John #14 Soul-Winning 201
That You May Believe and Have Life John #14
John 4:13,14; 3:1-16
Well … I want to give you a visual illustration today … it may get a little busy, but there's a point so please help me …
Everyone here today should have a little envelope. If you don't have one, let us know and we will get you one.
So, open your envelope and look inside and see what you have …
Now there is something you need to know …
A Black ribbon symbolizes death
A Blue ribbon symbolizes a NEED for resources (i.e. money etc)
A Green Ribbon means LIFE and can be exchanged for a Black ribbon
A Yellow Ribbon means Resources and can replace a Blue Ribbon
That was fun huh?
Addition is not the most productive way to bring about change from Black to Green or Blue to Yellow
Multiplication is the way to go
Paul introduces the idea and doctrine of evangelism in Romans 1:14-17
READ Romans 1:14-17
Romans 1:14-17 (NIV)
14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Not my sermon, but quickly, the doctrine of evangelism in a nutshell …
> I am Obligated to share the gospel
a. I have been forgiven
b. I have been freed
c. freedom has an obligation
d. I pay back by telling others of the freedom and forgiveness available in Christ Jesus
e. to everyone - Greek and non Greek that is Nationals and Internationals; Acceptable and Unacceptable - wise and foolish
f. I have been commanded so I am obligated
> I am Eager to Evangelize
a. eagerness comes from understanding the obligation
understanding the condition - God's wrath / condemnation is on those who don't believe
understanding the potential - it is the power of God for Salvation
> Why we don't Evangelize?
a. shame - we don't think it's powerful enough. We don't think we are good enough to share
b. ignorance - we don't know that righteousness is available and that faith is the key. We don't realize that it is our obligation
SO --- recognizing our obligation, the condition of people without Christ and the power available IN Christ, let's see something in our passage today
2 weeks ago we read of Jesus sharing with Nicodemus
Today we see Jesus sharing with a Samaritan woman by a well.
READ JOHN 4:1-15
"SIR GIVE ME THAT WATER"
There is no greater thing than when someone, with whom we share, says "give me Jesus"
We have been commanded to share the gospel
We are compelled to share out of gratitude for the love outpoured
We are convinced to share because of the power of God that is available to all who believe
Jesus shared with nicodemus because the Gospel has the power to transform him from Religious Ruler to Reborn Teacher.
Jesus shared with this Samaritan Woman because the Gospel had the Power to transform her from Outcast Sinner to Reconciled Saint
Nicodemus didn't have to search the scriptures for salvation but that he might share salvation and know the hidden wonders of grace
This woman didn't have to search for acceptance in imitation love but she could live in the love of God lavished on her and from that position give and receive love that is authentic and redemptive
So … let me give you some very practical steps for sharing your faith.
Let's call it Soul Winning 201
- Meet Jesus
- Share Jesus
- more intentional
- more educated
- more observational
- more challenging
- more rewarding
So, if you are willing
If Jesus would give you an opportunity … would you share your faith?
If you had some tools would you share the story of Jesus?
I'm not preaching but sharing some principles
5 quick principles
1. Be Available
What kind of mat do you have on your front door?
We have a mat at our house that is a joke, it says "go away" … J
Do we send out signs like that sometimes, spiritually?
Jesus was available to those seeking him. He never rejected "sinners" "outcasts" "forsaken ones"
John 6:37 - "whoever comes to me, I will never drive away …" he goes on to explain that this is the very reason for which he came.
Sometimes we forget why we are here.
Are we just here as a lecture house?
Are we just here as a worship facility?
Are we just here to meet people and network? Like a country club?
Sometimes we shut people out because we forget why we are here.
Nicodemus came in the middle of the night
The Woman came in the middle of the day
Nicodemus came for wisdom into the mysteries of God
The Woman was looking for love and truth. As a matter of fact, she had really stopped looking. She was avoiding people and though married 5 times, she no longer even bothered to get married.
Jesus was available because that is why he came to earth
We must be available because 1 Peter 1 says we have been chosen and transformed, included in the family of God for the purpose of declaring his him and to show him to a pagan world that needs him.
We are commanded that "as we go" we must be witness and disciples makers.
So, that should make us available and we must then
2. Be Honest
We have to hold up the truth and not be afraid to go against accepted wisdom.
The truth shared with Nic. Was "you must be born again
The truth shared with the Woman was that following any one's pattern was not enough if we don't worship God the way HE prescribes
When we are available, people will come to us longing for answers.
Will we tell the truth or just tell them what they want to hear?
"We are all going to Heaven right?" -- how do we answer? "well only God knows"
Be honest. When people come with questions the only thing we can do is be honest.
John 8:31-32 says "if you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples 32 and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free"
We have to know the truth to be honest with it
The truth of Jn 8:33-36
"How can you say that "we shall be set free" I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin 35 a slave has no permanent place in the family but a son belongs forever 36 if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed"
The truth is we are slaves to sin and the ONLY real Freedom is found in Christ Jesus
3. Be Engaging
· Ask questions that continue the conversation
I know some people who know the truth but the are too cut and dry.
They are take it or leave it
Jesus asked questions that would continue the conversation instead of questions or statements that would shut it down
Nic. - said "we believe you are a teacher sent from God"
Jesus could have said "why thank you" and moved on
Instead, he said "you need to be reborn to get into the Kingdom of God"
Jesus talked about wind, about being lifted up, about the serpent on the pole …
Why? He was talking to a smart man and challenged him to think and change his way of thinking
Samaritan Woman - at mid day
We can gather enough about this woman by reading between the lines to know that she was rejected by other women who would normally come in the Morning. She had been used by many men who were not interested in her or in a future with her. Married 5 times and now not bothering to marry.
This woman wanted to be left alone.
Yet she must have longed for real relationships, real friendships, and peace with God.
The last person she wanted to meet was one more person who would look down on her.
And who is waiting at the water hole, but a Jewish man. A Jewish man would have hated seeing a Samaritan man, but a Samaritan woman was even further down. They were NOTHING in the eyes of the Jew.
Jesus could have ignored her
He could have politely said hello and continued his rest.
Remember he was tired. He didn't really have energy for this
And Jesus not only speaks to her but he asks her to do something for him, something HARD … "GIVE ME A DRINK" -
But the question created a conversation … though a little controversial at first.
"you don't even think I'm a full person and you ask me for a drink" … that's the feelings behind what she said in verse 6
And instead of defending … Jesus becomes more intriguing …
"If you knew what I had from God to give, you would ask me for a drink and I would give you LIVING Water"
To which she replied with questions
· "where's your jar"?
· "where do you get living water"?
· "Are you greater than Jacob"?
But Jesus pushes her interest a little further
"You're missing the point"
You drink THIS water and you will just keep getting thirsty"
What he was saying was … your thirst goes deeper than this water
"if you drink my water, you will never get thirsty again, because I will place WITHIN you the source for water to quench your thirst and give you eternal life
Folks … searching people who don't know Jesus, are looking for life, they may define it as a search for knowledge or acceptance but what they need is Jesus … So be engaging
If YOU reject them … why will they believe that Jesus will receive them
If you brush them off won't Jesus do the same?
4. Be Redeeming
- Be Receptive not Repulsive
- Be Reconciling not Separating
I've just touched on it, but many times the reason people don't think Jesus will receive them is because we won't
Nicodemus was in a culture that protected the tradition so if he was going to talk to a "radical" like Jesus, he had to come at night … so would Jesus turn him away? … NO
This woman new rejection as a part of life. She has promised herself to 5 different men and the man she had now didn't care enough to marry her so, would Jesus reject her?
She was a Samaritan, would Jesus reject her?
I've said so many times, but the Gospel is offensive all by itself, we should be receptive, not repulsive.
In vv20-24 - a theological discussion breaks out …
"Do I have to worship in Jerusalem or not"?
Jesus could have wandered off in theological discussion about that fact that the "fathers of Israel" didn't say they had worship in Jerusalem, but GOD said it. But what good would that discussion do? It would probably lead to anger, resentment, and wasted time.
Folks, there may be a time for friendly discussion of theology and there is a time even heated discussion of theology, not here.
I had a roommate in college who was a self announced atheist attending a Baptist college. Oh he LOVED the discussions, and so did many that argued with him, but it didn't move him toward Christ.
But when he asked me to be his roommate, I took a different approach. I was a friend to him, I answered questions but was never aggressive and let him move toward Christ until he went from saying "I don't believe in God"
To saying "I'll never be satisfied until I'm a Christian"
Jesus told this woman … we don't have to argue theology or a place, let's talk about what God says
When I have to speak don't give them your opinion speak the truth of God
Jesus said, I'm less concerned about where than who.
Jesus came to divide truth from lies
But Jesus came to reconcile and we have been given the ministry of reconciliation
5. Be Freeing
· The Pharisees converted then bound
Mt. 23:15 - you travel land and sea to win a convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are
· Set people free but hold accountable
If we lead people to Christ, ONLY to bind them up we are NOT following the Soul Winning Plan of Jesus
Hear me … we NEED to hold people accountable to walk in truth. But we need to teach them the truth
They can't be bound by what they don't know.
Jesus came for Freedom and it is FOR Freedom we have been set free
Luke 4:18,19 - The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
Let's share Christ and proclaim his freedom
Bringing people together not
Engaging them in real conversation
Speaking the Truth in Love
Available as the Spirit leads …
One thing and I'll close … we were watching "Facing the Giants" and there was a man that had been praying for revival for years. He told the coach … "two farmers were praying rain … but only one of them prepared their field to receive rain, which one believed that God was going to send rain?"
Some of you have people you've been praying that God would save … do you believe that he can save them?
Have you been preparing the field?
Do we believe that God can change this community? Are we preparing the field
Service Prepares the field
Love Prepares the field
And God gives the increase