged; Its not because of us. We can’t heal someone! We can’t know the depths of their heart. Its because we have the Spirit, God’s gift to his people, that we can do these things. So ultimately our generosity; our prayers; our joy; our power all point back to Jesus. And this pointing back to Jesus is the ultimate act of mission. We are a witness to Jesus because he has given you all you need to witness to him.