The Mission of Crosspoint
Where We Do What We Do – Romans 1:5b
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – Nov. 22nd, 2020
- This is the third installment of our mini-series based on our mission statement, right from the pages of scripture.
Rom. 1:5b ESV
to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations
- We have talked about the big picture that God has for us all in this new day, with a new name, proclaiming an eternal message on our sacred mission.
- We are to bring about the obedience of faith, being a greenhouse of sorts where faith is sown, grown, and shone. This is what we do.
- Last week we talked about why we do what we do: “for the sake of His name.” We talked about where our motivation matters, where we look to avoid “monumental mistakes,” and we made it our aim to magnify the name of Jesus in all that we are and all that we do.
- This morning we are focusing on the last segment of our mission statement, which describes where we do what we do: “among all the nations.” This morning we will see that God’s plan has always included the nations, and they should be included in our plan as well. We are to proclaim to the nations the goodness of the Gospel of God so that for all eternity, we will praise with the nations in glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
Plan for the nations
- We can see God’s plan for the nations from the beginning of the book of Genesis. When God made a covenant with Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham, this is what He said:
Gen 12:1-3 ESV
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
- He was blessed to be a blessing; the blessing and the covenant and the calling was for him, but it was not about him. And notice that this blessing would come through him and his descendants, with the ultimate fulfillment being Christ, and from them, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. The nations were always a part of the plan of God from the beginning.
- Old Testament Scripture is filled with this kind of language about God’s plan for the nations (see Gen. 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14, Psalm 9:11, 66:8, 96:7,10, 105:1, 117:1, Isaiah 12:4, 34:1, 49:6, 52:10).
- The middle of the Old Testament records Psalm 67, which is a beautiful model prayer for all people:
Ps 67 ESV
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, 2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. 5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
- “The Lord bless you, and keep you, and make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.” Do you know why? That His way may be known on the earth, His saving power among all nations. Why? So that the people will praise Him! Why should He be praised? Because His way and will is perfect.
- The end of the Old Testament proclaims the will of the Lord to the nations:
Mal. 1:11 ESV
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.
- “The rising of the sun to its setting” covers the whole world. His name WILL be great among the nations and every place will bring offerings to his name.
- God had a plan for the nations from the very beginning, and that plan has not changed. We must align our plan with His, and our will with His for His blessing to flow to us and then through us for the sake of His great name. Plan for the nations, and then proclaim to the nations.
Proclaim to the nations
- The New Testament opens with this line:
Matt 1:1 ESV
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
- This statement connects Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of God’s covenant made to King David about the eternal King with an everlasting kingdom (2 Sam. 7:8-17) to Abraham, who God made a covenant to Him to bless the nations (Gen. 12:1-3).
- The gospels tell the story of God in the flesh, the “exact representation” of His being (Heb. 1:3) full of “grace and truth” (1 John 1:14). We read about the life of Jesus, what He taught, what He did, His death and resurrection. Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus has this conversation with two of His followers along a road going to a town called Emmaus, teaching them about Himself from the Old Testament:
Luke 24:44-47 ESV
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
- Their minds were opened to understand the scriptures. They all pointed to Him, that the Christ was to suffer, and then on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed . . . in His name. . to all the nations, beginning where they were . . .
- And then right before He left, He told us what we are to do:
Matt 28:18-20 NIV
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, and from His position of authority, this is what He tells us to do. To go – which requires movement – either across the hall, across the street, across the city, across the state, across the nation, across the earth, we are to go. To make disciples (not converts, but disciples, which is a whole different process). Where? All nations. In whose name? The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And they are to do what? Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you (does that sound familiar? . . . obedience, name, nations). And He is with us always, that is all of us, in all generations to the very end of the age.
- And He said before you go out, wait for my empowering presence to come upon you. And they did. They were gathered in an upper room, 120 of them, and the Holy Spirt came down upon them
Acts 2:1-12 ESV
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
- The empowerment of the Holy Spirit came so that the people of the nations would hear and know the message of the Gospel. So why this? What not in one language? Because God wanted to make it clear that they were empowered to bring to the message to every language.
- But with all of these things, both in scripture from Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the disciples still had a hard time understanding the plan of God was for the nations, and that they were to proclaim His message to the nations.
- God communicated through a vision to a Roman soldier named Cornelius that he was to send some men to a town called Joppa and have a guy named Simon Peter come to them. And then through a vision, God prepared the Apostle Peter, who was the leader of the church, for their arrival. In the vision, these “unclean” animals were lowed in and Peter was told to “rise, kill and eat.” And to do this:
Acts 10:14-15 ESV
But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”
- After this vision, the men from Cornelius show up, and Peter goes with them to Cornelius’ house where he has gathered his family and his friends.
Acts 10:28-29 ESV
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
- God had to correct the notion that Peter and the Jews had categorized some people as “common or unclean.” This problem kept them from proclaiming the Gospel to their neighbors and to the nations. Their problem is also our problem. Just as they had categorized some people as “common and unclean,” we do the same thing. Those who we think are undereducated, those who are overeducated, those who are rich, those who are poor. Those who live on the west side of town, those who live on the east side of town, those people who are black, those people who are white or Asian or Latin. Those who are republican, those who are democrats, those who are young, those who are old, those who love guns, those who hate guns. Pick a category, and we do the same. The truth of the Gospel is for everyone.
Acts 10:34-35 ESV
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
- The Gospel is for everyone, and we have no right as Christians to treat anyone as “common or unclean.” This starts in our neighborhood and spreads to the nations. We are called to be a church to be “among all the nations,” which means that this church needs to be that way first “among all the neighborhoods.”
- Some of you will not physically go to the nations, but all of you are called to go to your neighborhood. Who do you consider the “them”? God wants you to go to “them” because the Gospel is for “them” as well. God is confronting our hearts; this must be more than a mission, it must be a reality, and we must first deal with our hearts and behavior.
- It will please God to have a diverse community. We are called to it, and we have a good start at it (look around).
Col 3:11-17 NIV
Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
- We are all saved by the cross, and we are all the same through the cross. No one is better, no one is common, but all are family because of the cross, and God wants all of His family from every neighborhood and every nation to come together because of the glory of His name.
- The “Apostle to the Gentiles” summarizes what Christ has done near the end of the book of Romans.
Rom 15:8–12 ESV
For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” 10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” 12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
- Christ became a servant to the Jews to show them God’s truthfulness by fulfilling the promises God gave to them. He did this so the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. Then he quotes a bunch of Old Testament Scripture to prove his point, saying that all the nations will put their hope in Christ Jesus.
- God does have a plan for the nations, and we are to proclaim the Gospel to the nations so that we will praise with the nations.
Praise with the nations
- The whole Bible ends with the book of Revelation as to what God is doing through history and how it all will end and change for eternity.
Rev 5:9-12 ESV
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Rev 7:9-12 ESV
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Rev 15:3-4 ESV
“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! 4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
- God’s plan for the world is finalized when there is a multitude of people from every nation, and tribe, and people, and language standing together before the throne.
“Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.” – John Piper (Let the Nations be Glad)
- We exist to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations.
- Our name (Crosspoint) and this logo fits us (show the logo) – theological level – relational level – locational level.
- You are invited into this. We are going to grow into this. We, by the grace of God, will become this. So, let us love each other well and intentionally. Let’s become more like Christ intentionally, and pray that God will do this among us, intentionally.
- Talk about the next sermon series