Summary: A sermon about how to share your faith in a personal, relational way.

Stephen N. Collins



Accomplishing the Mission of Jesus: Sharing Your Faith

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:17


-Sharing the gospel in America is becoming increasingly more critical as revealed by the following statistics. In the Builder generation (those born from 1927-1945) 65% are evangelical Christians. Among Boomers (1946-1964) 35% are evangelical Christians. Just 16% are evangelical Christians in Generation X (1965-1976). It is estimated that only 4% of Bridgers (1977-1994) will become evangelical Christians. Through fervent prayer and intentional evangelism we must reverse this lethal downward trend. Pastors in Focus, March 2008, p.3

-Why do we have those statistics in our country? Today, I’d like to address one the biggest reasons I believe we see those stats in our generations. It’s easy to blame the world for it, but maybe we need to take a good, long, hard look at ourselves.

-Every Christian knows that evangelism is important. We will give money to missionaries, participate in outreach events, and welcome non-Christians to our church. We’re really good at that one here at Millville.

-But what about when you’re face to face with someone who’s not a believer? What about when it’s personal? What do you do when you’re sitting across from another person and you have to actually engage them in a conversation about your faith?

-It’s easy to get fired up about witnessing after a sermon about it. We like it when the pastor talks about it. But I can’t always be with you. It probably wouldn’t even work out if I were. If I could somehow follow you around and be with you every time you shared your faith, and if I were able to give you the words to say, you would never lead anyone to Jesus.

-It would probably go something like this: (VIDEO: WITNESSOLA)

-So today, let’s take a few minutes focus on one-on-one evangelism and some characteristics of a Christ-Like witness. This won’t be about what you’re supposed to say or giving you a step-by-step plan for leading someone to the Lord. That’s all been done.

-But we need to develop the heart of Jesus in the way we think about and the way we approach unbelievers.

Let’s pray. (PRAYER)

4 Characteristics of a Christ-Like Witness

2 things you must do to develop a Christ-like witness:

1. Center your heart on Jesus

Statement: Let’s look at John 3:17 this morning:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:17

-We’ve got 4 characteristics to look at today, and we’re going to focus on 1 or 2 key words from John 3:17 that will help us better understand the mission of Jesus…and what how we should go about accomplishing it.

-Look at the last 2 words: “through Him.”

-This may sound strange to you, but I’ve known a lot of “Christless Christians” during my lifetime. You have too. These are people who claim Jesus is their Lord and savior, they come to church every Sunday, they can quote a lot of Bible verses for you…and they are more than happy to tell you just how close to the Lord they are.

-But then you see the actions of these people. And you notice that they don’t treat others the way those Bible verses they quote say they should. Or you notice that they don’t seem to have much love in their heart. Or you notice that they aren’t very generous with their time, talents, or finances. Or you notice that more often than not, when they tell people about their Christian lives, their testimony seems to focus more on their good deeds than on Jesus.

-Oh, you’ve met them too, huh? What kind of witness do they have? Oh, they may have the whole Romans Road speech down pat, but what kind of difference are they making for the Kingdom of God? Truth be told, those kinds of Christians are more concerned with building up their own little kingdoms than they are with building up God’s Kingdom.

-Their problem is that they haven’t developed the first characteristic of a Christ-like witness. And if you want to have a Christ-like witness, the first thing you must do is to center your heart on Jesus.

- And the real problem with this is that when our hearts aren’t completely centered on Jesus, we fail to really let Him be the Lord of our lives. We hold things back from Him. We don’t obey certain commands He gave. We choose to be in control of our lives instead of submitting to Him.

-One of the things I love most about our church is that I haven’t noticed this in any of you. But the scary thing is that every Christian faces the temptation of falling into this pattern. I beg you not to fall into this trap. Your witness is too important. The stakes are too high. And if Christ doesn’t have complete control of your life, your witness will be impotent.

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