Summary: Sermon #6 in series entitled "I’m in!" focusing on behaviors active church members will participate in. This one deals with sharing your faith. Borrowed from Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Ky.
Sharing Your Faith
CHCC: February 8, 2009
SKIT: “I am a Christian and a Saint”
The "evangelist" walks up behind a person standing on stage, gets in their face and says, "I am an evangelist! A Christian and a Saint! Are you saved? Are you washed in the blood? Are you redeemed? Are you sanctified? (the vistim begins walking away) Wait! Come back here. I have tracts for you!" (end) (Borrowed from Jeremiah People skit)
What you just saw is NOT what we’re going to talk about today. When we talk about sharing your faith that doesn’t mean you have to get into awkward conversations with complete strangers. When you develop a relationship with Jesus, sharing your faith is something that will flow naturally out of your day to day life. You’ll find that every day is full of Divine Appointments that God will give you so that He can share His love through you.
Today we’re going to look at a couple of verses in I Peter that give a good blue print of what it means to share your faith. 15 In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. I Peter 3:15 - 16
1. Set your heart on Christ
Notice the FIRST step to sharing your faith with others. Verse 15 says In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. You can’t share what you don’t have! Step 1 is to SET YOUR HEART fully and completely ON CHRIST. Jesus does not want to be just a PART of your life. Jesus wants to BE your life.
And when Jesus is the center of your life, everyone who get’s to know YOU will just naturally have some connection with Him through you. People can’t get close to you without knowing something about Him because He is central to who you are.
This is the last sermon in a series we’ve been doing called "I’m In." All of the topics in the I’m In Series so far are meant to help you take this first and ALL-IMPORTANT step of centering your heart on Christ.
So far we have discovered that “Being in” involves worshipping together, studying God’s word together, joyous and generous giving, dedicated service, and meaningful relationships within the church.
We want everyone who comes to CHCC to be “in” on these commitments and if you do that --- you will find that sharing your faith is going to happen naturally. For one thing, People WILL ask you about your connection to God.
We had two examples of this just in the last few weeks from people in our Pueblo group. One woman has a neighbor who has been asking her all kinds of questions about Christianity. The neighbor is a Muslim, and she sees something in the life of her neighbors that makes her curious to know more.
Another person in our group mentioned that he’s had a lot of interesting conversations about God with someone he works with. The guy doesn’t seem very receptive, but he keeps asking things. The other day the guy asked him, “How come you’re always in such a positive mood?” He said, “You know I can’t answer that question without talking about Jesus Christ. He’s the reason.”
Notice that these folks didn’t come by my office to ask their questions. They didn’t call any of the other ministers here at our church. When God’s Spirit moves in their hearts, your neighbors and friends and co-workers are going to feel comfortable asking YOU.
2. Speak with respect
That’s why I Peter 2:15 goes on to say, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
Don’t be afraid to answer when people ask you questions. It’s not WHAT you say that will make the big difference. It’s more the way you love them. Just tell them why Jesus is important to you. Tell what the church means to you.
Don’t argue with them. It’s up to God’s Spirit to convict them of the truth. And if they ask something that stumps you, just let them know you’ll try to find an answer for them. That’s one reason we join together in the church. Someone here will have a good answer you can give to any questions you encounter.
If you attend Bible Classes and read Christian Books and take advantage of opportunities to know God better through Scripture, then you will be more and more ready to give an answer to ANYONE who asks you. But always keep in mind that all the clever techniques in the world won’t matter if you don’t have the ATTITUDE of Jesus Christ when you speak up for Him.