Missionary: one who is filled with the Holy Spirit that reaches others to be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
There are things that all missionaries have in common.
- Most of them started out with a structured spiritual discipline. They found out that the work could only be accomplished by being completely consecrated to God and directed by the Holy Spirit. The work wasn’t about being like someone else, and it wasn’t necessarily anyone that was an ordained minister. It is really God who chooses a missionary. None of us chose what family we were born into. It was God’s choice for us.
- They all had their own need to be broken of themselves – their own ideas, habits, and way they operated. Without being broken, we will only reach ones that are like us. After a while we will only be reaching ourselves and just trying to stay saved.
- They all found they had to reach souls according to the individual’s needs. There’s a lot of trouble understanding the gospel so it can be applied in the context of the particular environment of the person we’re trying to reach. The Bible was written when there were real kings and many were servants. Today kings and servants/slaves are concepts to us in America. They don’t legally exist in our society. Today we look at consecration like a blank contract that we sign, saying we agree to whatever the Lord writes after we sign it. It’s a concept we understand in our time period. It is one example of how the gospel has been translated into concepts for us to understand. A missionary has to do the same for other.
- Most missionaries were driven away from ones who rejected or resisted them and then went to other places. Paul was often turned away from the Jews that wouldn’t receive the gospel, so he turned to the Gentiles.
- They all struggled to understand how to apply the principles of the gospel. The apostles didn’t understand the meat Jesus spoke about or the field that was ready to harvest.
John 4:32-38 But he said…I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith…My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?…Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
In the 1700’s there was a holiness revival in England. There was a struggle of understanding how to apply what they learned in their difficulties. Some people seem to resist but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be consecrated. It took listening and patience to help them apply what they learned.
There are basically two types of people that get saved: 1) ones that have already heard some of the gospel; 2) others who have not heard the gospel. Paul didn’t have the New Testament but only the Old Testament. When he went to the Gentiles, they didn’t know any specifics of the Law of Moses or the prophets. Paul had to bring the principles that pointed to Jesus. He said they were ministers of the New Testament which wasn’t of the letter. The letter of the law was killing, not giving life. The apostles were conveying the principles of the gospel of Christ.
II Corinthians 3:6-9 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
Principle: fundamental or basic truth that provides the foundation of a belief system or basic chain of reasoning; the basic principles of Christianity.
Christianity is more than text and doctrines. It applies to every person when it is brought as the principle of basic truth. The Holy Spirit needs to direct, not what others have done before. The apostles went out and tried to do a work. They found they needed the Holy Spirit to do the work. Missionaries have a purpose to reach souls – it is the first importance of their life. They have to be broken of their own ideas, teachings, or running a program. There has to be a desire to reach souls. The Holy Ghost anoints us to be witnesses to the lost. We can’t have a formula to see souls saved. We move on from the principles to being directed by the Holy Ghost to reach souls.
Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
The specifics of the way things work for salvation is different from one person to another. You can’t have an emphasis on steps because God works personally with each soul according to their understanding and needs.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Richard Lehman)