Summary: Boldness, Impact, Good News, Everyone
ONE CHURCH - So Our World Can Experience Good News
Romans 1:16-17 (p. 782) August 21 2016
[These two guys went fishing, one younger guy and an old crusty fisherman. The young guy started to bait his hook when all of a sudden the old guy lit a stick of dynamite, threw it in the pond and covered his ears as the explosion ripped the air. The young guy watched as fish came floating to the surface…and he said, “What are you doing…that’s against the law!!!” The old guy lit another stick of dynamite…tossed it to the young guy and said “Son, you gonna talk…or are you gonna fish?]
Dynamite’s explosive stuff…it will change your attitude and your altitude, if you’re not careful…whether you’re fishing for fish…or fishing for man.
I say that because when Paul writes to the Romans and says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation.” he uses the word “dunamis” for power…It’s the Greek word from which we get “dynamite.”
This word isn’t used to describe strong things. It’s used to describe “something which houses mighty, explosive power.” There is within the stick of dynamite the potential power to really shake things up…to move mountains.
And one of the most freeing things for those of us who are Christ followers is this…The power to save doesn’t depend on us…This mighty, explosive, saving power comes form God Himself.
It’s the very reason Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection, and just before His ascension back into Heaven.
“You will receive power (“dunamis”) when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
This was the gift they were to “wait for.” “It was the gift the Father had promised.” The gift Jesus had spoken about often.
With the Holy Spirit housed in their souls they would become “dynamite” fishermen, so can we!
For that to happen we must choose to let…
I. FAITH CONQUERS SHAME
Paul tells the Romans later on in his letter that “Faith comes by hearing the message of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
He asks this series of questions:
“How can people call on the one they have not believed in? How can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? How can they hear without someone proclaiming Him to them? How can anyone proclaim Him unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:14-15)
God has chosen people to be the instruments that communicate His good news of salvation to other people.
Not only has He provided the power to His children to know when to speak and what to say…He has provided the same Holy Spirit to be convincing the world that they need a Savior…It’s a two pronged attack…The Holy Spirit filling and guiding us as Jesus’ disciples, but at the same time He is “drawing lost people to see their need for a Savior.”
The two most difficult parts about this plan is we don’t know when He’s going to give us these opportunities…and we don’t know what He’s been doing in the lives of those we encounter. So we have two choices…be bold…be unashamed about the message of Christ…or be ashamed or complacent about opportunities “as we are going” daily.
Those who expect nothing powerful to happen usually aren’t disappointed…and those who are living outside the will of God are too ashamed to tell people they know Jesus as Savior and Lord.
[I learned the lesson of God’s preparation in other people’s hearts early in my Christian walk…my mom had been actively involved in a group called “The Lexington Christian Women’s Club” and they had monthly meetings…during the summer months they had a “youth meeting” for teenagers and their families. And she asked me to speak at this meeting just months after my conversion. During this meeting they always had special music…and a speaker. It’s hard for me to tell you how scared I was…I was genuinely terrified…so when I got there I met the guy who was doing the music…His name was David…and when I sat down next to him he asked, “What are you doing here?” And I then proceeding to tell him my whole story…my childhood, my rebellion, my struggle and my surrender…I look at David and he was crying so hard he could hardly breathe…the lady introduced him to play his trumpet…and he stood up still crying and said, “I can’t play…but you’d better listen to this guy, he just told me my life and the answer for it.” He sat back down and I shared my story, again.]
I have no idea what God was doing in David’s life before this day…but I know what He was doing in David’s heart on this day…and because I choose faith over fear I got to experience His power.