Summary: If we will live like Christ followers, we will see a lasting difference in our homes and in our community.
Living Like a Christ-Follower
Intro: What does it mean to be a Christ follower? How can we live like one? I’d like to show a video clip that might point us in the right direction.
-Here is the main message I want to cover today.
Prop: If we will live like Christ followers, we will see a lasting difference in our homes and in our community.
Int. Sentence: How then can we live like Christ followers?
TS: It is overstating the obvious to say that we must first become one. If we are to live like one, it helps to actually be one. A Christ follower is someone who has asked Jesus to become their forgiver and leader. With Christ as their leader, their most basic task is to simply follow Him and do what He asks. Let’s look at some marks of a Christ follower as seen in the life of Paul the apostle.
I. Christ Followers Learn to Be Boldly Persuasive with the Good News (Acts 19:8)
8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.
-Notice I did not say arrogantly persuasive. Christ followers do not always have to be right! It is sometimes okay to say, “I do not know.” Sometimes we tend to get too dogmatic and arrogant about things we know very little about. However, please don’t miss the importance of being boldly persuasive.
-How does a Christ follower become boldly persuasive? There are a number of things we could talk about here. However, let me just direct your attention to two of them. Christ followers can become boldly persuasive, by 1) becoming diligent students of God’s word. Paul did not wait for some magical or supernatural infusion of knowledge that would cause him to know the Bible. No, Paul was a student of God’s word. Yes, he had studied the OT thoroughly even before receiving Jesus as His forgiver and leader. However, he did not stop studying or digging deeper into the things of God. So, read your Bible! Get to know God’s word and learn to apply it to your life as well as relate it clearly to others. As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 2) Secondly, stay as full of the HS as you possibly can. You cannot read the book of Acts without seeing that those who were filled with the HS were both bold and persuasive as they shared the good news about Jesus. Look at a few of these verses about boldly sharing the good news:
Acts 1:8 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…
Acts 4:31 they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Acts 14:3 3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders. [They stayed filled with the HS]
-There are several other verses like these that show us how we can become boldly persuasive. Stay in the word, and stay filled with the Spirit. Only God can make you all that you need to be to others. Let Him give you the knowledge, power and boldness you need.
-TS: Secondly, we see that we need to remain flexible as we follow the Lord.
II. Christ Followers May Need to Redirect their Ministry Efforts (Acts 19:9a)
9a But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them.
-There is not a whole lot to say here. Paul faced opposition from his own people almost everywhere he went. He was teaching about Jesus in the Jewish synagogue in Ephesus and some of the Jews who belonged to that synagogue began to hinder his ministry there. I suppose it was no surprise to Paul, but I wonder what mental and emotional processes he went through during this time. People were hearing the word of the Lord and many decided to follow Jesus the Messiah. Could Paul have become discouraged when some of the Jews started spreading damaging rumors about Jesus and those who followed Him? I’m sure he was troubled by it.
-However, as we will see next, Paul redirected his ministry efforts and left the synagogue where he was being slandered. God still used him effectively.
-We may face times when we need to reevaluate our direction. Lord, I’m pretty sure you called me to do this, but things just aren’t working out. Is there something more I should know? Do I need to try something different?