Partnering 4 What Matters
What really matters? Eternal Things. Spiritual Awakenings…Biblical Salvation. The best thing that can happen in this world is someone receiving Eternal Life in Christ. How does WE get in on as much of what really matters as possible?
WE PARTNER! With organizations and individuals who declare the Biblical Gospel. And we do it in a Biblical way: understanding the need for both going AND Sending. Two sides of the partnership coin: those who go and those who send. It is normative for ALL Biblical Christians to be involved in some level of both.
Going and Sending: Romans 10:13-15 (NLT)
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” [Joel 2:32] But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” [Isiah 52:7]
- People truly confessing Christ as Lord is the goal all Biblical Mission
- In order for that to happen, God uses people to declare the Biblical Gospel
- People believe / God moves because they are told the truth about Christ
- God’s plan found in Scripture is for ALL Believers to GO (Matthew 28) & SEND
- There is nothing more beautiful… NOTHING BETTER
- You & I get to be a part of it! As individuals & as Christ’s Spirit Indwelt Body
HOW WE GO:
- Vocational Ministry; Serving a Gospel Declaring Body or Organization
- Serving & Supporting Your Church; A Gospel Declaring Organization
- Serving & Supporting Other Gospel Declaring Organizations / People
Normal / Biblical Christian practice seen in Scripture: We are all called to go & send.
Let’s open up God Word and What HE has to say…
Gospel Partnership Is Not Optional: 1 Corinthians 9:7-14 (ESV)
7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? 8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” [Deuteronomy 25:4]
- God’s will and ways are demonstrated in all aspects of life
- The sustaining of work comes from the work itself / enjoying the ‘fruits of labor’
- God’s Word points out this principal and God’s creation reinforces the principal
Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does He not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.
- We are all designed to share in what is accomplished in the work we do
- Sin alienates people from the fruit of their labor (slavery / Industrialization)
- In a life connected to God we reconnect with the results of our work
11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
- Some ‘Goer’ was part of YOU believing in a Biblical relationship with Christ
- Those who do such ‘spiritual sowing’ should at least be provided for materially
- Paul is voicing the principal that He and others will do the work no matter what
- Support from the Body is a right all Gospel workers have, but don’t demand
- We, the Body of Christ, should demand the provision of Gospel workers!
13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
- The pattern was put forth in the Old Testament Temple system
- The means to provide for them came from the thing that served (Temple)
- Now ‘The Temple’ is US, The Body of Christ, His Spirit making us a temple
- Those who dedicate their life to Biblically serving God are to be provided for
- So now ‘The Church’ materially, spiritually and relationally is to Send & Support
Partnership Is Discipleship: Philippians 1:3-6 & 9-11 (NASB)
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
- Paul positively reinforces a Biblical orientation regarding Gospel partnerships
- The Philippians have intentionally and consistently partnered to spread Christ
- This partnering is God’s work growing in the Philippians church [their maturity]
- Once this kind of growth as disciples begins it continues until completeness
- Gospel Partnership = Biblical Discipleship
Context: V 7 & 8: How much Paul personally loves the Philippians
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
- Interacting with those who propagate Christ’s Gospel grows us as disciples
- The exposure to sold out followers of Christ shows us what really matters
- Partnering for the Gospel grows us in the results of our salvation
- Gospel partnering grows our dependence on Christ, bringing max glory to God
The Reward of Supporting: Philippians 4:15-17 (Mounce)
15 And you Philippians know that in the beginning of my gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church joined with me in giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent something more than once for my need. 17 Not that I seek the gift; rather, I seek the interest that accrues to your account.
- Paul sites a specific instance of the Philippine church partnering with him
- He wants to encourage them (and us) to keep them partnering for the Gospel
- The gain we get from partnering in spreading Christ is more eternal impact
Jesus @ Matthew 6:19-21
It is essential for Jesus Christ’s Body to partner with others to spread the Biblical Gospel. We have a mandate to send and support those who are reaching people that we cannot.
There is a Biblical commission for the Body of Christ to financially support workers called to vocational ministry, locally and overseas. (Acts 1:8)
Through direct participation in Gospel Partnerships, members of Christ’s Body grow to maturity as disciples of Jesus and glorify the Triune God. Gospel Partnership = Biblical Discipleship.
Actively blessing Gospel missionaries and missions outside our local church is a way to ‘store up treasure in heaven’, accruing eternal rewards. The Body doing what matters.
In regards to sharing the Biblical Gospel, are you going, are you sending or both? If not, how can you change that?
What are some specific ways YOU can bless those who have sacrificed to serve the Gospel?
Do you see the support of Gospel Ministries outside this church as an essential part of your growth as a biblical follower of Christ?
What really matters in this life? What are you doing to store up treasure in heaven? What might do additionally?