• VIDEO CLIP
• SLIDE #1
• We are in the midst of our series entitled “Why Do We Do That.” If you remember the first time you walked into a church, you may have felt you entered a different world!
• Things may have seemed strange, people coming up to you telling you they were glad to see you. People reading out of a book called the Bible, a preacher preaching out of that Bible. Communion, offering, singing, the vocabulary, it was all most likely strange to you.
• Today we are going to examine the question, WHY AM I ENCOURAGED TO SHARE MY FAITH?
• Over the last couple of weeks, we have touched on the subjects of why we take up an offering and why we ask you to volunteer your time.
• The question this week is the one that for many people may be the most difficult. You may be saying, can’t we go back to the old days when you talked about money!
• The issue of sharing one’s faith with others can be scary for many reasons. One the reasons is that we are shy about it and we live in a climate in which is it not easy to share one’s faith.
• We are told that faith is a private thing that should not leave the church.
• Another reason is that we simply do not see the need. I mean, it was great that someone took the love and time to share their faith with me, but I really do not think I need to do it for others.
• Today we are going to see why we encourage you to share your faith in Jesus with others.
• We will be in the book of 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 this morning.
• The context of this section of 2 Corinthians is the Apostle Paul, explaining what drives him to do what he was doing for Jesus. This was meant to be an encouragement for us to do the same.
• SLIDE #2
• 2 Corinthians 5:14–16 (HCSB) — 14 For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised. 16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way.
• SLIDE #3
You are encouraged to share your faith because of…
I. The heart of your calling. 14-16
• Once again we begin another section of text with the word FOR, this indicates that Paul is explaining why he does what he does, why he takes the time to proclaim and share the Word of God with others.
• Because of what he knows about Jesus, because he knows what will happen to those who do not know or reject Jesus, he does what he does.
• Ultimately, what drives Paul’s mission is Christ’s love! The phrase in verse 14 can mean his love for Jesus, or Jesus’ love for us.
• In this context, it speaks of Jesus’ love for us as the reason for Paul’s mission of sharing the gospel. I do believe Paul’s love for Jesus has something to do with it also.
• There is an interesting word used in verse 14, Paul says Christ’s love COMPELS us (him and the other apostles).
• The word “compels” can mean “hold,” “keep together,” even “encircle,” or “hem in.”
• It refers to someone whose activity has been restricted or narrowed in some way.
• It can describe someone who is ill or bedridden, as in Matt 4:24 and Acts 28:8, or even someone who is under guard (Luke 22:63).
• It can also refer to someone who is stressed out about a tough decision about their life’s direction, as in Luke 12:50 with regard to Christ and Phil 1:23 regarding Paul.
• For Paul, knowing how much Jesus loves people, he will do whatever he can to see people come to Jesus.
• Knowing the condition of those without Jesus drove him to share the gospel. Once we figure out what Paul is teaching, I hope it will drive us to the point that we are compelled to share the gospel!
• SLIDE #4
• 1 Timothy 2:3–4 (HCSB) This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
• Jesus loves people so much He went to the cross for them so they would not have to experience eternity without Him!
• Because of what Jesus did on our behalf, we need to share our faith with everyone we know. WE need to help them to understand that following Jesus means that we are to no longer allow ourselves to be motivated to live only for ourselves.
• SLIDE #5
• Galatians 2:19–20 (HCSB) For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
• I want to take us into verse 16. This is an important yet difficult concept to grasp.
• Knowing that Christ loves us, and that He loves all people, as a Christian you are compelled to look at people in a different light.
• How does the world look at and evaluate or judge people? Looks, intelligence, position, what they can do for me? Those are standards the world offers for us to be able to judge the VALUE of other people.
• We have to quit using those standards to evaluate people. The standard we are called to use to that God loves them so they are worthy of our love, our attention, and our concern for their eternal destiny.
• Our new way of thinking is ties to verses 14-15. Because of those truths, from now on, we must look at people in a different light. Verse 16 in EMPHATIC in the Greek text,
• Paul recognized the true nature of Christ’s death and resurrection, and from that point on he had a different view of what is important in life. People are important, and these people are who Christ died for, they need the gospel!
• There was a time when Paul did not believe who Jesus was, now He does and it changed everything for him!
• SLIDE #6
• 2 Corinthians 5:17 (HCSB) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
• SLIDE #7
You are encouraged to share your faith because…
II. Fulfilling your calling will change the lives of those you reach. 17
• When we realize what will happen to those outside of Christ, we should have a sense of urgency to reach them.
• What is great about being in Christ is not only will one’s eternal destiny change, but their lives now will change!
• Listen, how many people do you know whose lives are miserable, whose lives are wrought with anger, fear, resentment, and envy, just to name a few?
• Based on what Paul has said concerning how much God loves people, one of the gifts God gives to us NOW when we are in Christ, is the fact we become a new creation!
• New means new in quality, renewed! This spiritual rebirth with what Jesus was telling Nicodemus in John 3:6.
• It is what Paul spoke of in Ephesians 4:23-24
• SLIDE #8
• Ephesians 4:23–24 (HCSB) you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.
• I love the phrase in verse 17, old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
• The phrase PASSED AWAY indicates a one-time act in the past. This is what happens when one is immersed into Christ according to Acts 2:38.
• Did you remember how good it felt to be forgiven? Do you remember what it felt like to have the burden of your past sins removed from you?
• Do you want others to experience the same joy or do you want them to be miserable and to die in their sins?
• You are here today because someone cared enough to get past their fears to tell you about Jesus. I hope that you would do the same for people you love and care for.
• I am SO thankful that Robyn helped lead me to Jesus. I thank God for her every day.
• Jesus can change your life; however, for that to happen, you will need to gravitate toward the new things that have come!
• SLIDE #9
• 2 Corinthians 5:18–21 (HCSB) Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
• SLIDE #10
You are encouraged to share your faith because…
III. You are called to be an ambassador for Jesus. 18-21
• If you are a follower, or disciple of Jesus, you have been given a ministry! To minister means to serve!
• You are an ambassador for Jesus! An ambassador is a personal representative sent by a ruler to do and say what that ruler would say if said ruler was personally present.
• An ambassador must deliver the message exactly as it was given to them!
• That message is the message of reconciliation!
• SLIDE #11
A. We are ambassadors with a mission. 18-20
• Once we give ourselves to Jesus, we have a job to do! God did His part, Jesus did His part, and the Holy Spirit does His part, now we have to get to work!
• TO reconcile means to fix a broken relationship, to make a peace offering, or to be readmitted to the presence and favor of a ruler after one has rebelled against said ruler.
• SLIDE #12
B. Our mission is affected by our conduct.
• The way we live our faith will have either positive or negative effects on our mission.
• WE have to represent Christ in all we do so that we do not ruin our witness for Jesus.
• That is so hard at times, and when we fail, we need to apologize so that things can be mare right. Jesus told us we are to be the salt and light of the world!
• SLIDE #13
C. Our mission is affected by our words.
• What we say and how we say it can either help or hurt our cause. The old sticks and stones saying is a LIE! Words hurt or words help. We with build up or we tear down. James says the tongue can set a forest ablaze.
• Wars are fought over words. In Church, before you are going to be critical of something, consider who you will hurt with your words and choose them carefully.
• SLIDE #14
D. Our mission is built on the work of Jesus. 21
• In verse 21 we are told, He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
• Without the work and sacrifice of Jesus, we would have no mission and no eternal life!
• Since our mission is built on the work of Jesus, Jesus will be with us as we carry out the work. During the Great Commission, Jesus promised He would be with us until He returns!
• So why do we encourage you to share your faith? Because people need Jesus. Someone cared enough for you to step out of their comfort zone, they cared enough for you to violate what society told them to share the message of reconciliation!
• I want to ask you to think of the one who introduced you to Jesus.
• Are you glad they did it? Honor both their work and Jesus by going and doing the same!
• Don’t let your fears help someone to die without Jesus!