Because You Asked
Characteristics of a GO Gospel People
An “Acts of the Apostles” approach at being a Christ–witnessing people in a Christ-rejecting world (*some ideas derived from “Thirty Years That Changed the World,” Michael Green)
Our 1st C. – like, Christ-rejecting world …
1 Religious people trusting in self-righteousness
2 Increasingly hostile state (worship of human rights for the “good” of the state)
3 Proliferation of false teachers (1 Tim. 1:3-7)
5 Marks of Christ-witnessing people
1. If God is to use us, we have to get right and stay right with God (Acts 1:4, 5, 8; 2:1).
The mission requires the full empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and empowerment happens to the obedient.
God won’t risk the mission on self-dependents and quits speaking to people who habitually disobey.
Often obedience (sensitivity to the voice of God) gets crowded out by organization; structure and administration can replace connection with Christ – organization starts to dictate to the organism. (Charles Price)
2. Constantly in Prayer
Acts 1:14, 24; 2:42; 3:1; 4:24, 31; 6:4, 6; 7:59; 8:15; 9:11, 40; 10:2, 4, 9, 30, 31; 11:5; 12:5, 12; 13:3; 14:23; 16:13, 16, 25; 20:36; 21:5; 22:17; 26:29; 28:8!
What Christ has done and what Christ will do is in his Word; what Christ is doing in the moment requires a present connection through communication and to follow requires a present conversation.
It was mostly when people were praying that the Holy Spirit spoke (Acts 10:4, 9; 13:2-3).
3. Unity (Acts 1:14; 2:44)
“God cannot bless disunity, and he will not. For then the church would be proclaiming a lie; maintaining the reconciliation Christ came to bring all who trust him, yet manifesting nothing but division.” (Michael Green)
God hates sowers of discord, those who cause divisions and put obstacles in the way (Prov. 6:19; Rom. 16:17)… because they demonstrate a disdain for the Lord’s blessing in favour of their own wicked agenda.
What about disagreements?
God is so dominant over his purposes that he can use our fallen-ness to further his divine strategy (Acts 15:36-40; Gen 50:20)
4. “Get the centre of the fire hot, and people will be warmed on its outskirts, and drawn in.” (Green)
The best outreach program is first a spiritually healthy “in-reach” makeover you simply can’t export what you haven’t imported (Acts 2:1, 42-47; 4:32-37).
Make disciples then send disciples – invest in people; then “assist” them on mission (Rom. 15:24).
If you warm the “fringe” with your fire, they will fight to keep your fire from going away (Acts 19:31f).
5. People on mission with Jesus learn to hold their plans loosely (Acts 16:6-10; Rom. 15:20f).
The guidance of God often arrives when you want to do something he doesn’t want you to do (Acts 16:6-10); Is. 30:21).
Paul’s plans to go to Spain fell through – he went to heaven before he went to Spain (Rom. 15:20-25, 28-29; Acts 28:17f; Phil. 1:13).
Christ is looking to entrust his mission to those who take his Great Commission in the context of his Great Commandment seriously.