This Sunday Pastor Miles gave us an update on the np3 project. Escrow is expected to close in July, and we still need about $8 million to reach our goal. A single donor has pledged $7.2 million of this amount, and Pastor Miles asked that we keep this donor in prayer. The rest of the money will come from individual donors. He asked those who were not at the Rock when the campaign began to prayerfully consider joining the project by contributing to the np3 fund.
Today Pastor Miles gave us a master quiz on what we have learned so far this year. Since January 1, we have been studying Matthew over three series: Lord of the Things, Salvation ARMY, and Who Is Jesus Really? The quiz began with a review of the mission and vision of the Rock Church.
Our Mission and Vision
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. The Rock Church exists "to save, equip, and send out soul-winners for Jesus Christ."
The vision, or preferred future, of the Rock Church is "to be a powerful evangelistic force that engages every segment of society as a motivated army of believers in Jesus Christ. We are wholeheartedly committed to using our gifts anywhere, at any time, to share the Gospel, while influencing and transforming our culture. This 'force' will evangelize San Diego and empower other churches to use this ministry model around the world."
The Lord of the Things
In this series, we learned what the Bible teaches about managing the gifts and resources God has blessed us with. God has given us our minds, bodies, relationships, time, and finances, and He expects us to be good stewards of these things.
In the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25, the servant who invests his money wisely is given more, and the servant who does not invest his money at all is thrown out into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:30 God places high value on the gifts He gives us, and He expects high profit in the form of spiritual fruit in our lives.
In this series we also learned the meaning of true lordship: complete submission to Jesus as owner and controller of our lives. To submit in this way, we must let go and give control to the Lord. And this cannot be a halfhearted effort. Partial disobedience is the same as complete disobedience.
One way to practice complete submission to the Lord is through fasting. We fast to secure access to supernatural resources. Matthew 6:33 says, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
As stated in the mission of the Rock, we want to engage society as a motivated army of believers in Jesus Christ. The first step is to be involved in an accountability group. Jesus calls us to be part of the body of Christ, not to try to follow Him on our own. We need fellow believers to help us resist temptation and stand up to the pressures of the world.
Second, we need to be committed to reaching out to the lost. In Matthew 9:13, Jesus said, For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Third, we need to get involved in ministry and service. During the ministry fair in March, over 2,000 people signed up for various Rock ministries. Pastor Miles encouraged those people to follow through if they haven't already. The Parking Ministry needs thirty more volunteers!
Fourth, to be part of the army of believers, we must trust God with our finances. Our biblical financial commitment, or tithe, is 10%, and an offering is anything above that.
Who Is Jesus Really?
Our understanding of the Bible is a big part of our understanding of Jesus. The Bible is an ancient document, meaning it was written before the invention of the printing press in the mid-1400s. The test of reliability of an ancient document is if there are seven copies within 1,000 years of the original. The Bible has more manuscript evidence than all the other ancient documents combined.
We also look to Jesus himself to understand his identity. Jesus appeared before man in the Old Testament as the "Angel of the Lord." When He appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He expressed His Divine name "I AM" or Yahweh. Jesus also claims His own Deity in the New Testament by displaying supernatural power, by showing His authority over Old Testament Law in the Sermon on the Mount, and by exercising God's authority by forgiving sin.
Jesus is one member of the Trinity, or three-member team we call God. The Father establishes the plan of salvation, like the contractor of a building plan. Jesus, the Son, executes the plan's contract in blood, like the designer of the building plan. The Holy Spirit implements the plan, like the workers who come in to do the work on the building.
Another way to understand the identity of Jesus is by the actions of His critics. Jesus' critics and enemies helped validate His claims by accusing Him of blasphemy. It is clear that they knew He was claiming to be God. They also confirmed His claims to rise from the dead by guarding His tomb.
What Have You Learned?
Reviewing helps us to remember what we have learned, and remembering God's truth will help us to be obedient.
Take time to review the quiz Pastor Miles gave us. Be ready to engage society with your knowledge of God's Word!