Summary: This message speaks to a fear that every believer deals with at one time or another..the fear of sharing our faith.The sermon also deals with some practical advice on how to overcome this fear.
Share Jesus Without Fear
2nd Timothy 1:5-9a
For the last month we have been talking about the topic of fear… Both on Sundays and on Wednesday nights. We have talked about the fear of commitment, failure of, loneliness, this Wednesday, the fear of death.
These are fairly common fears for many of us. Most of us probably experience one of these fears. Today I want us to look at a specific fear that every believer, every Christian has experienced at one time or another and that is the fear of sharing our faith with another person.
A survey was given to a group of adults who attended a training session on how to share their faith. The training was conducted by the Billy Graham association. One of the questions that they asked was this… What is the main thing that keeps you from sharing your faith? 9 % said they were too busy… 28 % said they really don’t know how 12 % said their personal life was not in order. But by far the largest group 51 % whose biggest problem was… You guessed it…fear. What were they afraid of?... Afraid they would not know what to say… Some were afraid they might do more harm than good… Others were afraid they might fail.
Paul wrote this particular letter and he wrote these verses with a particular purpose in mind. He is writing to a young man by the name of Timothy. Paul was older than Timothy and he was his mentor. Paul wanted to teach Timothy as much as possible about the Christian faith. As a young pastor, Timothy was afraid of being inadequate. He was afraid people would look down on him because he was so young. So Paul is writing to Timothy here to encourage young men to say you did not need to be afraid because God has not given you a spirit of fear…Instead He has actually given you a spirit of power and of self control.
Now before we talk about how we can move from fear to confidence in sharing our faith I was to again understand where fear comes from. We have already said that God does not give us a spirit of fear so we know that this fear comes directly from Satan. And Satan has a purpose for these fears. You see Satan has at least two goals for your life and for mine. His first goal is to do everything possible to keep you out of the kingdom of God. He wants to do everything possible to keep you from being saved. However, in case his first goal fails, he then goes to his second goal which is to stop you from growing spiritually. And one way we always grow spiritually is through sharing our faith. And the way he does that is by convincing us that we are inadequate and incapable of sharing our faith and he will pose questions to us like these…
. What will people think of you if you share your faith everywhere you go?
. What will happen if you offend them? They may never listen to the gospel again! What if you get in the middle of sharing with them and
suddenly don’t know what to say?. What if they ask you question about the Bible and you don’t know how to answer it? And so as he poses these questions to us, one after another, we become afraid and we draw back from sharing our faith.
I want us to do a word study here for a moment to make this clearer so that we can really understand what Paul is saying. In the New Testament there are actually seven different Greek words that are translated as fear in the English language. But in the English language we sometimes take one word and make it mean a dozen different things.
Here is an example… Look at the word fast. It is a simple word, but
it has a lot of meanings.. If you want to make a boat fast-make it quicker or you tie it up… . If you say a certain color was fast it would mean that it wouldn’t run. If I said my son Ross is fast… it means he does run. But if I said he was fast asleep… He wouldn’t be moving at all. . Also there is fast food. Your watch can be fast. Get the idea?
Let me give you three of the ones that we are used in the Greek here… The first one is the word * phobeo-a healthy kind of fear, unnatural fear. This is the kind of fear that teach you from stepping off a 12 story building.
Word phobos –we get our word phobia from this word. This would be an unnatural fear. This is the kind of fear that seems to paralyze us. There are over 500 fears that had been labeled and fall into this category…Claustrophobic and so forth.