The Ministry of Christ and Our Ministry.
The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the women: “But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matt 28:5-6
God the Father raised Jesus and made Him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:23-25
1. Jesus’ first recorded sermon.
“And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
Context: “Luke’s audience doesn’t divide the world into sacred vs. secular or religious vs. political. For them, life is integrated. And for them, these “religious” words from Isaiah have a powerful and “political” meaning: because they see themselves as oppressed by the Roman occupation, Jesus’ words suggest that His “good news” describes a powerful change about to come—a change that will rescue the people from their oppression. His fellow Jews have long been waiting for a savior to free them from Roman oppression. Jesus tells them their hopes are about to be fulfilled. But then, just as people speak well of Jesus, He lets them know their expectations aren’t in line with God’s plans. He tells them not to expect God to fit into their boxes and suggests the unthinkable: that God cares for the Gentiles, the very people who are oppressing them! They aren’t too pleased by this.” The Voice
a) Preach Good News Gospel to the poor. Poor: material, moral, spiritual (don’t know God’s purpose). God has a purpose for your life.
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37
b) Comfort the brokenhearted. Everybody has a hidden wound. Life is often out of our hands.
c) Proclaim freedom for those in prison. “I feel trapped. I am imprisoned by fear.” Practice the presence of Christ. God is with me. The more you learn of God (and His Love), the less fear you have of life. 1 John 4:17-19
d) Recovery of sight to the blind. “I am fearful of tomorrow.”
for the oppressed. “Speak up for
those who have no voice for themselves.”
2. God says “I will bless you when you bless others.”
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to
'” Matt 25:3 4-40 Me.
3. God’s commission to Paul.
“I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open the their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10
Good works are the result, not the cause, of salvation. God's Spirit, working through a transformed heart, produces a good life.