Archive for March 2, 2011

Mar 2

Sermon Follow-up: “Malachi”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s message, Malachi, Ron Giese expounded the book of Malachi, which serves as a bridge between the Old and New Testaments. Malachi speaks about a messenger to come named Elijah, whom God says “will prepare the way before me” (3:1; 4:5). Speaking about John the Baptist, Jesus said, “if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:14). In fulfillment of God’s promise through the book of Malachi, John boldly and humbly announced Jesus’ coming: “he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry” … “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Matthew 2:11; John 1:29).

Though we are not the promised messenger of the book of Malachi, we are “ambassadors for Christ,” witnessing to His glory in our time (2 Corinthians 5:20). Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we announce the same good news that John carried to the hearers of his day, albeit on this side of the resurrection of Christ.

To help equip the body for faithful ambassadorship in the world, DSC offers an Ambassador Training series each year. Traditionally, DSC’s Ambassador Training has been offered as a single course. Starting this Spring, it is offered in three parts. The first session, which begins this Sunday, March 6, focuses on the ambassador’s character. The subsequent classes, offered this Summer and next Fall, will focus on the ambassador’s knowledge and  wisdom. Here’s a brief description of the new format:

Ambassador 1 (Fall) – Knowledege: An Accurately Informed Mind.
An Ambassador (Messenger, Herald) has to know what to proclaim. He or she needs to know who and what it is that he represents. If we are to represent God, we must know Him as He is. This also means knowing the message of the sovereign, which is the gospel. What is the gospel and what isn’t the gospel?

Ambassador 2 (Winter) – Wisdom: A Discerning and Artful Approach.
An Ambassador (messenger, herald) has to know something about the delivery of the message. What is wisdom? What is it for? What is an unhealthy substitute for wisdom in our Christian culture? How can we wisely engage our friends and family and neighbors in conversation about our God and His message?

Ambassador 3 (Spring) – Character: A Faithful and Attractive Manner.
For the priests in Malachi, God’s messengers of the Old Testament – their message was being discredited because of their character. The character of God’s messenger is a big part of the book of Malachi.

The following three books will be recommended and referenced throughout the series and are available at the Resource Center beginning this Sunday:

As you may recall, in the opening of his sermon, Ron read the following quotation from Dorothy Sayers concerning England in 1949:

It is fatal to imagine that everybody knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practice it. The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ…Theologically this country is at present in a state of utter chaos established in the name of religious toleration and rapidly degenerating into flight from reason and the death of hope.

— Creed or Chaos? Why Christians Must Choose Either Dogma or Disaster

It is important to know the times in which we live. But we are of little effect in our ambassadorship if we neglect to know our God and His gospel. With God’s help, this three part Ambassador Training series will help us know both God and our times.

For more information about the Ambassador Training series or to sign up for the Spring session, email the Local Missions Team at or contact the church office.