Phil Cox

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Missionary Church

11th December 2009

How we live as Christians depends (amongst other things) on our self-image as Christians. So the question arises: Who do we think we are?

Well, in our church, We're very familiar with this scripture:

1 Peter 2v9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

We understand that we're God’s chosen people. We're beginning to get to grips with the idea that we're God’s royal priesthood, although we don't fully grasp the priestly role of praying for those around us, and being God's representatives to them. We get it that we're God’s holy nation, although we, like all Christians, could use a bit more holiness.

And we know we’re God’s family, children of our heavenly Father and brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 1v5
he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

We’re all of these.

And here’s another important element of our self-image as Christians - we’re all missionaries:

John 20v19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood amongst them and said, “Peace be with you”. After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.
The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them, and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven”.

The key verse for us this week is verse 21, where Jesus says, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Jesus sends us. God sent Jesus to the world, and Jesus sends us to the world. God sent Jesus to preach the good news and to help people. Jesus sends us to preach the good news and to help people.

Are we disciples of Jesus? Then Jesus sends us into the world. We are missionaries. God sends us together to make a difference. We don't have to travel abroad to be missionaries, we just have to accept our place in God's mission. We are all missionaies to those around us.

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them, and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

We know that passage of scripture applies to us as well as to the eleven, because Jesus said “I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. The eleven have long since gone to their reward, but you and I remain, to make disciples of all nations, or at least of the people where we live.

How can you and I go and make disciples? Do we really want to? What does it say about our relationship with God if we don’t? These are important questions, and I suggest that we pray about them.

But since God can do whatever He pleases, we know that God can use you and me. We can change the streets where we live through acts of kindness, through prayer and through the word of God.

But we need the right self-image.

How do you see yourself? Are you a missionary – send by Jesus into the word, as God sent Jesus?