There is one prevailing truth which the Bible keeps reminding Christians about, that is our eternal fellowship with God. This is not just our destiny, but it is also our longing. We were created with a sense of eternity in our hearts, which can only be realized in actuality when we behold God on the last day and enter into eternal fellowship with God. In this passage, the Apostle Paul explains why and how we need to keep groaning for our eternal home, which is God Himself.
Jesus Christ commissioned His Apostles to go around the world to preach the gospel and make disciples. It is not just for the Apostles to do this job (obviously because they’re not here), but every Christian is called to witness for Christ and be a disciple maker in some capacity. In this passage, we learn what kind of attitude and motives we are all called to have, in order to stand for Christ and serve His people.
Any church community’s institutional stability and solid spiritual growth is always dependent on its mature and effective leadership committee. If there are no godly Christian men who are equipped to handle the Word of God and the saints, the church would collapse immediately. In this passage, Paul describes what it means to be a Godly Christian leader called by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to suffer for His name sake.
Elisabeth Elliot on suffering once said ― “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.” This needs to be the response of every Christian in times of suffering, because hardships are inevitable in this life. In this passage, we learn how suffering should enable us to trust in God, an expression of our humility and dependency on Him alone.
We all know that as human beings, we are finite (limited in terms of time, space and power). We’re even limited in terms of knowledge and understanding. Added to that is our moral corruption. For example, we lie and are often fickle-minded, not keeping our word. But the God of the Bible is not like us. In essence, He is infinite (in terms of His presence, power and knowledge), He is unchangeable and He is eternal (not limited by time). In this sermon, we learn how these glorious truths, the attributes of God help us in our Christian life, especially in times of trouble and uncertainty.
As Christians we often misunderstand mission as going only to foreign lands, but overlook the immediate context where the Lord has put us. We change careers, places and take major decisions either because of external pressure or because of our internal desires. We’re prone to make too many changes without really understanding God’s will for our lives. In this passage we learn how God calls us to be faithful in our calling wherever he has placed us.
Jesus commanded his people to make disciples of all nations. The prerequisite for making disciples is sharing and preaching the gospel wherever they are, that’s the starting point. God doesn’t require His followers to have great eloquence in their speech, they just need to share the gospel – that Christ died as substitute for sinners on the cross and therefore offered the forgiveness for their sins. This is a simple message of hope we’re asked to share and allow God the Holy Spirit to work wonders, because the gospel is the power of God. In this message, we learn how the gospel proclamation is a community project and not one man’s show from the pulpit. Sharing the gospel unashamedly is the only way to see the nations and cultures redeemed for a life of hope.