Summary: What made the early believers so effective in sharing their faith?
In Matthew 5:13-15, Jesus says His followers are to be “salt” and “light” in the world. Just as salt makes one thirsty, the testimony of Christ followers is to create a thirst in the hearts of those who do not know Him. And, just as light helps us see things clearly, the testimony of Christ followers should help those who do not know Him to see their need of Christ. The committed Christian has answered Christ’s call to be “salt” and “light” to those who do not yet know Jesus. The early believers were this kind of Christian. And, as a result, were used to draw people to Christ.
“The believers praised God and were respected by all the people. More and more people were being saved every day, and the Lord was adding them to their group.” - Acts 2:47 (Easy to Read)
In Acts 5:42, we are told why they were used to draw others to Christ. In seeking to be “salt” and “light,” they sought to witness to others . . .
1. Consciously – “day after day”
Paul said that we must consciously be looking for opportunities to share Christ with an unbelieving world.
“Be wise when you engage with those outside the faith community; make the most of every moment and every encounter.” - Colossians 4:5 (The Voice)
Effectively engaging unbelievers with a witness and testimony that will draw them to Christ is one of our primary purposes for living. If
reaching others for Jesus is not one of our main purposes in life as a Christian, then we are simply “going through the motions.”
In his book, Real Evangelism, Bailey Smith tells this story: “At my home in Dallas, Texas, I remember one year while attending the state fair there, a most interesting exhibit in the science building. When I approached the crowd gathered around this particular exhibit, I noticed that as each one was leaving, having gazed long enough, he had a strange smile on his face. When I got to where I could really see, I understood why. There was a machine that seemed to have everything - pistons, gas jet with a ball bouncing up and down, a chain, locomotive arms going back and forth and it was beautifully chromed.
Every part was moving, and it was so well engineered that it did not make one sound. Where did the strange smiles come from? They came because of a little sign at the base of the machine, ‘It doesn't do anything, but my, doesn’t it work well!’”
Too many Christians today are “going through the motions” of the Christian life - they seem to be working well, but because they are not consciously focused on drawing others to Christ, their lives are not lived for any purpose of eternal significance.
The early believers lived lives that counted for the eternal purpose of seeing others come to Christ, because they consciously sought to be a witness to others daily. But they also sought to witness to others . . .
2. Conspicuously – “in the temple courts”
These Christians were not afraid to boldly, publicly, give their testimony concerning Christ. Neither should we.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.” - 2 Timothy 1:7-8a (NLT)
The following was found in a book by Dr. Bob Moorehead, entitled, “Words Aptly Spoken.” According to Dr. Moorehead’s son, a copy of this prayer was found in the possession of a man in Africa who was murdered for his faith after he had been martyred.
“I am a part of the fellowship of the Unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit Power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my
mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.