If you were away from us at The Journey Church this past weekend here is what you missed:
As we enter our fourth week of our MY Year series we will be preaching over the 12 spiritual formation markers that we want our church to abide by. The fourth spiritual formation we talked about this past weekend was:
A contagious passion for people and the gospel, both locally and globally
Truth and tears
In order for the Church to play her role in pointing souls to the Gospel of Christ, she must balance the task of telling the truth with boldness and weeping over the sins in the world. We see this balance in Jesus Christ as He flips over the tables at the temple in Matthew 21:12 and then in John 8:6-11 as He forgives the adulterous woman instead of condemning her. In the same chapter of John 8 we see Jesus blatantly telling the religions leaders that their father is Satan and that Jesus is one with the Father but in Luke 19:41 Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem.
Why this matters
As a christian, there should be two things that bring the most joy and that is when you grow closer in your faith and when you play a role in others growing closer in their faith. As we play a role in pointing others to Christ we must balance the task of boldness and gentleness. Dealing with years of pride, lust, hatred, and immorality, the sinful heart needs bold truth to be spoken into so it can pierce the strongholds of the enemy. But dealing with broken, insecure, lost, people who are having identity crises needs gentleness to be transparent and non judgmental where hearts can be more receptive to biblical transformation.
Paul in Athens
In Acts 17 Paul arrives in the great city of Athens and in verse 16 it say’s, “his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.” When Paul saw these idols he did not go and condemn the people to hell but scriptures says, “he reasoned with them” Acts 17:17. He did this so well that he captured the attention of the philosophers there and after some intense dialogue and a sermon, Paul gently showed the idolaters that God is not far from any of them but boldly preached the judgement and resurrection of Christ. (Acts 17:22-31)
Either obnoxious or a coward
This balance is so vital if we desire to point others to Christ. If we lean on being strictly bold and cling hard to truth then we will be obnoxious bible thumpers that will chase people away. People will rarely be receptive of the message we are trying to proclaim and instead become callous of what the Bible has to say about their sin. But if we are strictly gentle and timid then we will be cowards and never point hearts to the life giving word of God. We cannot be either all truth and no compassion or all compassion and no truth but we must find a beautiful balance of the two in order to experience the joy of being used to point others to Christ.
The balance is found at the cross
When you look at the cross you will see these two beautifully balanced. There is righteous anger, judgement, and justice along with mercy, compassion, and gentleness. Christ received all of the judgment, anger, and justice and we received all of the compassion, mercy, and gentleness. As we look to Jesus, the cross, and our lives we see this beautiful balance that we must strive to find in our approach to be those who have a contagious passion for people and the Gospel, both locally and globally.