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Courage to Share Your Faith

To Every Creature  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:24
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Courage to Share your Faith

1 Corinthians 9:16-27

Introduction:

All Christians know we ought to share our faith, yet even with this knowledge we still struggle to do so consistently.

1. The command to share our faith were the last words of our Risen Saviour.

Matthew 28:18–20 KJV 1900
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15 KJV 1900
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Luke 24:45–48 KJV 1900
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
Acts 1:8 KJV 1900
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

2. Sharing our faith is known as the “Great Commission”in the Word of God.

a. Too many times it is the “great omission”.
b. Fear keeps us from telling others of Christ.

3. Personal evangelism is one of the greatest failures in most churches.

a. How can we conquer this paralyzing fear and reach people for Christ?
b. Three words that will help and provide courage to share our faith.

I. Compassion is the first word-vs. 19 & 22

Jude 22 KJV 1900
And of some have compassion, making a difference:

C̵OMPAS´SION, n. [It. compassione; Sp. companion; Fr. compassion; Low L. compassio, compatior; con and patior, passus, to suffer. See Patience.]

1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it.

Note- “I made myself servant unto all”-vs. 19
Note- “I am made all things to all men”-vs. 22

A. Saul the proud Pharisee, would never have spoken these words.

1. This highly religious man thought himself above all others.
2. Saul hated and tried to destroy the church before his conversion.
3. What were you like before you received Jesus Christ as your Saviour?

B. Saul met Jesus and his life was changed forever. See-Acts 9:1-8; 17-22

Acts 9:1–8 KJV 1900
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
Acts 9:17–22 KJV 1900
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? 22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
Note-After Saul the persecutor of Christians received Jesus as his Saviour, God changed His name to Paul. This represented a complete break from his old life before Jesus.
Have you broken away from your old life or are you still hanging on to parts of it?

1. This new convert became filled with compassion for the lost.

1 Corinthians 2. Paul’s Flexibility in Ministry (19–23)

Paul was free to do what he wanted, but bringing people to Jesus was more important to him than using his freedom selfishly.

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: Be Wise about … Personal Priorities (1 Corinthians 9)

What a paradox: free from all men, yet the servant of all men! “Ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5). Because he was free, Paul was able to serve others and to set aside his own rights for their sake.

2 Corinthians 4:5 KJV 1900
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
Note- True compassion moves one to action.

2. He pursued the unsaved.

Although free from the opinions of all men concerning the use of his Christian liberties, Paul had made himself the servant of all men concerning the use of these liberties. That is, he bent over backwards to please all men in regard to things amoral (indifferent).
Gingrich, R. E. (2000). The Book of 1 Corinthians (p. 39). Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing.
Luke 14:21 KJV 1900
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Acts 17:17 KJV 1900
Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Who are you pursuing today, for the gospel? Can you think of one name?

3. He prayed for the unsaved.

Luke 10:2 KJV 1900
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
2 Thessalonians 3:1 KJV 1900
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive IV. The Strategic Might of Paul’s Prayer

Would you pray for the financial need of somebody who’s in financial need when you have money and you’re not willing to give them any? Would you pray for the lost—a lost brother, sister, neighbor—and you’re not willing to witness to them, not willing to be a soul winner? Do you pray for someone’s needs to be met, whatever the need is, and you’re not willing to be a part of the answer? You know, there’s something better than getting an answer to prayer—and it’s being an answer to prayer.

Who are you praying for today?
Are you willing to be the answer to that prayer?

Any sincere prayer is important. But not all prayers are specifically for evangelism. Many churches, perhaps most churches in America, focus their corporate prayers on physical needs—sickness, bereavement, and hospitalizations. While these prayer needs are valid and need fervent intercession, the eternal needs of those without a relationship to Jesus Christ are critical. Several church leaders interviewed in this study indicated that both the attitude of the members and the atmosphere of the church improved significantly when prayer included prayers for the lost.

As an Arkansas pastor told our research team, “Praying for the lost did more to refocus our church than any single factor. We became a church with an outward focus after being an inwardly focused church for years.”

4. He pleaded with them:

Acts 26:2–3 KJV 1900
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
Note-Jesus was the supreme example of compassion especially on the cross.

C. Compassion conquers cowardice; compassion creates courage.

1. Rescues from Hell:

Psalm 9:17 KJV 1900
17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.
James 5:20 KJV 1900
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Revelation 20:15 KJV 1900
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

2. Makes us obedient to God:

Matthew 4:19 KJV 1900
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Mark 5:19 KJV 1900
19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

3. It is our(my) responsibility(have church repeat this phrase):

Mark 16:15 KJV 1900
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

II. Communication is the second word-vs. 22

“By all means”
(Matthew 28:19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
(Acts 5:42) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
(2 Timothy 2:2) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

A. Communication requires proof of “truth”-learn to serve others.

If what we are attempting to communicate has not made a difference in our lives and how can we expect others to even give us an ear to listen.
Note see verse 22- “I am made all things to all men”
1 Corinthians 2. Paul’s Flexibility in Ministry (19–23)

c. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some: We should not think Paul changed his doctrine or message to appeal to different groups (he denies this in 1 Corinthians 1:22–23), but he would change his behavior and manner of approach.

1. To the Jews-when among the Jews, Paul conformed to their customs.
2. To the gentiles- When among those that were non-Jewish he left off Jewish customs and observed Gentile customs and laws.
3. To the weak Christians- When among we Christians, those weak in knowledge and faith, he accommodated himself to their weaknesses, he was careful not to offend them.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: Be Wise about … Personal Priorities (1 Corinthians 9)

What separated Jews and Gentiles in that day? The Law and the covenants (Eph. 2:11–15). In his personal life, Paul so lived that he did not offend either the Jews or the Gentiles. He did not parade his liberty before the Jews, nor did he impose the Law on the Gentiles.

Was Paul behaving in an inconsistent manner? Of course not. He simply adapted his approach to different groups. When you read his sermons in the Book of Acts, you see this wise adaptation. When he preached to Jews, he started with the Old Testament patriarchs; but when he preached to Gentiles, he began with the God of Creation. Paul did not have a “stock sermon” for all occasions.

It is worth noting that our Lord followed the same approach. To the highborn Jew, Nicodemus, He talked about spiritual birth (John 3); but to the Samaritan woman, He spoke about living water (John 4). Jesus was flexible and adaptable, and Paul followed His example. Neither Jesus nor Paul had an inflexible “evangelistic formula” that was used in every situation.

It takes tact to have contact. When the people I witness to tell me about their experience of confirmation, I tell them that I too was confirmed. I express my appreciation for the pastor who taught me and prayed for me. Then I tell them, “A year after I was confirmed, I met Jesus Christ personally and was born again.” A good witness tries to build bridges, not walls.

B. Communication will often require courage.

Courage to communicate our faith will only happen when we spend time with the One we are communicating about.
Matthew 4:19 KJV 1900
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV 1900
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

C. Proper communication of the gospel, will require time in prayer and the proper use of words.

1. Jesus at the well
2. Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch
3. Illustration: telemarketers- use that as a good time to practice on someone- have your soul winning plan beside the telephone.
4. Use tracts: letters, bills, credit card offers, give out to people everywhere that we go.
5. When will when we receive a random text it might be a good idea when we were applied to reply with not only a kind word but a Bible verse. Maybe even a link to a gospel presentation on our churches website.
6. A link to a gospel presentation our churches website would be a great way to reply to junk emails. I don't know if anybody ever reads those junk emails but someone might and they might even click on the link and hear the gospel.
Sharing our faith will require compassion, sharing our faith will rely on communication, sharing our faith will either rise or fall on our commitment to obey the Great Commission.

III. Commitment is the third word-vs. 22

“…that I might save some..”
How many are some? If you and I took a moment right now thought about it could we put a number to "some"? Would it be a small number, would it be a large number?
Webster's dictionary defines some as: noting a certain quantity of a thing but in determinant in number.
I am certainly glad that years ago in a town in Lake Wales Florida, a group of people decided that they were going to do whatever it took to save some. I am one of those "some"!
And somewhere in past history because someone made a commitment, you too were one of those "some" that were saved.
I wonder who could be said part of the "some" if you and I made a new commitment to demonstrate compassion and communicate our faith?

A. Paul expected results; he witnessed in faith.

(Romans 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
(Romans 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(Romans 10:11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
(Romans 10:13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

B. Paul lived what he taught.

(Romans 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Acts 20:31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
(Romans 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

C. We need to expect God to use us to reach souls for Him!!!

(Matthew 4:19) And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Conclusion:

Compassion, communication, commitment!!!
Have you lost your compassion?
Who do you know someone that is lost? Take out cards and fill them out!!!!
When we go, then God gives compassion!!
Do you know how to communicate the gospel?
Enroll in a program
Study and practice
Do you lack commitment?
Must stay at it.
Are you saved?
Are you willing to make a specific commitment that you will be obedient to share your faith the next opportunity you have?
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