‘To send’ … For a specific purpose; a task to be completed To represent the One who did the sending; i.e. to be His ambassador
Karl Barth spoke of the mission Dei. The term ‘mission’, he pointed out, was originally used of the sending of the Son by the Father, and the sending of the Spirit by the Father and the Son. To this was added another sending; the sending of the Church by the Trinity. The triune God is a missionary-God.
Mark 12. 1-12 ‘A man planted a vineyard … he rented it out to some farmers and went away on a journey … at harvest-time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard …
… but they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them, and they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed …
… He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, “They will respect my son” …
… But the tenants said to one another, “This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard’
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life … For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him’ John 3. 16-17
Jesus called the twelve disciples to him These twelve the Lord sent out … ‘go gather the lost sheep of Israel’ Matthew 10. 1, 5 & 6
Jesus said to them, ‘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.’ John 20. 21-22
Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and 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’ Matthew 28. 19-20
‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ Acts 1. 8
Le Grand Kilo 1889 – near Paris Every 40 years, cleaned & calibrated with 6 identical Kilos - ‘Witnesses’, kept in other countries throughout the World
The Holy Spirit comes upon us He gives us the power We are His witnesses now Sent by the Lord Commissioned to represent Him Fulfilling His purposes wherever He sends us
Calvin: ‘Doctrine is an affair, not of the tongue, but of life. It is not apprehended by the understanding and memory alone, as other disciplines are, but it is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds a resting place in the inmost affection of the heart … it must enter the heart and pass into our daily living, and so transform us into itself that it may not be unfruitful for us’
The triune God is a missionary-God. The Church then, has a mission, because God has a mission. The role of the Church is to participate in the mission of God. The value of this perspective is the way it roots mission in the doctrine of God rather than delegating it to applied theology. Chester & Timmis
Jeremiah … The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations …”
… “Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I don’t know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid … for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth.” Jeremiah 1.
The Lord’s vision for us … To join Him in his great work of restoring the world, bringing joy, peace, love, integrity, justice, loyalty, forgiveness, salvation, faithfulness and truth into others’ lives To be His witnesses
What will commend the Gospel are lives lived in obedience to the Gospel and a community life that reflects God’s triune community of love. People will not believe until they are genuinely open to the truth about God. They become open as they see it is good to know God. And they see that it is good to know God as they see the love of the Christian community
Francis Schaeffer … ‘Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful. Christian community is the ultimate apologetic.’ God’s people are to model life under the rule of God through obedience to his word. As they do this, the nations will see that God’s rule brings life and blessing.
We have a better story than any of the alternatives. We need to awaken a desire for God. We need to make people want Christianity to be true. Then we might be able to persuade them that it is true. Chester & Timmis