The Mission of Crosspoint
What We Do – Romans 1:5b
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – Nov. 8th, 2020
- Last week we talked about our new day with a new name as we continue to communicate the eternal message of the gospel and journey forward in our sacred mission.
- Today and for the next two weeks, we are going to focus on our mission. I hope that you would memorize what we are all about. Our mission statement is not something clever or cutesy. It comes straight from Scripture. We exist:
“to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Rom. 1:5b).
- When you look at our logo, it may be easier for you to remember this verse by looking at the cross . . .
- I want you also to understand this verse in the greater context of Romans. The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to use this formula to open and close this letter.
Rom 1:1-7 ESV
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Through the rest of the letter, Paul systematically covers major theological themes and Christian doctrine: sin, salvation, grace, faith, righteousness, judgment, justification, sanctification, salvation, redemption, and resurrection. It talks about sovereignty, calling, election, wrath, creation, the law, the role and work of Christ, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Christian hope, the nature of the church, the place of Jew and Gentile in God’s purposes, the meaning and message of the Old Testament, the significance of baptism, the principles of personal devotion, ethics, and Christian fellowship and that is not all. These thoughts are developed and tied together with one leading into the other, beautifully conveying God’s work in the world and the Glory of the Gospel. It is magnificent!
- Samuel Coleridge, speaking for many, said, “I think that the Epistle to the Romans is the most profound work in existence” (Table Talk, p. 232). And John Knox said that it is “unquestionably the most important theological work ever written” (The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 9 p. 355).
- He starts the book telling us about Christ and his calling, and what He is endeavoring to do (to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations) and then he gives us all of this incredible theological eternal truth and ends this letter in the same way, with the same focus to remind us what this and what we are to be about.
Rom 16:25-27 ESV
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
- We see Paul returning to all three of these elements of our purpose as a church and the point of the gospel.
- This morning, we will focus on the first phrase of our purpose statement, “to bring about the obedience of faith.” We are talking about a faith that grows and a faith that shows.
Faith that grows
- (show the logo slide) Do you see on our logo that the word “church” is in green? I believe the HS led us to that color to remind us that we are a Greenhouse where people grow in the faith. We are a stained-glass greenhouse where faith is sown, and people are grown.
- “to bring about” – is a process phrase, and growth is a process. Regardless if you are two or a 92-year old pastor, we are all in the growth process.
1 Peter 2:2-3 ESV
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
- When you are born into the world, you are fully you (Ill. of children). And when you are born again, you receive a new nature that you will grow into as well . . . this is one of the main reasons we come together as a church.
Eph 4:11-16 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
- Each of us is in a process, and each of us has a part to play. We are to “bring about the obedience of faith.” This “to bring about” encompasses outreach, evangelism and discipleship that results in fellowship and service to the faith community and the greater world. We are to have a faith that grows, and it must be linked to a faith that shows.
Faith that shows
- Notice that our key verse says, “to bring about the obedience of faith.” It does not say “to bring about the belief of faith.” The gospel’s goal is faith evidenced in obedience that brings glory to God among all the nations. Faith and obedience go hand in hand.
Eph 2:8-10 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- We have been saved by grace through faith. Salvation cannot be earned but only received as a gift from God.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- We are God’s workmanship . . . created in Christ Jesus. Why? For good works, which God prepared for us beforehand, that we should walk in them. We do our good works, follow God in obedience, not to be saved, but because we are saved. Faith and obedience go hand in hand.
- Faith, if genuine, always has obedience as its outcome; obedience, if it is to please God, must always be accompanied by faith. What marks God’s people is no longer deeds done in obedience to the law, but an obedience that stems from, accompanies, and displays faith. Faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin. They must be distinguished, but they cannot be separated (NIV Application Commentary on Romans by Douglas J. Moo p. 37-43).
- Here are a couple of passages that demonstrate this point:
John 3:36 ESV
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
2 Thess 1:7-11 ESV
when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
Heb 5:8-10 ESV
Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him
- As far as the gospel is concerned, you can’t have faith without obedience, and you can’t have obedience without faith.
Rom 14:23 ESV
For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
- Commitment to Christ in faith leads to obedience through Christ in action.
- We cannot obey without believing, and we cannot believe without obeying.
- Obedience to the gospel is essential for salvation through the gospel.
- Faith is not just believing information; it is about experiencing and expressing transformation.
James 2:14-19 ESV
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
- If you want to grow in your obedience, then work on your faith . . . (grow in knowledge, and this will grow you obedience), and if you want to grow in your faith, then work on your obedience . . . (Be obedient in what you know, this will build your faith.)
- All of this is done through the grace of God. We are declared righteous not because of what we do but because of what Christ has done. And because of what Christ has done, we follow in His footsteps to do what Christ is doing.
- We exist to bring about the obedience of faith, this church is a gospel greenhouse where faith is grown, and faith is shown. This is what we do. We do it for “the sake of His name,” which we will focus on next week.
- I am going to pray for you, and I am going to pray for us. And I want you to talk to God and listen to where and what He is highlighting in your heart.
- Closing Prayer