Summary: Open Doors Walking Through Open Doors, part 4
Walking Through Open Doors, part 4
October 20, 2013
So far we have seen that open doors starts with open hearts before God and that prayer is often the means that God uses to open doors. Open doors is a metaphor in the New Testament which describes how God opens an opportunity for the gospel to be shared. Today's verses answer the question how all of us as Christ followers are supposed to relate to the those who do not know Christ whom God has placed in our lives. Paul desires that we accomplish as much spiritual good as we can in these relationships so he tells us how we can take advantage of the doors he opens to us. That's what he means in verse five when he says to "make the most of the time," how do we take advantage of open doors? That phrase literally means to buy up an opportunity or a moment in time. In other words, life is a series of never to be repeated opportunities for buying up spiritual good. We walk in wisdom by buying up the windows of opportunity that come our way.
We said last week that Paul tells us to walk in wisdom toward outsiders, those who don't know Christ, by making the best use of the time. Walking in wisdom is knowing what to do when the bible doesn't tell us. There are lots of situations that the bible does not directly address. "Walking in wisdom is becoming all things to all men (and women) to win some without compromising the gospel or our own holiness. It is being thoughtful, sensitive, tactful, winsome as we relate to those who do not know Christ. How many of us need help with walking in wisdom? We looked at four sources of wisdom. The first is meditating on Scripture. The psalmist tells us that “the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” The word shapes our minds to the mind of Christ so that we think like Christ. As our minds are conformed to the mind of Christ, our affections and desires in turn are conformed to those of Christ. Next is prayer. James tells us, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Wisdom also comes from sound counselors. Proverbs says that "where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” A fourth source of wisdom is the living out of biblical principles in real life. “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Paul tells us that we walk wisely by making the best use of the time.
Then Paul says to “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt.” Living graciously means to speak with salty speech. We salt our food to make it more appetizing. In the same way we are to make our speech salty to make the gospel more appetizing and appealing. This is very encouraging because Paul is saying that we can do something to make the gospel more appealing. Does your speech make the gospel more appealing?
Give an Answer
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” We need to give an answer; we need to share the gospel. 'How can anyone believe in Christ without hearing? And how can they hear without someone sharing the gospel?'
Lastly, 'Paul tells us that our speech is to be seasoned with salt so that we may know how we ought to answer each person.' Paul is expecting the church to be involved relationally with people. We are called to be a light to this community, to live on mission. Mission is not just for missionaries and pastors and people who are gifted evangelists. The church is called to live on mission. Listen to this verse, “from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh.” Do we view those around us only from this earthly perspective or from an eternal perspective – as someone who is facing a Christ less eternity. They are lost, blind, condemned, in bondage and hurting.
Take aways . . .
• Pray for open doors
• Look for open doors
• Walk through open doors