Looking at the Big PictureWhy is Knowing the Big Picture Important for Us?Knowing the Big Picture helps us to answer the question, “What does God say life is all about?”It also Helps Us to Answer Some of Life’s Big Questions 1. Why did God create me? 2. What is the purpose of life? 3. What is God’s will for me? 4. How do I decide what is important in life?Not knowing the Big Picture can leave us confused and disoriented a lot of times due to thebusyness of life, the information overload we experience, and the crazy chaotic world we live in.The Big Picture helps us to see what is truly important so that we can make the wisest and bestchoices in all areas of our lives.Some Dangers to ConsiderBut before we look at the big picture there are some dangers you need to be aware of that can keepyou from focusing your life as God wants you to.Frog in the Boiling Pot SyndromeFrog thrown into a boiling pot will try to get out but if they are put in a pot with cold water and have thetemperature slowly increased they will not notice and will boil to death.There are influences that have the same affect on us spiritually from the times and cultures we live in.Dangerous Influences 1. Materialism 2. Individualism 3. Relativism 4. Pragmatism 5. ConsumerismThese influences result in making us very worldly and self-centered in orientation and thinking.Being focused in this way results in us only being interested in is our story and wanting God tobecome part of our story and make it better. But that is not what God intended!Romans 11:36For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to himforever! Amen.Instead of being created to have our own story God created us for Himself and to be a part of Hisstory but we turned away from Him to be our own gods and that is how everything got so messed up.As we see it’s not about us, it’s about Jesus! Even Jesus said this!
John 5:39 (NLT)“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point tome!Luke 24:25-27 (NLT)Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrotein the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these thingsbefore entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets,explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.How we come to know Jesus The Bible The Gospel JesusHebrews 1:2-3 (NIV)but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, andthrough whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of Gods glory and the exactrepresentation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…Matthew 25:31-33, 46 (NLT)“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon hisglorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as ashepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goatsat his left… “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Philippians 2:9-11Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, thatat the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of thoseunder the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of Godthe Father.It’s About Jesus!!! The Big Picture Trinity Symbol 1. Jesus created the universe 2. Jesus sustains all things Jesus 3. Jesus will inherit all things 4. Jesus will judge everyone 5. Jesus will be King over all Gospel Church MissionRemember this! Whenever you see Jesus know that the Father and the Holy Spirit areinvolved as well. They are the Trinity and are always in unity and harmony.The Trinity and the Gospel 1. The Father established the eternal plan of salvation and sent His Son. 2. Jesus fulfilled the plan and accomplished redemption for man. 3. The Spirit applies the benefits of Christ’s atonement to believers. 2
Importance of the GospelLuke 4:43 (NLT)But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, becausethat is why I was sent.”Romans 1:16 (NIV)I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone whobelieves…Definition of the GospelThe gospel is the good news of what God has done through His Son Jesus Christ to restore His reignand rule over all creation and bring reconciliation to all those who repent and place their trust inJesus.Aspects of the Gospel 1. Understanding/Believing the gospel 2. Living the gospel 3. Proclaiming the gospel 4. Defending the gospelUnderstanding the Gospel 1. Growing in knowledge and understanding of the gospel. 2. Able to write out the gospel. 3. Able to clearly explain the gospel to others.You never leave the gospel to go onto other things. You only go deeper into it.Living the Gospel 1. Preach the gospel to yourself daily. 2. Live based on the truths of who you are in Christ. 3. Live a cruciform life. 4. Live a life of repentance and faith.Proclaiming the Gospel 1. Holy Spirit – need for prayer 2. Gospel – know it well 3. Testimony – your story & lifeDefending the Gospel (Questions you should be able to answer) 1. Why believe in God? 2. Why believe that the Bible is the Word of God? 3. Why does God allow evil and suffering? 4. Why does God send people to hell?Importance of the ChurchEphesians 3:10-11 (NLT)God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all theunseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried outthrough Christ Jesus our Lord. 3
1 Corinthians 12:7, 27 (NLT)7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other… 27 All of you together are Christ’sbody, and each of you is a part of it.The Church 1. Bride of Christ 2. Body of Christ 3. Family of GodGod as Trinity is our guide for our relationships with one another in the church.The Church is a community of people who belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ.The church is a community of imperfect people clinging to a perfect Christ who are being perfected bygrace. -- Jonathan DodsonThe Church is God’s people saved by God’s power for God’s purposes. -- Soma CommunitiesThe church is a light, a city on a hill before a watching world. It is like a model home in a newsubdivision. The church shows what it looks like to live in the Kingdom of God. Mission Goal PurposeBringing glory to Jesus and the Father Expanding the Kingdom of God Making disciples of all nationsThe MissionMatthew 28:18-20 (NLT)Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore,go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son andthe Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure ofthis: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Mark 16:15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.Acts 1:8 (see Luke 24:48-49)But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses,telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends ofthe earth.”John 20:21Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”Summary of our MissionLike Jesus we are to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit and proclaim the gospel and makedisciples of all those who respond to the gospel. 4
The GoalMatthew 6:10, 33 (NIV)10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven… 33 But seek first his kingdomand his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Ephesians 1:20-22 (NIV)…which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand inthe heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can begiven, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under hisfeet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,Summary of Our GoalOur goal is to bring the reign and rule of God over all aspects of His creation.The PurposeEphesians 3:21Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.2 Corinthians 4:15... as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God willreceive more and more glory.Summary of our PurposeThe ultimate purpose of all we do is to bring God glory. When God is glorified people worship Him.John Piper“The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of his manifold perfections.”The Westminster Confession“Chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”God’s Will for UsMission – sharing the gospel in order to make disciples of Jesus who love God and people.Goal – to expand the kingdom of God by bringing the love of God to the world.Purpose – to bring glory to Jesus and the Father so they may be worshiped. The Big Picture Jesus Gospel Church MissionConcluding ThoughtsTake a hold of the gospel so Jesus can take a hold of you.Don’t just go to church, be the church.You are called by Jesus to join Him in His mission to rescue the world. 5
Review Questions 1. Can you draw out the diagram of the Big Picture and explain the connections between those things in the diagram without looking at it? 2. Why should your life be focused on Jesus instead of yourself? 3. Can you explain what the Gospel, the Church and the Mission are? 4. What were the main things that stood out for you in this teaching of the Big Picture and why? 5. If time, go through the handout together and share your observations and thoughts on each part of it.To Learn More 1. Memorize the following Bible verses over the next month (one per week): a. 2 Corinthians 5:15 b. Galatians 2:20 c. Romans 12:1-2 d. Philippians 2:1-4 2. Write out some specific examples of how knowing the Big Picture can help you make good choices in important areas of your life. 3. Be able to explain what the gospel is to someone else. 4. Review these notes over the next month and write down what God is teaching you. 5. Discuss items 1-4 with someone or in a small group. 6