Summary: HP (High Potency) + CP (Close Proximity) + CC (Clear Communication) = MI (Maximum Impact) (Outline and material taken from Bill Hybells & Mark Mittelberg's book, Becoming a Contagious Christian)
One of the most frustrating experiences in life is to be told what to do without being given a clear idea of how to go about doing it. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens all the time.
The boss sets a sky high sales quota and lets everyone know clearly that he expects everyone to meet them. He says that overall revenue must be raised, costs lowered, and the bottom line improved, but how this is done is our problem.
This even happens in the church. We are expected to have strong marriages, obedient children, balanced budgets, ethical businesses, effective prayer lives and meaningful relationships. But while the “ought to” comes through loudly and clearly, the “how to” often remains distant and muffled, if it’s heard at all.
One place we see this is in the challenge to have an evangelistic impact on our world. “People are lost,” the preacher proclaims. “They’re headed for hell, God wants to reach them, and you’re His chosen ambassador- so you’d better get out there and bring them to Christ?”
This is biblical, rings true, and makes sense. So we need to take action on this- but how? We need some help on “getting out there”? How do we get started? How do I make the first step?
Read Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus talked about how to be effective in evangelism right here on the Sermon on the Mount. Here is the formula for influencing our world: HP + CP + CC = MI. Break this down tonight
Start with the last one: MI= Maximum impact, having the greatest spiritual influence on those around us. Many Scriptures with challenges to each of us on how to arrange our lives so that we can have the highest possible spiritual influence on those around us. It is our responsibility to put those challenges into action. Alluded to in Vs. 16
Thesis: HP + CP + CC = MI
HP = High Potency
Talked this morning about salt losing its potency. Meaning the strength, effectiveness of the salt to perform a particular function. Salt can be too strong or too diluted to perform a function.
As Christians the more consecrated, set apart, different from the world we are the more potency we will have.
Holiness, which represents the summation of all Christian virtues, is clearly God’s design for the Christian in practical day to day living. Hebrews 12:14 tells us that no one will see God without holiness. Our conduct must be righteous, or unbelievers will struggle to see how we are any different and why they should believe in the Jesus we claim to follow in word but not in deed.
Unity is another Biblical characteristic by which Christians are distinguished from the world in which we live. Jesus prays in John 17:21 regarding His disciples and all who would come after them through their testimony, “that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” If true Christian unity is seen among believers, then the world might believe that the Father sent the Son to earth. In an age where people believe almost anything, Christian unity cuts to the core of the matter, giving the greatest evidence that Jesus really did come to earth and die for the sins of the world. The world knows that people are evil, untrustworthy, and difficult to get along with. When Christians get along with one another, this is strong evidence for the legitimacy of the Christian faith.
Different because of our love for each other. John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” All people will be able to identify a true follower of Christ by our love for others. Love is a distinguishing mark of the Christian.
Matthew 5:16 tells us that if we do good works for others that some people just might come to glorify God because they see the Light of Christ in us. There are all sorts of kind things that we can do for others, ranging from holding a door open for someone to feeding the hungry. We cannot solve all the world’s problems ourselves in one fell swoop, but we can be part of the change that the world needs by meeting a need and doing something kind for someone. People know that it is not natural for someone to go out of their way to do something nice for another human being, so they do take note when Christians do something that is otherwise out of the ordinary.