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GBR and GFFJ as a Missionary Movement


Date: 2016/05/30 | Category: Discussion | Posted by:

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The world is a crazy place and becoming crazier every day. Extreme weather conditions, political upheaval (civil unrest and protests), economic pressures (unemployment), wars, terror, disparities between haves and have nots is getting greater, the lines between right and wrong are getting more and more blurred. This presents us with a great challenge.

GBR and GFFJ as a Missionary Movement

Introduction

The world is a crazy place and becoming crazier every day. Extreme weather conditions, political upheaval (civil unrest and protests), economic pressures (unemployment), wars, terror, disparities between haves and have nots is getting greater, the lines between right and wrong are getting more and more blurred. This presents us with a great challenge.

Vision Statement

GBR exists to empower its members spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially (relationally), and economically in order that they become agents of change and transformation in themselves, families, community, nation, the world.

The question I wish to pose tonight is, “How do we become genuine agents of change and transformation in this crazy chaotic world? The questions needs to be answered in two parts. First, is to clearly define the mission i.e. what kind of change and transformation are we looking for. Second, the means to achieve it.

I propose to answer this question by looking into key aspects of the Acts of the Apostles or better still the Acts of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts in one sense is unfinished its narrative continues through the work of the church (disciples, believers) until Jesus returns.

Important elements to Understand as Acts begins

    • 1.      Even though Jesus had taught the disciples many things they did not yet fully understand what the difference was between the Kingdom of God (vs. 3) and the Kingdom of Israel (vs. 6). Not only structure but the means to accomplish it.
    • 2.      They had a narrow nationalistic view to them it was about Israel but God had greater plans. To him “The “kingdom of God” means not an earthly political or military kingdom but the present spiritually directed reign of God, gradually transforming individual lives and entire cultures through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (ESV Note on Matt. 6:31)
    • 3.      The entire ministry of Jesus concerns the fulfillment of this vision. It began with Jesus as Luke explains in Vs.1 and it continues through the church he birthed.
    • 4.      Now in order for us to accomplish this humanly impossible task we need divine intervention. Hence the promise that Jesus would baptize believers with the Holy Spirit
      • ·        Filled with the Spirit
      • ·        Not to grieve the Spirit
      • ·        Not to quench the Spirit
      • ·        Live in the Spirit
      • ·        Walk in step with the Spirit
      • ·        Be led by the Spirit
    • 5.      Jesus is alive and continues his work through his empowered disciples.
    • 6.      Keeping our eyes on him means keeping our eyes on his vision and mission, the harvest. Being a follower of Jesus means that you have to have the same missionary zeal that he had. He came (was sent) to seek and to save the Lost (Lk. 19:10). The harassed and helpless (Matt. 9:35ff), those burdened under a heavy load (Matt. 11:28ff), for the poor, the blind, and oppressed (Lk. 4:18-19). This is the harvest field our Lord sends us into.

 

Acts 1:9-11

9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (ESV)

 

Looking back, I think we may say that the apostles committed two opposite errors, which both had to be corrected. First, they were hoping for political power (the restoration of the kingdom to Israel). Secondly they were gazing up into the sky (preoccupied with the heavenly Jesus). Both were false fantasies. The first is the error of the Politicist, who dreams of establishing Utopia on earth. The second is the error of the Pietist, who dream only of heavenly bliss. The first vision is too earthly, and the second too heavenly. Is it fanciful to see a parallel here between Luke’s gospel and the Acts? Just as at the beginning of the gospel Jesus in the Judean desert turned away from false ends and means, so at the beginning of the Acts the apostles before Pentecost had to turn away from both false activism and false pietism. And in their place, as the remedy for them, there was (and is) witness to Jesus in the power of the Spirit, with all that this implies of earthly responsibility and heavenly enabling. (Stott, 1991: 51)

 

“How do we become genuine agents of change and transformation?

    • Clearly define the mission i.e. what kind of change and transformation are we looking for.
      • Transformation comes through the rule of God in our lives to lead us to truly love him, serve him, and live holy righteous lives.
      • We must become like his Son Jesus Christ
    • Second, the means to achieve it.
      • Live in the power of the Holy Spirit
      • Bear witness to Jesus in word and deed.

 

GBR/GFFJ - Missionary Movement reaching the world
Acts 1:8 moving from our Jerusalem to ends of the earth. Should never lose the focus of the kingdom of God i.e. spreading the gospel. Cannot call ourselves a Kingdom movement without missionary zeal.
NB: question where is the role of the evangelist in fivefold? To date emphasis has been on prophetic and apostolic. 

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GBR and GFFJ as a Missionary Movement