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May 16, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
This past weekend, we were joined by author, speaker, researcher, pastor, church planter, and missiologist Dr. Ed Stetzer for a powerful message about how we as believers can faithfully represent Jesus and His Kingdom in a world full of outrage.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
We Get a New Perspective (2 Corinthians 5:16–17): In Christ, we are given a new perspective, we should no longer see people from a worldly point of view. We’ve been given a new life, new look, and new lenses through which to see the world. Now, we are called to see people the way Jesus sees them, not as foes or as people on the other side of an issue, debate, or political party. Those with new life in Christ must drop the “us” vs. “them” mentality and “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5–8 NIV).
Sadly, with the gospel perspective slipping further and further out of the preview of the cultural landscape, we need to adjust our glasses from time to time so as to ensure we are seeing correctly with the lens of Christ in place.
Sent on a Mission of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18–19): Those of us who have been reconciled have been given the ministry of reconciliation, and God has entrusted us with the message of reconciliation. This is the mission God has given us as citizens of heaven and children of God. We need to see the world as needing reconciliation to God. We need to see every interaction, every encounter, and every conversation as an opportunity to help others be reconciled to God. We can do this in our neighborhoods, offices, schools, the restaurants we frequent, the stores we regularly buy from, etc. Just as the message of the gospel has been passed down for 2,000 years, and was passed down to us by someone, now it’s our turn to pass it on.
Representing Jesus and His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20): We are ambassadors for Christ, representatives of His kingdom. Our job is to represent Jesus to the world the way He would represent Himself. This is what ambassadors do; they act as official representatives for their country, conducting themselves and interacting with others in a manner that exemplifies the kingdom they come from. Paul says God has tasked us with being His ambassadors, as if God Himself were making His appeal. We must take this mission and position seriously and do our best to honor our King as we represent Him.
Because of the Cross (2 Corinthians 5:21): It’s all because of the cross. Jesus took upon all the sins of the world, all our sins, and He became sin on our behalf. All the sins of the world were deposited—imputed—into His account on the cross. And because of this, we can have His righteousness, His perfect, holy, blamelessness deposited into our account. So now, when God sees us, He doesn’t see our sinfulness or our failures, He sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He died for our sins, with all our sins imputed on Him, and then when He rose to life on the third day, He had conquered sin and death on our behalf. Because of this we get new life, transformed and restored, reconciled and redeemed.
Quote to Remember: We live in a culture where the gospel perspective is slipping away, so we need to make sure we are seeing correctly.—Dr. Ed Stetzer
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. How does our new life in Christ change the way we view the world and the people in it?
2. What does it mean to be a minister of reconciliation?
3. How can you represent Jesus and His Kingdom in your sphere of influence today?
Imagine a city filled with the hope of Jesus . . . Imagine schools, businesses, neighborhoods, families, entire communities walking with Jesus, loving one another, living generously, and radiating the truth of the gospel. Imagine South Florida full of people who are connected to God, one another, and to those in need! That’s what Vision 2023 is all about! It’s a city-changing, five-year vision to make 60,000 new, passionate, fully-devoted disciples by 2023.
We believe as God’s people saturate the region with the gospel, generosity grows, stronger families are formed, the elderly are cared for, orphans, addicts, and widows find lasting hope, and true social changes happens.
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This Wednesday, we’ll kick off our discussion of the Parables of Jesus as we’re joined by Calvary Christian Academy’s Director of Discipleship Steve Mayo.
Then on the weekend, as we celebrate Palm Sunday and the launch of our North Miami and Parkland campuses, Pastor Doug will share a powerful word from one of Jesus’ parables.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.