This is the first of a couple of posts (and this is a bit longer than usual) in regard to my desire for a breakthrough in ‘Boldness in speaking the word of God and sharing my faith’ … today I’ll examine some of the reasons why that is important and how God will accomplish His purpose … lest any of us forget this is not about what we can do for God but instead is about what God is doing IN and THRU us according to His will, plan and purpose … please don’t interpret this as a religious checklist … instead consider it a scriptural checklist where God is explaining His will, plan and purpose. Remember apart from Jesus, we can do nothing!
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:-10 (NASB)
WHY and HOW? God has saved us to walk in the good works He has prepared beforehand.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:16-20 (ESV)
HOW? Do not worry or fear what you will say because it will be the Spirit of the Father speaking through you.
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33 (ESV)
WHY? Everyone who acknowledges Jesus before men, He will acknowledge before His Father in heaven. Note this passage does not address what Jesus will do for those who are silent on the issue … is silence considered denial???
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:34-35 (ESV)
WHY? Oftentimes pride and fear hold us back … but whoever loses his life (pride and fear are typically concerned with saving your life) for Jesus sake and the gospel’s sake will save it.
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Matthew 12:30, also Luke 11:23 (NASB)
WHY? He who is with Jesus, by His actions … gathers with Jesus … see the following …
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 (ESV)
WHY? God has given followers the ministry of reconciliation and entrusted us with sharing the message of reconciliation (for gathering) … we are ambassadors for Christ … speaking and acting on His behalf.
HOW? As ambassadors of Christ, God is making His appeal for reconciliation through us.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV)
WHY? A person usually does not believe IN Christ Jesus apart from hearing the gospel of our salvation … when we speak that word of truth, that person can believe and be sealed with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our inheritance.
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (ESV)
WHY? That for the sake of the gospel, we might win more of the lost for Christ and they might share in the blessing of the gospel we have already received … would we not want everyone to share in that blessing?
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7 (ESV)
WHY? That there might be multiplication in the body of Christ … the Church.
HOW? The work of the gospel is not strictly dependent on the words we speak … the work of the gospel is based on the power of the Holy Spirit in the speaker and hearer as well as the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon the one hearing the gospel.
Oh Lord, ingrain these truths within my heart and upon my soul and lead and convict me in sharing the gospel, the word of truth and my testimony with those according to the works you have prepared beforehand!