By Michael J. Breznau (audio sermon player below)
More often than not, we are driven by a mentality that celebrates self-reliance. Learning how to maximize our human potential is the name of the game. We believe if we work hard enough and make the right kind of friends – we can have it all. The world is the oyster of the one who learns to take advantage of every opportunity, so many people say.
Achievements are gained by taking “the bull by the horns” and getting it done. Success is won by taking control of the situation and demonstrating superior leadership and authority. Power is received by sheer inner-strength and the will to win, so motivational speakers claim, sing, and “preach,” all for a mere $3,000-$10,000+ dollars at your local business event. It’s all about your potential “achievement quotient.”
Self-reliance and human potential are the name of the game – in the world system – but also very often in the church, as well. We approach the mission of the church (going and making disciples of all the nations) with the same mentality: “get organized, strategized, capitalize, and get it done.” All the while we miss the message of the Cross, the essence of faith, and the centrality of Christ.
Yet in the end, we have bought a lie rooted in centuries-old human philosophies and business ideologies that strip the Church of it’s power and distort the message of the Gospel: We think we can do it ourselves. All the while, mankind’s innovations and ingenuities get praise and God is denied his rightful glory.
So, if it’s not us in our own strength, then what is God’s strategy for accomplishing His mission? What is God’s plan for His mission?
Just like us, the Corinthians were attempting to accomplish the mission of the Church through human-centered plans and schemes. Yet Paul had a different approach that rattled their cages and ultimately brings true glory to God. Please take a look with me beginning in Acts 1:8; 2:37-42 (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 28:19-20) where we are going to look at our problem (1. We are driven to be self-reliant), God’s solution to the problem, (2. Only through God’s power can His mission be accomplished), and the application for us today, (3. Be God-dependent, not Self-Reliant)…that way he gets the glory!
Central Idea: God’s redemptive mission (the missio dei) can only be accomplished through the power and equipment of the One who enlisted us on the mission.
Only through the power of God, the Holy Spirit, can the people of God accomplish the mission of God.
Listen to the full audio message entitled “Mission [Im] Possible” (Acts 1:8; 2:37-42; 1 Cor. 2:1-5; Matt. 28:19-20) by simply clicking on the play button below or by subscribing to our iTunes podcast. This message was originally delivered at Evangel Baptist Church on Sunday evening, June 22nd, 2012, during the report service for our local teen mission program called Neighborhood Gospel Outreach.