2000-01-09 - Passages about Sharing Our Faith
Some of us are chomping at the bit, to share the Gospel with everyone we meet. We yearn for all people to know the joy of a relationship with Christ. Others want to share what God has done for them, but are shy; the "e-word" (evangelism) frightens them. And sometimes in our zeal, those of us who are bolder alienate the very people we are trying to usher into the Kingdom. Today we will see some of what God's word has to say about evangelism.
Christ wants His disciples to share the word, to make and grow up new disciples:
(Mat 28:19-20 NRSV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
However, we all have different roles:
(1 Cor 3:6-8 NRSV) I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each.
Some are specifically called to be evangelists:
(Eph 4:11-13 NRSV) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
But there is a role for each of us, in accordance with our personalities and gifts from God, to share what God does in our lives:
(1 Pet 3:15- NLT) Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
And please note the verse that follows: Our words and natures should be gentle and courteous:
(1 Pet 3:16 NRSV) yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.
Jesus never forced the Gospel on anyone. To do so would be to violate our free wills and would not result in wholehearted Christianity:
(Mat 10:14 NRSV) If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.
In fact, often, our witness is not to be in words per sé, but rather simply in the way we live our everyday lives:
(1 Pet 3:1-2 NRSV) Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives' conduct, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
Dear Father, please guide us to discover and fulfill our roles in sharing Your Gospel. In Your Son's name. Amen.