Cornerstone Community Church

Christ Formed in You

Intro: Talking w/search committees.  What is ministry?  What is Jesus up to among us?

Big Idea:  Jesus sets us free to form Himself in us.  Christ’s work for us => in us => thru us

I. Jesus makes God known in the gospel (vv. 8-9).

-         Jesus works thru pastors & church leaders to accomplish His purposes.

-         Ignorant of God => know God  Jesus worked thru Paul to bring them to faith.

-         Ignorant of God, they worshipped false gods.  But now they know the one, true God.

-         They just don’t know about, but know Him- the essence of eternal life (John 17).

-         Ministry is not an information dump, but helping people to know God & love God.

-         False ministry keeps people from knowing God- keeping them from grace & love.

-         Rather are known by God”- know God because known by Him (Rom. 8).  Ill. RC, SF

-         God then revealed Himself to them thru Jesus, the gospel & the Scriptures.

-         The gospel reveals His mercy, love, compassion, righteousness, justice, faithfulness…

3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  John 17 (NIV)

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  Romans 8 (NIV)





Transition:  Ministry is Jesus’ means to make Himself known to people.

II. Jesus sets us free thru the gospel (vv. 10-11).

-         They were enslaved to the false gods they worshipped.  Ill. Zeus & Hermes, Acts 14

-         Ministry turns Slaves => Sons: freeing people from bondage into freedom.

-         Some false gods enslave us to sin (addictions).  Some to laws & methods.

-         The false teachers were leading them back into slavery to fundamental principles.

-         Paul describes them as weak/feeble/miserable and poor/dependent.  Can’t free us!

-         False ministers seek their own ends (Gal. 6)- pride, $.  Ill. TV, BostonCC

13 Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.   Galatians 6 (NIV)

Transition:  Ministry is Jesus’ means to free us from sin to enjoy freedom & responsibility.

III. Jesus makes us like Him thru the gospel (vs. 12, 19).

-         Paul reveals the final goal toward which ministry moves: forming Christ in you!

-         Jesus is not content to save you & dwell in you.  He wants you to be like Him (Rom. 8).

-         Become like me, for I became like you”- Paul earlier revealed the means used.

-         Accommodation => modeling => ministry

-         Paul became like them (1 Cor. 9).  He spoke, dressed & acted like the Galatians.

-         Now they were to be like him in becoming like Christ (1 Cor. 11) resulting in ministry.

-         False ministry tries to change you thru the law: follow these steps, do this!  No gospel!

-         False ministry tries to make you in the minister’s image- not Jesus’!

-         Change happens as we know God & His Spirit works in us to believe the gospel (Col. 1).

-         I become ___________ because God is _____________.  Ill. Fruit of the Spirit

I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  1 Corinthians 9:22 (NIV)

1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11 (NIV)

28We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  Colossians 1 (NIV)

“If ministers wish to do any good, let them labor to form Christ, not to form themselves, in their hearers.”  John Calvin

“He is not satisfied that Christ dwells in them; he longs to see Christ formed in them, to see them transformed into the image of Christ, …”  John Stott

It is that, in seeking to win other people to Christ, our end is to make them like us, while the means to that end is to make ourselves like them.”  John Stott





Transition: Ministry is one of Jesus’ means to make us like Him.  But it isn’t easy.

IV. Jesus perseveres thru the miseries of ministry (vv. 11-20).

-         Ministry is difficult because people lose sight of the gospel.  And resist it.  Ill. ER

-         Taken in by false teachers who appeal to our flesh.  Importance of gospel-centeredness.

-         I fear for you … I plead to you”.  Stand between them & the idol they think will satisfy.

-         Shift: hospitality => hostility.  People turn on you when realize you can’t satisfy them.

-         pains of childbirth  Paul agonized over them, not giving up.  Ill. No epidural

-         Paul was “perplexed”- no easy answers.  Dealing w/people!

Conclusion:  We make idols of ministers & church leaders, thinking they will resolve all our concerns.  But they are Jesus’ agents of change in our lives so we will know God, experience the freedom & responsibility of sons & become like Jesus.  Ministry does not stop until Jesus is formed in you, no matter how difficult that process is.  Will we submit to that process?

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