Playing Your Part in the Gospel (pt. 1): Planning, Giving, Going, Hosting, Helping (1 Corinthians 16:1–11)

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Playing Your Part in the Gospel (pt. 1): Planning, Giving, Going, Hosting, and Helping (1 Corinthians 16:1–11)

When Paul finishes his doctrinal defense of the resurrection, he says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (15:58). Clearly, in his mind the resurrection is not an esoteric point of doctrine; rather, it fuels ministry and missions. Indeed, in 1 Corinthians 16 we find a flurry of gospel activity that prompts us to consider how we are living in light of the resurrection.

In this Sunday’s message, I suggested that we play our part in (proclaiming) the gospel through planning, going, giving, hosting, and helping. You can listen to this call to action or read the sermon notes. Discussion questions are below, as are a cadre of resources on these actions of ministry. Continue reading

Jesus Knew His Calling: A Missional Christology

In the Gospels, Jesus frequently spoke of why he “came.” For instance, in Mark 1:38, when the crowds are pressing in on him, Jesus tells his disciples, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”  While Jesus was attentive to the needs of man; he was perfectly obedient to his Father’s will. As John reiterates time and again in his gospel, the Son was ‘sent’ by the Father on a mission to redeem those whom the Father had given him before the ages began.

Thus, to understand who Jesus is one must look at his Christological mission—what missiologists might call the Missio Dei. As the image of the invisible God and the Son whose obedience pleased the Father, Jesus’ “I have come . . .” statements reveal the very heart of God and the work Christ came to accomplish. To know these statements is to know a great deal about our Lord. To overlook them is to miss a key insight into his self-identity and mission.  Continue reading