Engaging in Countercultural Mission
Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
- Definition… Engaging in a countercultural mission means living as a faithful presence by trusting God’s power and living differently from cultural norms.
We are talking about a way of life that runs against the grain of the world.
- God is powerful, active, and intentional and he wants his followers to play a part in redeeming the world to himself.
- The God of the universe wants us to be a part of his mission.
1. Paul goes after the idea that a true God could be a lying God.
- Titus 1:1-4
- God cannot and will not lie because his essential nature is of an unlying God.
2. Paul challenges the Cretan “man become god” theology by showing how Jesus was with God from the beginning but became man for our sake.
- If God is the Father and Jesus the Son and both are the same God and savior of the Cretans, then Jesus is God.
The Problem… The people on Crete were such a lying, self-indulgent, sexually promiscuous bunch that Crete became proverbial for immortality in the ancient world.
- Being a follower of Jesus means progressively (one step at a time) transforming into his image, not the image of the deity of the day.
- Why would people reject Zeus in favor of Jesus if there were no compelling evidence of transformation in the lives of Jesus followers?
They (and we) were to live in a way that made Jesus compelling to the watching world.
Opposite… The followers of Jesus were to be the ideal citizens – peaceable, just, generous, and obedient to authorities.
How? It is impossible if it were not for the appearance of the grace and loving-kindness of God in the person and work of Jesus.
- Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:4-7
Through the saving work of Jesus and the empowerment of the Spirit, people really can change.
The gospel is powerful enough to transform someone into a new creation who then becomes an agent of change within culture.