Saturday, August 19, 2006

Operation Freedom Life, Part 2


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Luke wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. He wrote them specifically to a man named Theophilus. At the beginning of Acts, Luke tells Theophilus that his first treatise (The Gospel of Luke) was about the things that Jesus BEGAN to do and teach, until He ascended to the right hand of the Father.

This indicated that the Book of Acts was a CONTINUATION of Jesus doing and teaching things, AFTER He had already ascended. And how did He continue his doing and teaching? Well, through His Body, the Church. In the days of the apostles, and today. We are His Body, and His life is being lived through us.

This means that His mission is our mission. If you want to know what the mission of the Church is, look for the mission of Jesus Christ. And Jesus gave us a capsule version of His mission in Luke, Chapter 4.

He went into the synagogue, as was His custom, took the scroll of the Book of Isaiah, and read a portion. When He was done, he said that the passage from Isaiah was fulfilled in Him. This was His mission.

Here are what we may say are the seven points of the mission of Jesus, and therefore the mission of you and me:

1. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me"...

No spiritual mission is possible without the Spirit of God. And His Spirit is in us, ready to live through us. Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do nothing." This is especially true of spiritual things.

Gal. 2:20 teaches us that we were crucified with Christ, and that now Jesus is living through us. This is the foundation of our mission, "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

2. "To preach the gospel to the poor..."

This includes evangelism, witnessing and telling the gospel to the lost. This also includes telling the rest of the gospel to the saved, the good news that our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. The good news that we have been declared righteous in God, that God is for us, and nothing can separate us from the love of God.

3. "To heal the broken-hearted..."

There is a good chance that YOU are broken-hearted. If so, do you think you are alone? A famous preacher once taught his student preachers to always assume that the people you are preaching to are hurting. And healing is in Jesus. He is the balm of Gilead that is spread on the wounds and sores of His people.

Have your broken heart healed as you spend time with Him, in prayer and meditation, and His wonderful Word, the Bible. Then spread the word to others. Healing the broken hearted is your mission too.

4. "To preach deliverance to the captives..."

Again, this is regarding before salvation and after. Listen to Gal. 5:1 – "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." It’s our mission too.

5. "And recovery of sight to the blind..."

I once was blind, but now I see. Again, before and after salvation. The church develops pockets of cultic thinking that cause blindness to our freedom in Christ. We need to help each other to “see” with spiritual eyes those things which are eternal, unseen with the physical eyes. It’s our mission too. Ironically, sometimes the most blind are those who walk by sight

6. "...To set at liberty the oppressed..."

This is opposing Legalism, whether for salvation (false "works" religion), or to keep salvation (earning God’s continued favor), or for fellowship (earning God’s love and friendship, trying to make ourselves "worthy").

Are you oppressed? Are you feeling like, "How could God love me and fellowship with me when I fall so short all the time?" Let me assure you that He has already taken care of that. When Jesus cried out on the cross, "It is finished", He meant it. The curtain between you and God is torn away. The wall between you and God has been blasted away by the cross, when Jesus became sin so that you might be made the righteousness of God.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." And if there is no condemnation, then there is nothing to keep you from the sweet communion with Him. And then pass it on. It’s your mission too. To tear legalism limb from limb. To set at liberty the oppressed.

7. "To preach the acceptable year of the Lord..."

Jesus caps His and our mission off with this reference to the Year of Jubilee, spoken of in Lev. 25:10, a year of universal release for person and property.

Jesus said, "I came that they might have life and life abundantly." And it’s all through Him. "He who has the Son has Life". We just need reminding sometimes of what we have.

What Jesus BEGAN to do and teach, is now being passed on to us.

This is our mission: Operation Freedom Life.

1 comment:

Dana said...

so simple yet so enlightening for me! thanks for keeping it simple!!