Summary: Because our faith is founded on the sure promises of God, it will share the message of the Gospel out of thanks to God.
We saw last week that since our faith has such a sure foundation on the faithful promises of our never changing God, it will affect our whole lives. What we believe affects who we are and what we do. When we see the love God has showered upon us, our lives become lives of thanks to him. So, in the coming weeks, months, years, God willing you will hear from us many applications as to how that faith affects your marriage, family, work, school, sex life, finances, free time...really every aspect of your life. But today we are going to look at one of the most important ways in which faith affects our lives.
You know, Jesus, forty days after his resurrection, before he ascended into heaven, gave some final instructions to his followers. And it’s interesting what Jesus encouraged them to do based on their faith in him. He didn’t tell them: Go and be good husbands and wives. He didn’t tell them go and work hard. He didn’t tell them go and help the poor and needy. All good things, but that wasn’t what Jesus told them at that time. You know the last thing Jesus told his followers before he ascended into heaven? “Go and make disciples (believers) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That’s right. First and foremost our faith affects our lives in that we are now messengers of the Gospel. Not an easy thing. It’s not something that we think as being real “practical” in our lives. But it is important. So that’s what we are going to talk about today and we are going to do so meditating on the words of Saint Paul that we heard in the second reading for this morning. Now, I am going to read it again, and I want you to pick out three things: What is the message that we share? What are we the messengers like? What is our motivation?
I. The message
What is the message that we share? The most important component of “faith sharing” is the message, but before we look at what the message is, we first should clarify what our message is not. Paul tells us here that we don’t preach ourselves, or in other words, the message is not about us. If the only thing that I do as a pastor is spend all my time telling you stories about when I was a boy or about my life, I am doing you a disservice. Because this isn’t about me...and when you share the message with others, it’s not about you.
We preach Jesus Christ as Lord. A little review from last week. Do you remember what my name means? That’s right, but we don’t preach ourselves. So, a better question is: What does Jesus’ name mean? That’s right. Savior. We preach that Jesus Christ is our Savior Lord, because as we saw last week, that’s what we believe, right? And if he is our Savior, that means we need saving. And so does everybody else!
You know, I don’t want to be one of those guys who people don’t want to talk to because I come across as fanatical or phoney or as a know-it-all. But I know that some people no matter how hard we try not to bother them, will get annoyed with us when we share with them the message of the salvation, but the thing is, they need to hear it. They are sinners and they need to know it. If they don’t recognize their sin, they will never feel that they need a Savior. And if they don’t think that they need a Savior, they have no need for Jesus.