Dispelling The Fog

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THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL (ECWA)
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THEME:  THE BIBLICAL DIMENSION
TOPIC:  DISPELLING THE FOG

TEXT: MATTHEW 10: 1-15

Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi

INTRODUCTION

In the Scripture, what does the phrase “The Biblical Dimension” really stands for or mean?  In reference to the man John Paul, in his Book titled “The Essentials of Global Missions” it could be explained or narrated in different ways.  Such as:                
(A). The God in dialogue.  (B). The analogy of the word of God.  (C). The cosmic dimension of the word.  (D). The creation of man.  (E). The realism of the word.  (F). The Christology of the word.  (G). The eschatological dimension of the word of God.  (H). The word of God and the Holy Spirit.  (I). The Tradition and Scripture. (J). The Sacred Scripture, the inspiration, and the truth.  (K). God the Father, the source, and the origin of the word.  (L). Our Response To The God Who Speaks.  (M). Called to the covenant with God.  (N). God hears us and responds to our questions.  (0). Our dialogue with God through his words.  (P). The word of God and faith.  (Q). Sin as a refusal to hear the word of God.  And, (R).  Mary, “Mother of God’s Word” and “Mother of Faith.”

  1. THE APOSTLES, THE FIRST MISSIONARIES

Our Lord Jesus Christ set apart twelve of His disciples and called them Apostles.  He then send them only to their own people, the Israelites.   This people, the Israelites, were sent to announce that the Jews should repent since their Messiah, the King, as come and His kingdom is impending.  Also, the Lord set apart others, such as the Apostle Paul and Barnabas as Apostles to the Gentiles as well.  The Scripture narrates it thus:        

Ananias Baptizes Saul

10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”  And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.  12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 
 

13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.  14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.  16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 

17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus,[a] who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.  19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus (Acts 9:10-19 (NKJV).

Defending the Gospel

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.  2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.  3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.  4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.  7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter  8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles),  9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.  10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do (Galatians 2:1-10 (NKJV).

There is another story that narrates the parable of a sower.   It could be viewed in this way:

The Parable of the Sower

1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.  2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:

 

3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.  4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air[a] came and devoured it.  5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.  6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.  7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.  8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”  9 And He said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Purpose of Parables

10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable.  11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them (Mark 4:1-12 (NKJV).

Brethren, in all the above narrated stories, how do you view yourself?  Be assured that if you and I should commit ourselves for the ministry that the Almighty God entrusts into our hands, we will change the whole world. 

  1. WHY IN THE WORLD DO WE NEED MISSIONARIES TODAY OR WHO ARE OUR MISSIONARIES?

Some Churches or Denominations spend a lot of time talking about missions or missionaries today.  In order words, it is about planning a mission trip or supporting missionaries around the world.  For example, Missionary Work narrated by our Lord Jesus Christ could be explained thus:

Christ’s Commission to the Eleven
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;  18 they[a] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV).

The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.  17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Amen. (Matthew 28: 16 – 20 (NKJV).

The Apostles Commissioned
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,[a] for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (John 20:19-23 (NKJV).

The above narrated or indicated stories mean that churchgoers understand what Missions are and what Missionaries are commanded to do.  Evangelism is a huge part of Missions and the purpose of Missions and Evangelism is to take or bring the gospel message to others around the world.  That is, Missionaries are called to reach out to the nations just as the Apostle Paul was faithfully and honestly committed to the Missions given to him.  That is, he reached out into the neighborhood with great commission.  
 

CONCLUSION

Brethren, be assured that the Evangelism of Missions means more than just standing on a soapbox preaching the gospel to anyone walking by.  But, Missionary Evangelism comes in numerous forms and is done in a variety of places.  Some of the two most notable missionaries of the Bible were Prophet Isaiah and the Apostle Paul.  Prophet Isaiah was more than willing to be sent out because he had a heart for missions.  The Apostle Paul was called to travel to the nations and make disciples of all nations, most importantly to the Gentiles.    
               Let’s say you are called to missions, what does that mean?  Bear in mind that there are numerous types of missions.  Some Christians are called to preach and plant churches.  They may travel around the world preaching, creating disciples, and building churches.  Other disciples may be sent to use their skills to teach children in underdeveloped countries.  Also, some Christian missionaries show God by doing things that aren't seen as overly religious.  That is, showing God's love in tangible ways.  This means providing medical care to those in need, teaching English as a second language, and providing emergency services after a natural disaster.  
               Bear in mind that there is no right or wrong way to be a missionary.  As seen in the Bible, missionaries and evangelists are used by God in God's own way.   Our Almighty God designs us to be unique and He called us to work with others in a faithful and better way.  If you feel called to missions, it's important that you examine your heart for how God wants to work with you.  For instance, you may be called to missions in Europe, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana, Africa, or in Nigeria.  Beloved, follow what God tells you because that's what He designs or commands you to do.  You may view this in the following Scripture, please.  The Epistle of Romans Chapter 15: 14-33.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ keep, bless, and uphold you.  Amen!

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