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All Sermons

Our Ministry of Reconciliation

Series: 21st Century Cultural Battleground

Our Ministry of Reconciliation

How can we respond to our changing culture? Of what do we need to remind ourselves? We are on a mission of sharing solutions. People need to know faith is the best alternative to the humanistic worldview. In an ever-changing world we must learn how to demonstrate the great beauty of faith. In Romans 12.1-2, Paul pleads with his readers to avoid the pressure to conform to the world and its culture. The challenge is … how does the church actually do this?

What is Culture?

  1. What do you mean when you use the word?
  2. Bruce Ashford, Cultural Engagement for Christians defines “culture” as something, broadly speaking, encompasses the totality of life in this world.

Two Perspectives on Culture

  1. Christianity Against Culture.
    1. Some look at the church like a bomb shelter, i.e., withdraw from culture.
      1. John 17.14-16 - this view fulfills only half of what Jesus teaches.
    2. Some see only militant Christianity. Everything is about spiritual warfare.
      1. We are at war … Ephesians 6.11 - put on the whole armor of God.
      2. 2 Corinthians 10.4-5 - cast down any philosophy that is against God.
      3. But this is not the totality of our spiritual life. The lost are also drowning persons in need of a lifeboat.
  2. Christianity in and for the culture.
    1. This is the essence of John 17.14-16 - in the world but not of the world.
    2. We don’t withdraw self from culture … We engage with the culture where we can… by point the way to healing. We show people how to redirect their lives. We bring solutions … not condemnation and judgment.
    3. Matthew 5.13-16 - we’re salt … and we’re light … to bring glory to God.

The Church’s Mandate for Responding to Culture

  1. 2 Corinthians 5.17-21
    1. 5.17 - if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. 
    2. 5.18-19 - three things:
      1. God wants to reconcile sinners to himself through Christ.
      2. When we were reconciled to God, he gave us a ministry of reconciliation.
      3. That purpose involves a message.
    3. 5.20 - we are ambassadors for Christ. God makes His appeal through us
    4. 5.21 - Why? So that we might become the righteousness of God.
  2. 5.20 - ambassadors for Christ.
    1. We preach reconciliation as an ambassador living inside an alien culture.
    2. Our job is not to change the culture. We represent the one who sent us.
      1. We must not get sidetracked by moral, political, and cultural battles.
      2. We can get hostile with the very people we are trying to reach…

Conclusion

  1. We offer solutions. We don’t build walls. We offer open arms - we don’t make enemies. We live in and for the culture.
  2. 2 Corinthians 5.20b-21 .. do you need Jesus?
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