Faithlife Sermons

Proclaim the Truth Without Fear

The Marks of a Faithful Disciple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:05
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Introduction

On July 15, 1986, Roger Clemens, the pitcher for the Boston Red Sox with a sizzling right-handed fastball, started his first All-Star Game. In the second inning he came to bat, something he hadn’t done in years because of the American League’s designated-hitter rule. He took a few uncertain practice swings and then looked out at his forbidding opponent, Dwight Gooden, who the previous year had won the Cy Young award.
Gooden wound up and threw a white-hot fastball which zipped right by Clemens into the catcher’s mitt. With an embarrassed smile on his face, Clemens stepped out of the box and asked catcher Gary Carter, “Is that what my pitches look like?”
“You bet it is!” replied Carter.
Clemens quickly struck out, but apparently he had found a new confidence in his fastball as he went on to pitch three perfect innings and be named the game’s most valuable player.
From that day on, he later said, with a fresh reminder of how overpowering a good fastball is, he pitched with far greater boldness.
Sometimes we Christians forget that we have the Holy Spirit within us and just how powerful our witness can be. The gospel has supernatural power—when we speak it in confidence.
[based on Larson, C. B. (2002). 750 engaging illustrations for preachers, teachers & writers (p. 144). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.]
We have been working through a mini-series of sermons titled the Marks of a Faithful Disciple, taken from . These were the characteristics that we identified:
We have been working through a mini-series of sermons titled the Marks of a Faithful Disciple, taken from . These were the characteristics that we identified:
The Marks of a Faithful Disciple
Last week we looked at the Marks of a Faithful Disciple, taken from . These were the characteristics that we identified:
Faithful Disciples Suffer for Christ -
Faithful Disciples Proclaim the Truth -
Faithful Disciples Fear Only God -
Faithful Disciples Trust in God -
Faithful Disciples Walk the Talk -
Faithful Disciples Deny Themselves -
Faithful Disciples Carry the Cross -
Faithful Disciples Bless Others -
Last week we looked at Suffering for Christ, and this week we will look at verses 26-27, Proclaiming the Truth Without Fear.
Matthew 10:26–27 NASB95
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
[pray]
Father God in Heaven, We praise Your Holy Name. You are the focus of our worship and our desire. We lift your Holy Name to the highest heavens. Father, we ask that You would show us how we can proclaim Your name. We ask that you would reveal Your will to us that we may do Your work.
Father I ask that you would give me clarity of mind, precision of speech, and a heart for Your people as I bring Your message today.
Amen

I. Don’t Fear Persecution -

Jesus says “Therefore do not fear them...”
Matthew 10:26 NASB95
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Jesus says “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing to be concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”
This statement is referring back to Jesus’ previous discussion about persecution from the members of the religious elite.
Matthew 10:26 NASB95
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Jesus is referring
Jesus is referring
Sometimes it is not so much persecution that we might fear as much as being mocked or being rejected.
The use of the word, “therefore” - the summary statement of the entire MIssionary Discourse.
What Jesus is saying here to His disciples (including you) is “Don’t fear those who are persecuting you or could potentially persecute you!”
Often we have the tendency to live our lives in a segmented fashion. We have our church life over here, our work life over here, and over here we’ll put our home life. When we do this, we never want to different sections to mix. We never bring up church and work and—for some of us—we never bring our spouse or kids to work. We just prefer for things to be segmented.
We think that we cannot proclaim the truth of the Gospel at work because that’s not appropriate. We get so used to living like this that it never occurs to us that our church life and spiritual beliefs SHOULD impact our work life. We should bring our righteousness—which we get from God—into our work environment.
Often times our best witness is the way we live out our righteousness in the workplace. It affects our work ethic and our care for our colleagues. It impacts our integrity and shines the light of Jesus Christ in the workplace.
We should not let fear of persecution or rejection to limit our impact for the name of Jesus Christ in the workplace, or at school or in our recreation.

II. Expect the Hidden to be Revealed -

Romans 1:8-
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were plotting against Him secretly. He knew that this would continue until He died and even after as they would continue to persecute the disciples after His death.
Matthew 10:26–27 NASB95
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
Matthew 10:27 NASB95
27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.

A. Secret plots will come to light

Jesus was not surprised that he was upsetting the plans of the Jewish authorities. He was encouraging His followers to carry out His plans for His church without fear for any plotting that might be happening behind closed doors. His meaning here is that the disciples should be bold with their proclamation of the truth. He wanted them to preach His message openly before the people.

B. The Gospel hidden within you will come out

I think also that Jesus wanted to encourage His disciples to speak out the Gospel message as we can see in the lives of Peter and Paul, and all the apostles. The Gospel Message within us should be bursting to come out as we engage in life with others all around us.
Yet, we modern-day disciples, keep our Gospel light hidden in our lives—like hiding a light under a basket...
Matthew 5:14–15 NASB95
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Matthew 5:14–16 NASB95
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Jesus is encouraging us to do the exact opposite...
Matthew 5:15–16 NASB95
15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:17 NASB95
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Jesus is en
Matthew 5:16 NASB95
16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The real question that we have to ask ourselves is this...

III. Are You Ashamed of the Gospel? -

is the core text of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. One commentator said “it is not wrong to see [verse 16 & 17] as a summary of Paul’s theology as a whole.”
Romans 1:16 NASB95
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
It is interesting that Paul boldly states that he is “not ashamed of the gospel.” Nobody could make that claim about Paul. Paul is so staunchly pro-Gospel that there could never be any doubt about what Paul thinks of it. However it may be that some in Rome thought the Gospel message to be simplistic. They certainly wouldn’t be alone. Paul himself acknowledged this in his letter to the church at Corinth...
Romans 1:16–17 NASB95
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB95
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
We certainly experience this in our culture today. The world rejects the simplicity of the Gospel, instead choosing to believe that all paths lead to Heaven, or worse, that there is no God at all. The message of the world says to “live and let live.” Allow each individual to choose his own truth and follow his own path, as long as it does not tell anybody else what they should believe.
Paul was imprisoned, chased away, smuggled away, and mocked throughout his missionary journeys. His message was regarded as foolishness by the Greeks and a stumbling block to the Jews. Still the Apostle Paul declared openly that he was proud of the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul on Shame for the Gospel

2 Timothy 1:8–12 NASB95
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
If not shame, then what?
Paul suggests a boldness in proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. In fact he says “join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.” Paul was fully aware of the risk of suffering for Christ. He counted the opportunity to suffer for Christ a worthy cause. He counted the risk of being considered foolish for Christ’s sake to be something worthwhile.

Jesus on Shame for the Gospel

Mark 8:38 NASB95
38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Jesus himself spoke of this shame for the Gospel and went so far as to say “if you are ashamed of Me and My Words, then I will be also ashamed of you in the end.”
Romans 1:16-1
How do we avoid shame for the Gospel?
We do the very thing that God has told us since He befriended Abraham, since He discovered that Noah was a righteous man, since He found Adam and Eve ashamed of their nakedness in the Garden… we live in righteousness before God.

IV. The Righteous Man Lives By His Faith, Be A Righteous Man (or Woman) -

Romans 1:17 NASB95
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
Righteousness - is simply what is right and pleasing to God.
Romans 1:17 NASB95
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
Righteousness - is simply what is right and pleasing to God.
We are made righteous when we receive the Gospel, when we choose Jesus Christ and make Him our Lord and Savior.
We are made righteous when we confess our sins and receive forgiveness from God, the Father.
When we live by our faith in God, we naturally move toward righteousness.

In December 1994 syndicated columnist Bob Greene told the inspiring story of Rob Mouw.

Rob played on the soccer team in his senior year at Wheaton Christian High School. In the final seconds of a big game against favored Waubonsie Valley, with his team behind by one goal, Rob was dribbling the ball in front of him, running at full speed toward the opponent’s goal. Just before he shot the ball, though, he caught sight of the scoreboard. The clock read 00.00. But like any good athlete, Rob shot the ball anyway, and it went in for a goal. The referee signaled that the goal counted, and the game finished in a tie.

The Wheaton fans cheered. The Waubonsie Valley fans cried that time had run out.

Rob had a choice to make. He could say nothing and avoid a loss. After all, it was the referee’s job to decide the calls, not his. Or Rob could do what was right.

Rob asked the referee whether the official time was kept on the scoreboard or the referee’s stopwatch. The referee said the scoreboard time was official and then ran off the field. Rob went to his coaches and explained that just before his kick, he had seen zeros on the scoreboard clock. Since he hadn’t heard a whistle, he kept playing. But his goal was late, and he didn’t think it should count.

His coaches agreed, and so they went over to the opposing coaches, explained what had happened, and conceded victory to Waubonsie Valley.

Bob Greene ended his article with this quote from Rob Mouw: “Every time in your life you have an opportunity to do right, you should be thankful. For a person to know what right is, and then not to do it—that would be a sin. To have won the game—I mean, really, who cares? Doing the right thing is more important. It lets you have peace.”

But that wasn’t the end of the story, writes Kevin Dale Miller. “Sometime later Rob received a handwritten letter from a total stranger that said:

Dear Rob, I read Bob Greene’s wonderful column about you. I love sports and true sportsmen. My faith in our future was renewed and lifted by that column. Never lose your principles. Always stand for what’s decent and right. That’s what you told us all when you refused the victory!

The letter was signed by former President George Bush.

Doing what’s right—it sometimes gets the attention and approval of the newspaper and even former presidents. It always gets the attention and approval of God.

Habakkuk 2:4 NASB95
4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.
We can naturally do the same thing when we share our faith with others.
God puts people into our path every single day—people who need the love of Jesus. Sometimes these people need to hear the Gospel, sometimes they just need to be the recipients of God’s great love.
Often times we can be the greatest standard bearers of the Gospel, not through the open proclamation of the Gospel message, but by loving others simply as Jesus would love them if He were walking in your shoes.

Conclusion

It reminds me of the old hymn that we sometimes sing...

I Love to Tell the Story

I love to tell the Story
‎Refrain. I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
‎2. I love to tell the Story! More wonderful it seems, Than all the golden fancies Of all our golden dreams. I love to tell the Story! It did so much for me! And that is just the reason, I tell it now to thee.
‎3. I love to tell the Story! 'Tis pleasant to repeat What seems, each time I tell it, More wonderfully sweet. I love to tell the Story! For some have never heard The message of salvation From God's own holy Word.
‎4. I love to tell the Story! For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting To hear, it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, 'Twill be the old, old story That I have lov'd so long.
Romans 1:8–17 NASB95
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
Of unseen things above
Of Jesus and His Glory
Of Jesus and His Love!
I love to tell the Story!
Because I know it's true
It satisfies my longings
As nothing else would do
I love to tell the story
’Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love.
--
And while the theme in glory will be the Gospel and the ongoing praise of God, the Father, I promise you that it will be much more exciting than it sounds to some of you that prefer to skip the music portion of the service.
In fact, the theme of the Gospel should be the point of our lives today… even in our work-a-day world.
We can wake up praising God, thank Him for all that is good in our lives, thank Him for our trials, and seek opportunities to praise Him before others as we share the love of Jesus Christ with them.
This IS the life of the disciple, the Christ follower.
Now if you are here today and don’t consider yourself a Christ follower and you aren’t sure what this Gospel is, we are all glad that you are here.
The Gospel is simply the message found in the Bible, that Jesus is the Son of God. He came to earth as the Messiah, God’s messenger, to bring hope to a world that is lost to God. He died on the cross to take our sins and allow us to be forgiven by God. We have the opportunity to choose to believe in Jesus Christ and take Him as our Savior. When we choose Him, we are forgiven and have open contact with God.
If that’s something you’ve never done and you’d like to make that decision today, I’ll be down here at the front as we sing in just a moment.
If you’d like to unite with this church in membership or would like to be baptized, please come as we sing.
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