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Matthew 16:13-19, “Three Questions the Church Should Ask”

March 8, 2009 Speaker: Brad Evangelista Series: “The Church”

Passage: Matthew 16:13–16:19

Title: "Three Questions" (Part 2 of The Church series)
Text: Matthew 16:13-19

Intro: In this message we examine three crucial questions every church must ask itself: 1) who is Jesus? 2) what is Jesus calling us to do?, and 3) how should we then do church? The mistake we often make is skipping the first two and only considering the third.

The Three Questions:

1. Who is Jesus and what has He done? (THEOLOGY)

a). The disease of the self-help functional cultural Gospel.
Much of American "Christianity" has reduced the message of the Gospel down to merely self-help pop-psychology. Jesus is merely a life-coach teacher type dude who runs infomercials late at night and comes alone with some principles on to help you be a better more successful version of you. That's cute, and sometimes helpful, but it's not the Gospel. Yes, Jesus helps us live better lives, but He's done so, so much more.

b). Viewing what Jesus has done correctly.
Salvation in Christ is much more than mere assistance. Jesus has not just kept us from bumping into the door or stepping in a pothole. He has snatched us from in front of a Mac truck that was barreling down the road about to run us over. Our sin deserves nothing short of death. But for those who are saved, Jesus has stood in the way of that wrath and punishment.

Colossians 1:11-14 -- He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son...

Everything we do should flow from who Jesus is and what He has done.

2. What is He calling us to do? (MISSION)

a). All Christians in one sense have the same mission.
Jesus tells us all to go and make disciples. We are all called to spread the Gospel

b). But different Christians are called to different contexts and cultures.
In Galatians 2 Paul says that he was called to the Gentiles while Peter was called to the Jews.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 - This text tells us that the love of Christ should control and compel us. In other words, because of who Christ is and what He's done for us, we now no longer live for ourselves, but for His mission.

c). CrossPointe's specific mission.
CrossPointe's mission is of course to preach the Gospel to any and everyone. More specifically though, we are called to a religious bible-belt culture that for the most part thinks it's okay with God but really isn't. Billy Graham once said that America has just enough of the Gospel to be inoculated to it. That describes our city and valley perfectly. A church on every corner, but yet a deep misunderstanding of the Gospel still persists.

Our mission is to clearly and unashamedly answer question #1 -- Who is Jesus and what has He done -- for a religious but lost cultural Christian city.


3. How should we then do church? (CHURCH)

There are a thousand different ways to do church biblically. This is the least most important question of the three, and should always be changing as we determine and discover more effective ways to carry out the mission faithfully and biblically.

Our church style should change over the years, our theology should not.

a). The question we must answer.

Do we care more about church and our comfort than we do about our theology and our mission? If so, may the Lord convict and change us.


Conclusion:

Who is Jesus and what has he done? He is the all-consuming Savior King who has rescued, redeemed, and is restoring us.

What is he calling us to do? He is calling us to live not for ourselves, but for His glory by making our lives and our church a reflection of His goodness and grace to a lost, broken, religious, proud, rebellious, nominal Christian city.

How should we do church? In a Christ-exalting, Scripture-saturated, non-religious, Gospel passionate sort of way that calls people to truly examine and engage the Good News of Christ.