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Tag: good news

Evangelizing the World

This morning we are wrapping up our summer sermon series! For the past many weeks we have been talking all about the Ekklesia – the church – the gathering of God’s people. And if you’ve been with us throughout this series, hopefully you’ve gained a greater understanding of what the church is, what it’s purpose is, and why your involvement in it is so important.

We began, first of all, by defining the church. And we were reminded that the church is not a building…  church is not an event we attend each Sunday morning, but the church is the gathering of God’s people.  The Bible describes us as the body of Christ or as the family of God.

And as such, we all have an important role to play in the church. Just like a physical body needs all the body different parts to function together (we need the hands to hold stuff, the feet to walk, the ears to listen, the mouth to speak, and all that stuff)… In the same way, every believer has an important role to play in the body of Christ – in the church. We all have a role in this family so that the church can do what God created it to do.

And of course, that leads us to the question, “Well, what then did God create the church to do? What is the purpose of the church and what’s my role in it?”

Well, we identified three main purposes or tasks of the church.

  1. To bring glory to God through worshipping Him together.
  2. To bring glory to God by edifying His people.
  3. To bring glory to God by evangelizing the world.

And so far, we talked about bringing glory to God through worshipping God together – honouring Him by being obedient to all the things that God has commanded us.

We talked about bringing glory to God by edifying God’s people – or building each other up – helping one another become more like Christ.

And now today we want to talk about bringing glory to God by evangelizing the world.

And you may be glad to hear that we don’t have any more greek words to learn today! It seems we’ve had a new foreign word to learn every Sunday in this series – ekklesia, weorthscipe, oikodomeo – but I don’t plan on teaching you any weird and wonderful words today.

I think most of us already have a pretty good understanding of what it means to evangelize the world – the hard part isn’t defining it – the hard part is actually doing it!

But just so that we have all the bases covered, to evangelize the world really just means to tell everyone the good news of Jesus Christ.

That is one of the key purposes of the church – we are God’s means of letting everyone know the good news about Jesus.

There are several places in the Scriptures where we are told this, but perhaps one of the clearest examples in found in the books of Acts.

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The Work of the Holy Spirit

I’d like to think that we’re a friendly church, and so I imagine when most of you arrived here today, you were greeted by a smiling face and the question that starts off near every single small-talk conversation that you’ve ever had. And that question is: How are you?

Sometimes there is some variation in the wording of the question – sometimes it’s ”How’s it going?” or “How was your week?” or “How was work?”

But the main thrust of the question is all the same. Really we’re inviting the other person to describe their recent experiences in life. 

And how do most people answer the question “How are you?” 


That’s the typical answer: “I’m good – how are you?” That’s not always the truthful answer, but that’s the standard answer that most people give and what most people expect. Occasionally, however, you’ll meet someone who actually tells you the truth – and most often in those cases, it’s not “I’m good”. It’s usually “I’m not good at all, let me tell you about my terrible life….”

And I don’t bring this all up to convince you to be more or less brutally honest in your small-talk conversations – but I do want you to truthfully consider the question: How are you?

Really. How are you? If you had to describe your life as you reflect on your last week or your last few months or even your last few years – how would you describe it? Is your life mundane? Exciting? Painful? Discouraging? Challenging? And I’m sure there are moments of all those things – but overall, how would you describe your life?

How would you finish this sentence? My life is _______________.

Hard? Easy? Crazy? Pointless? Amazing? How would you describe your life?

Well, Jesus once said – in John 10:10…

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Freedom from Sin

Last week we asked the question: “What Good is the Gospel?” When we think about sharing the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ with others, exactly what good is it that we sharing with them?

And I think most of us would quickly point to an eternity in heaven with Jesus as the first and most obvious answer to that question. After all, having the hope that when we die, we won’t be eternally condemned as we deserve, but rather, we have the assurance of eternal life with our Creator – that’s some pretty significant good!

But what if there is even more than that? What if our salvation is more than just a get-out-of-jail-free card? What if there is some significant ‘good’ to be had right here and now – BEFORE we die and see Jesus face-to-face?

Well, actually, that’s just what the Bible teaches! According to the Bible, eternal life doesn’t begin when we die – it starts right from the moment when we accept Jesus as our Saviour. The Gospel brings about a radical life-change immediately. We don’t have until wait to get to heaven before we experience the goodness of the Gospel!

And so last week, we did just a quick overview of just four incredible benefits of the Gospel. And I won’t rehash them all today, but just in point form, here are the four things we looked at.

#1. Jesus’ death paid the price for our sin

#2. Death and sin are both defeated.

#3. God lives within us.

#4. Our lives have meaning and purpose.

Now of course, this is not an all-inclusive list of the goodness of the Gospel – this is just a sampling! And we’re going to dig into these benefits over the next few weeks to see just how good they really are and how they can radically transform our lives right here and now.

So I am really excited to spend the next few weeks with you examining the question: What Good is the Gospel? And I trust that as we look at all this, we will be reminded all over again of why the Gospel is such good news!

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Not Just a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

As most of you know, we have a good number of serious board game fanatics in our congregation – and I think I would probably count as one of them. I don’t know exactly how many table games we have at home, but I know we have over 50 anyway.

But my family has always play a lot of board games. When I was a kid, games like Sorry and the Farming Game and Stock Ticker were all favourites at our house. We spent a lot of hours playing those games. And Stock Ticker was one of those games that didn’t have a definite ending, so my brothers and I would often play the same continuous game of Stock Ticker for a week or more – pausing for meals and chores and sleeping, and whatever else… We’d pull out the 2 litre bottles of root beer, and we’d settle in for hours and hours of playing stock ticker!

And of course, we’d also play – probably the most famous board game of all time – monopoly! Now I know that board games aren’t everybody’s thing – but I’m guessing that just about everyone here has played at least one game of monopoly at some point in their life. Is there anyone here who has never played a single game of monopoly?

Well, monopoly is so famous that even if you haven’t played the game – you can probably quote some of the cards you’d draw in the game.

For example – let’s see if you can finish the phrase: There’s one card that says, “Go directly to _______, do not pass ______. Do not collect __________.

Or how about this one – this one’s probably the most famous of all: Get out of Jail, __________.

The “get out of jail free” card was the card that everybody wanted. Everybody wanted the option to exit that jail in the corner of the board without paying the fine… And hopefully, have a chance to land on free parking.

But you know, even though this was probably the most coveted card in the game, it wasn’t really all that valuable. The cost to get out of jail was only $50, so it wasn’t really a big deal. I mean, $50 was something, but it was hardly a game changer! It’s not like it would really make a difference as to who would ultimately win the game.

Now if the parker brothers had really wanted to make a valuable card, they could had made the “Get out of jail free” card come with some extra benefits. Maybe like giving you a bonus $1000 each time you passed “Go” or maybe a free hotel on each of your properties. Or maybe let you send your opponents to jail at will. If the “Get out of jail free” card could do all that, well, THAT would be a game changer! But then, I guess then the focus of the game would likely change to be all about getting that card, instead of playing the rest of the game… So I guess the Parker Brother’s knew what they were doing…

But I bring this all up, because I think a lot of people treat Christianity like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. For a lot of people, if you asked them why they became a Christian, they would say it was because they wanted to go to heaven. 

And of course, that’s not bad reason. I know I am certainly looking forward to one day being with Jesus in Heaven. But is that really all there is to our Salvation? Is Christianity really just the $50 get out of jail free card so that we can escape hell and make it to heaven one day?

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