Summary: This sermon challenges believers to share their faith experience (in Jesus Christ) with other people.
Int.- On October 9 my wife and I returned from a trip to China to visit our son and daughter in law. Since returning home numerous people have asked about our trip. Every time I am asked I spontaneously start talking about our experience. We have many experiences, both meaningful and challenging to share. We talk about the food, the driving, the scenery and our impressions. It is not like we are boasting or bragging. We have significant experiences from our trip that we want to share with others. In addition, many people are curious about China.
It occurred to me this week, the same thing is true of our spiritual experience. We are called of God to share our spiritual experiences with others. People are curious as to what God has done for us and what he can do for them. I want to look at a scripture that explains our responsibility in sharing our spiritual experiences.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (I John 1:1-4 NKJV)
There are some valuable lessons in this passage about sharing our faith experience in Jesus. Notice three lessons.
I. The first lesson we learn is our responsibility. From this passage we learn that our responsibility is two fold.
A. Our responsibility is to defend the gospel and share the gospel. In the text the first of these responsibilities is not as obvious as the second. John never mentions defending the gospel but as you read his book you discover that he was defending the gospel against false teachers. In our text John mentions several rock bed doctrines that are central to the Christian faith. In verse 1 he mentions that Jesus was from “the “beginning.” Jesus is eternal! In verse 2 he mentions that Jesus is the source of eternal life! In verse 3 he mentions that Jesus is the “Son of God!” Even though we are never told that John is defending the gospel, we know this from a study of the book that bears his name. In chapter 2:22 he tells us that anyone who denies Jesus Christ has the spirit of the anti-christ.
Defending the gospel is what we call apologetics. Some people have been given a ministry of Christian apologetics (which is defending the gospel). Many of you are familiar with Josh McDowell’s book “Evidence that Demands a Verdict.” In that book McDowell defends the gospel of Jesus Christ. Another popular book is Lee Stroebel’s book “The Case for Christ.” Both of these men were skeptics who came to know Jesus. Each of them have a ministry of apologetics. You and I may not be given an apologetic ministry but we do have the ministry of defending the gospel against false teachers.