Monday, August 27, 2012

Tell them the Truth

  1. Calling people to our faith encompasses the USUAL explanation, as follows(or something along these lines):-
  • God is creator of all.
  • God and creation had a perfect relationship. God reigns.
  • Men sinned. Men chose self rule.
  • Because of sin, God and men are separated. God is holy. God cannot accept sin and “close” His eyes to sin. God’s goodness and holiness demand judgement and punishment.  God’s wrath is upon the sinner and the punishment for sin is death. (Sin is the sting of death).
  • But God is love. Not just God loves, He IS love. He designed a plan to save us. He sent His Son Jesus to die for us, taking the punishment in our place. Our Lord was crucified on the cross for us. Our Lord Jesus was then resurrected.
  • If we believe in Jesus, we are born again, are saved and have new life. We get to go to heaven.
2.  Certainly all of the above is true but there is more to that and we should tell “the more” We should be more accurate to reveal the demands of the Christian faith. John Macarthur’s, brief exposition on how we are to call people to faith (The Gospel According to the Apostles, Pages 178-185) is recommended for reading and thereafter teaching.  In summary:

(a) We are to show and to expound God’s holiness. He is not Santa Clause. He is a holy, pure and almighty God. Let these not just be words that we hear and acknowledge without feeling, without letting them sink in. He IS HOLY. To be with Him in a relationship NOW and after, He demands that we be holy as well. He demands our respect and our reverential fear. We are not to hide these facts and simply speak solely or primarily of His blessings and grace.
He requires repentance i.e., turning away from our transgressions and following His son Jesus in every moment of our life.
He requires faith in Jesus evidenced by our thoughts, words and deeds.

(b)     Salvation is a remedy for sin. It is not just an escape from punishment and not merely a ticket to heaven when we die. If we truly receive Christ as our savior and our Lord, His spirit lives in us and empowers us in our sanctification. We are by His grace delivered from the power of sin.

(c)      Show and expound that good works cannot save. Our sins, even the “respectable” “accepted” (by the world) sins are severe and warrant God’s wrath (He is Holy). We do not deserve salvation.  We may do a good work at 5 pm but at 5.15 pm have a lustful thought. Will that good work take away that sin? Does a great God need our good works? Even in our good works, there is sin for many do to earn salvation or to remove guilt or praise, basically for self.  Only the grace of God can save. Only He out of His goodwill saves.

(d)       Tell them who Christ is.
·                     He is God (John 1: 1-3);
·                     He is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11);
·                     He became man (Phillipians2:6-7);
·                     He is pure and sinless;
·                     He became a sacrifice for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). He redeemed us and we received forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7)
·                     He was resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

(e)       A follower of Christ is a disciple of Christ and there is cost to this discipleship. The disciple is to love God above all else and there is no turning back. There is to be no luke warmness no double mindedness. There is to be daily crucifixion of  self (Romans 6:6). The “would be” follower is to consider the cost (Luke14-26-33) (We will not be unaided of course. The Holy Spirit will assist the disciple).

(f)       There is to be trust in Jesus Christ our Lord. He will complete the work He began in us to transform us into His likeness.

(g)       Though we are to ask questions , research and meditate on God’s words,  we are to tell that God is a mystery. His ways are mysterious. He is God! He is the potter, we are the clay. His ways are beyond and above us. Not everything can be understood.

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