God's Mission

Last month we celebrated Christmas and Chanukah. These are joyous holidays that remind us how God is the One who initiates the acts of salvation among His people. At Chanukah, we celebrate the miracle of light, God’s deliverance of the people of Israel, and the temple’s re-dedication. And on Christmas, we celebrate the day when Jesus— the second person of the Trinity— took on flesh to live among and save His people...

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:12-14, ESV)

Throughout history, God sent wise leaders, prophets, and warriors to lead His people. Finally, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to dwell among us and reveal the Father to us. Notice the active work of God: our Lord does not wait for people to come to Him, but He goes to His people to bring light, to save them from the power of sin and death, and to give us His peace. Look at verse 13 on John 1: We are those who “were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”. Now take a moment to meditate on St. John’s inspired words.

What jumped out at you?

If you’re like me, the words “born” and “nor of the will of man, but of God” might have stood out. Now, I can ask my mom to confirm this, but I don’t think I gave birth to myself or chose my parents. And so, when John chooses this image, He is confessing a powerful reality...our faith is a gift from God. This gift is something God gives to us freely without waiting for us to search and look for Him.

In other words, God is the one who seeks and saves His people through Jesus Christ. That means that when we think about evangelism— the way God’s word goes out into the world (Matt 28:19-20; Romans 10:14-17) — our focus should be on how our outreach expresses Jesus as the one who “seeks and saves that which is lost,” (Lk 19:10) through the proclamation of His word. Evangelism can’t be limited to passive experiences like church signs outside the Church door. Some hold to a theology of evangelism that waits for people to enter the church. It assumes that people are born again by their own will and choose to follow Jesus on a spur-of-the-moment decision.

But, if we take Scripture at its word, then it is Jesus who goes out into the world to seek and save the lost and to give us a new birth— new life— in Him not through an act of our will but through an act of His will. So, what can one do to share this Gospel and let their evangelism express Jesus’ pursuing love? Please re-read Steve Cohen’s article in this newsletter and let’s join in the mission of proclaiming the Gospel to those who are lost and facing eternal damnation.

Join me in praying..."Heavenly Father, we give You thanks that Your Son, the eternal Word, has become flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. Extend His praise into all the world, that with us, many would come to hope in His steadfast love. In the Holy name of Yeshua. Amen!"

Jordan Peiser

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