Theological Foundations

I. The Motive: 2 Cor. 5:11-15

  1. The Fear of the Lord--v. 11. Why?--v. 10; Prov. 1:7; Ps. 34:9; 36:1; 130:3-4
  2. The Love of Christ--v. 14


II. The Message: 2 Cor. 5:14b-21

  1. Christ died for all—vv. 14-15


  2. Christ arose—v. 15c


  3. Christ is the One we live for, not ourselves—v. 15b


  4. Christians see people in a different way than the world—v. 16a
They are made in His image—Gen. 1:27; 9:6; James 3:9
They are valuable—Matt. 6:26; 10:30-31; 12:12; John 3:16
They are eternal—Matt. 25:41,46
  1. Christians are in Christ—v. 17a

We are new creations: v. 17—"The old is gone and the new has come"
We are reconciled to God—v. 18a
We have our sins forgiven and forgotten—v. 19a

  1. Christ, who had no sin, was made sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God—v. 21


  2. Christians are risen with Christ and seated with Him—Eph. 2:4-10

  4. Christians are called to fulfill God's purposes in their lives—Acts 2:41-47. Those purposes are: Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Service and Evangelism.


III. The Ministry: 2 Cor. 5:18-20

  1. We have the ministry of reconciliation—vv. 18b,19b.


  2. We are Christ's ambassadors—v. 20.
    1. His appeal is through us
    2. We implore on Christ's behalf—v. 20b

  3. We are equipped to do the ministry--Eph. 4:11. Equipping at its heart means that we are repaired and prepared for service.




IV. The Method: the enablement

How will our ministry be effective?

  1. Filling of the Spirit—Eph. 5:18-20


  2. Service—Matt. 20:24-28; Eph. 4:1-2,12b


  3. Gifts/Equipping—Eph. 4:7,11-12a; 1 Cor. 12-14; Rom. 12:6-8


  4. Discipleship—Matt. 28:18-20

    1. The Power—v. 18

    2. The Principle activity commanded: make disciples—v. 19. What does that mean?

    Evangelism: going (i.e., initiative is needed)
    Establishment: baptizing (i.e., initiation is mandatory)
    Equipping: teaching to observe—v. 20a (e.g., instruction)

    3. The Promised presence—v. 20b.

  5. Follow the pattern of Christ and the apostles—Matt. 4:18-22; Mk. 1:14-20; Lk. 4:18-19; Eph. 2:19-22; Acts 1-6; 2 Tim. 2:2.

  6. Large group/small groups ministry—Acts 2:46; 12:12; 20:20


V. The Measure: Eph. 4:12b-16
How do we know if we have succeeded?

  1. We will all grow and build up the Body—v. 12. What is the goal of this growth?
    Unity—v. 13a; Eph. 4:1-3
    Maturity—v. 13b
    Conformity—v. 13c (i.e., like Christ)
    Stability—v. 14 (not gullibility)


  2. We will speak the truth in love—v. 15a


  3. We will grow up into Christ and from Christ—vv. 15b,16


  4. We will each do our part in the Body—vv. 7,16b; 2:10


  5. We will grow in witness and impact on this world—Acts 2:47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 6:8; 8:1,12; 9:31; 11:19-24; 12:24, etc.


  6. We will become all things to all men so that by all possible means we might save some—1 Corinthians 9:22


  7. We will go into strict training so we can run the race marked out for us, not running aimlessly, but in a way so as to get the prize that will last forever—1 Corinthains 9:24-26; Hebrew 12:1-3.


  8. We will fulfill God's purposes collectively and individually in our lives. As a church community, we will operate as a team(s) and we will translate the five purposes for our lives into a strategy that will help us to implement those purposes.


VI. The Means—the key Scriptures on growth

1 Corinthians 3:5-17

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.

It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
(See I Cor. 8:1; 14:12.)

Matthew 16:18

And I tell you that you are Peter, [Peter means rock.] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades [Or hell] will not overcome it.

Ephesians 2:19-22

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 4:15

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (See Eph 4:11-16.) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.


But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 13:10

This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down. (See also Col. 2:18; Acts 16:5; 20:32; 2 Cor. 10:15b-17; 2 Pet. 3:18.)