MEMORY VERSE: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
BIBLE PASSAGE: Genesis 3:1-15
INTRODUCTION: The word, missionary, comes from the Latin word “Mitto” which means to send. The Greek equivalent of the word is “Apostello.” A missionary, therefore, is someone who is sent with a commission from a higher authority. The work of missions is that of people sent by God to bring His work and power of salvation into the world.
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR CHRISTIAN MISSIONS
God is a missionary God looking for Man for fellowship. He re-established this purpose and covenant with Noah in Genesis 9:1-17. God’s call of Abraham in Gen.12:1-3 was not intended to give special privileges to a special nation but to provide a means for God to reach all nations, that is, salvation to all mankind. This intention was regularly passed on through the prophets of old.
JESUS AND CHRISTIAN MISSIONS
Jesus, in His earthly ministry, emphasised that He was sent into the world by the Father – Jn.3:17; Jn.5:36-37; Jn.6:57; Gal.4:5. This is so that the world might be saved. His food was to do the will of Him that sent Him – Jn.4:34. Jesus finished the work by teaching the disciples and by glorifying God on earth – Jn.17:8 – and by giving His life for our sins. Jesus was sent to all mankind –Jews and non-Jews – Mt.10:5-6; Mt.15:21-28. He identified with the people to whom He was sent – Heb.12:14-18; Heb.4:15; Phil.2:5-8. Jesus purposed that the gospel would be preached to the whole world – Mt.24:14. He also gave a great commission after His death and resurrection – Mt.28:18-20; Mk.16:15; Jn.20:21-22; Lk.24:46-49. He repeated the instruction more than once to show its importance – Acts 26:13-18.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND CHRISTIAN MISSIONS
The Holy Spirit was sent in a special way to the world at Pentecost – Acts 2:1-4. He was sent by Jesus to replace Him as the divine presence with believers – Jn.16:7. His ministry to believers is to teach and encourage – Jn.14:26; Jn.16:13-15. His ministry to unbelievers is to convict them of sin and to regenerate them – Jn.16:8-11. He is the sender of the New Testament. The missionary work started with the Holy Spirit – Acts 8:29. Peter was sent by the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles – Acts 10:19-20. He sent out missionaries in Acts 13:2-4 and prevented them from going to Asia Minor or Bithynia – Acts 16:6-7 – directing them to Troas where they got the Macedonian call to a whole new continent – Acts 16:8-9. The Holy Spirit continued to direct their movements – Acts 19:21; Acts 20:22-23; Acts 21:11-14.
It is very clear from our study that the Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are committed to missions. It automatically follows, therefore, that the Holy Spirit-inspired believers must equally be missions conscious. There are thousands of people across the world yet to be exposed to the gospel truth. God is still asking for who will go for Him. What will be your reply? Pray now.
MEMORY VERSE: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2 Corinthians 5:12-20
INTRODUCTION: Apostle Paul in his epistles emphasised that each member in the body of Christ has an important function to perform and that there is no spectator in the body of Christ. All are supposed to use their gifts for the work of the ministry – Eph.4:12. These spiritual gifts, if properly put in active use, will undoubtedly result in missionary works. This is a glorious assignment that includes members of the body of every type of class, sex and nation – 1 Cor.12:13.
APOSTLE PETER’S IMPRESSION OF MISSIONS
Apostle Peter taught that the Church is a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to show forth the praises of Him who has called them from darkness into His marvelous light – 1 Pet.2:9-10. This declaration must be in holiness – 1 Pet.2:12-20 – that others will glorify God and in readiness to give reason for the hope in us as Christians.
THE EARLY CHURCH AND MISSIONS
The early Church was fully engaged in missions. Paul the Apostle was a model. No wonder he said people should imitate him – 1 Cor.4:16. Priscilla and Aquila were Christians who started churches wherever they went – Acts 18:26-28. Paul’s team was composed of missionaries – 2 Cor.8:23. The word of God sounded forth from the Thessalonians church to Macedonia and Achaia – 1 Thess.1:8. All Asia heard God’s word while Paul was teaching in Ephesus – Acts 19:26; Col.1:4-7. Epaphas heard the gospel in Ephesus and from there carried it to other towns. The Philippians supported Paul’s missionary work – Phil.4:14-18. The Ephesians were asked to support the missionary work with prayers – Eph.6:18-20. Missionary work extended to Rome and other places. It is noteworthy that a church without missionary activities is unknown in the New Testament.
God reconciled the whole world to Himself through Jesus Christ. He equally has made us ambassadors and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation – 2 Cor.5:18-20. The Christian has no choice but to obey the institution of the Lord and get busy on missions. Now is the time to obey. Tomorrow may be too late.
MEMORY VERSE: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
BIBLE PASSAGE: Philippians 4:8-20
INTRODUCTION: In our last two studies, we have been able to learn that the business of missions does not exclude the Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Church. Mission is a must and all truly born again Christians should be interested. Today, we will continue as we look into missions by proxy. May the Holy Spirit teach us and bless us in Jesus’ name.
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS AND HOME SUPPORT
Missionaries are those Christians sent across geographical and cultural boundaries to proclaim the gospel. The take off point is usually from an established body of Christ. It automatically follows, therefore, that the upkeep of the missionary there is the sole responsibility of other members of the body at home. It is written that if a member suffers, other members suffer also – 1 Cor.12:25-26. Christians are supposed to be co-labourers together with God – 1 Cor.3:8-9. Support in prayers and provision of physical needs for the missionaries on the field are the responsibilities of Christians at home. This is missions by proxy. There on the mission field, it is expected of the missionary to concentrate in order to achieve the purpose for which God has sent him or her – Mt.6:20-21. Any distractions whatsoever may hinder the speed of his or her primary assignments. Hence, the need for active and prompt home supports.
LESSONS FROM THE MACEDONIAN AND PHILIPPIAN CHURCHES
The Macedonian churches submitted themselves to the will of God and they willingly gave of their substances for the cause of the gospel. Similarly, the Philippians church communicated their substances with Apostle Paul, their gifts were sacrifices acceptable and of sweet odour unto God – Phil.4:15-18. The unique ability of the Philippians church to give to the mission field as compared to other churches at that time was also commended by Paul – Phil.4:19.
YOU CAN BE PERSONALLY INVOLVED
The woman of Shunem in her spiritual perception found out the man of God – 2 Kgs.4:8-10. God needed a place for the man of God to lay his head. Both she and her husband agreed to make a chamber for the man of God and put there some essential things needed by him. Priscilla and Aquila, a wonderful Christian couple, were helpers of Apostle Paul – Rom.16:3-4.
It is obvious that not all born again Christians can be out there on the mission field but all can be involved either directly or by proxy. God is still calling today. Whosoever is willing should respond. You can decide to begin to support a missionary, at least.
Pastor E.A. Adeboye
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