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Who Should We Be?

Spiritual Disciplines  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Title: Who Should We Be?

Text:

Series: Spiritual Disciplines: Evangelism

Review:
Review:
Last week, March 10 - “If God exists, then we should evangelize”
March 3 - Glen South
February 24 - Since Jesus is the Judge of the living and the dead, we must evangelize for the forgiveness of sins
February 17 - Matt Anders - The Motivation for Evangelism (Motivated by What Brings God Joy)
Evangelism: teaching/preaching the gospel with an aim to persuade
Illustration:
Many times when a student is about to finish high school, they will be asked the question, “What do you want to do with your life? or “What do you want to do?”
A man was at work, when his boss asked him a similar question, but it rattled the employee being asked. The question was, “What do you want to BE?”

(1) What do you want to be? -

This is an important part of our text. Through the sacrifice of Christ for sins, burial, Resurrection, and ascension - the LORD would make possible for people to BE witnesses and not just DO witnessing.
Illustration:
Our conditioning is often to identify what we “do” before it is to identify who we “are.” Finish this statement, “What would Jesus _____?”
Example:
- Paul identifies who he is before he speaks of the purpose for his identity
- Called to be
Principle: Being an evangelist begins with who you are before it is what you do.
FCF - Culture conditioned to find identity in performance - this makes is difficult to look to the importance of our being over our doing.
Jesus died so that our identity could be settled in His performance not in our performance…this then leads to the real question:

(2) Who does Jesus want you to be? - “unto me

This then is the real question.
(i) Faith in the Gospel
witness - one who bears witness, by his death, to what he has seen and heard or knows. -
(ii) Faith-FUL followers (this will deal with their activity) - Jerusalem, Judea…etc
Christ wants followers who believe that their evangelism does NOT make them more acceptable with God. Christ wants followers who evangelize because Jesus has already made them acceptable with God.
Principle: Christ makes evangelists who do evangelism because their identity is secure in the finished performance of Christ.
Christ makes evangelists who do evangelism because their identity is secure in the finished performance of Christ.
FCF - The danger for us is what is called “Pragmatic Evangelism”. It happens in fundamental churches regularly.
If we only say that we are secure in the finished work/performance of Jesus Christ and we are really not, then we believe/feel as though we have to do evangelism to make God accept us. Thus, we tend towards things that will bring results, even if they are sketchy practices at best.
“the greatest obstacle to healthy evangelism is pragmatism: “doing evangelism” before we ever think who we are meant to be as evangelists. The result is evangelism that is twisted and deformed....Pragmatic evangelism never asks the question, “Who are we to be as evangelists?” Pragmatic evangelism only asks the question “What works?” ” - M.S.

Conclusion:

A man was giving a seminar on evangelism. At the conclusion of the seminar, a man came up to him and said, “I’m so grateful for our time. I confess I almost didn’t come—usually these seminars make me feel like I’m in training to become an insurance salesman.”
* pitch the message with a careful appeal to self-interest
* promote the program with pizzazz
* overcome hesitancies in a winsome manner
* avoid any offense or problems
* answer objections with humor
* instill fears of losing out
* manipulate conversation to a point of decision
* sign on the dotted line with a sinners prayer and
* hone your skills to close the deal
Do we really want to peddle the gospel like an insurance salesman pitch? - ,
No. We want to BE full of faith in the performance of Christ so that what we DO is true to the message of Christ. Know who you are as an Evangelist before you attempt to do evangelism. It is only then that we can truly be faithful to the message.
How can I be more of what Jesus wants me to be?
(1) Rest in Jesus’ finished work before you are tempted by other work
Rest in Jesus’ finished work before you are tempted by other work
If each day was a blank page for you to begin writing an account of your day, begin each account with an affirmation of who’s finished performance ultimately matters (like Paul with his letters).
(2) See your roles and responsibilities as conduits to express who you really are. Don’t let those roles and responsibilities determine who you are.
Mothers, see mothering as an conduit to point your children to the sufficiency of Christ
Employees, don’t consider your function your identity. See your function as a channel to communicate your true identity.
(3) Resist judgment that is based on success in numbers.
As witnesses unto Christ, our eyes need to be steadfastly looking unto Him.
The concerns you express will be a revelation of how you gauge success. Evangelistic success is not determined by number of converts, number of members, financial statements, board policies, or bodies in the pew.
(4) Be faithful to the message even if it costs you. (Don’t try to close a deal....)
(4) Be faithful to the message even if it costs you. (Don’t try to close a deal....)
Christians are living dead people. As witnesses, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. We consider ourselves to be dead and yet living as ambassadors.
(5) Do not be distracted from the true gospel by the human status of men -
Our conversations should not be about great men of God, but about the Great God of men.
Who do you want to be?
Who does Jesus want you to be?
What does it mean to BE a FAITH-FUL evangelist?
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