Sharing Your Faith. Why Do Many Christians Do Not Share Their Faith And What The Bible Can Teach Us About Those Feelings?

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1 WHY SHOULD I SHARE MY FAITH? And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20). for whoever will call on the name of the lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things! (Romans 10:13-15). WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned (Mark 16:15-16). But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame (1 Peter 3:15-16). DISCUSSION Recent surveys reveal that while many believers believe that sharing their faith is important, most don t do it. Why do you think people don t share their faith? Discuss the following statement: Let it be the true message of Jesus that upsets them, and not the attitude of the messenger. What do you think these verses are telling us? Why do you think we are told to preach the gospel? Why do you think God (who is all powerful) would send us (who are weak and sinful)? How does God prepare us for this work? OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF SHARING You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 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. 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 5:14-16). Why Do Many Christians Do Not Share Their Faith And What The Bible Can Teach Us About Those Feelings? "I'm not smart enough." Jesus disciples were ordinary guys. We know this from a story about when Peter and John were telling a hostile crowd of religious leaders about Jesus. 1

2 "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). DISCUSSION "I don't want to make anybody mad." Maybe you've been around Christians who are annoying. Sometimes they come across as selfrighteous and superior. We don t want to be seen that way so we don t say anything. But Jesus gave us an example to follow. Look at how people responded to Him: People crowded around Him. People wanted to know Him. People wanted to follow Him. Why? 1. Because Jesus cared about hurting and lost people. Matthew 9: He listened carefully and responded to their deepest needs. John 4:9-26 "My friends will make fun of me." We often turn this fear into a bigger problem than it really is. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 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. 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 5:14-16). "None of my Christian friends do it." Have you ever asked your friends why they don't witness? "I'm not a very good Christian." You're a believer, but you mess up. You don't pray or read your Bible as much as you should. And you sin. Every day. So why should you tell other people about Christ if you can't even get it right? Fortunately, being a believer isn't about getting it right. It's about God's love and God's forgiveness. It's about His saving grace. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-9). For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). 2

3 METHODS OF SHARING YOUR FAITH Share Your Own Personal Story Of Faith Write out your personal experience discovering God and making Jesus Lord of your life. It should be short and from your heart. 1. How did you first become interested in Jesus? 2. What about Jesus made you curious to know more? 3. What were some significant milestones in your journey toward Jesus? 4. What need for Jesus did you recognize within yourself? 5. What barriers or roadblocks did you struggle to overcome on the way to trusting Jesus? How did you overcome them? 6. What was the final experience that led you to make Jesus your Lord? 7. In what ways is God still transforming you? Practice telling your story with your family and other believers to build your confidence. Praying for those who don t know Christ is a good way to keep them on our mind and to remind us to share our faith with them. Make a list of those you know who are not believers. Begin praying for them regularly. Ask yourself this question: What are some things you can do to generate opportunities to share your faith with your unbelieving friends? NOTES 5 Finger Method From Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Explosion is best known for its two "diagnostic questions" that users can ask non-christians as a means of determining a "person's spiritual health", and of stimulating an evangelistic conversation: 1. Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you can say you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven? 2. Suppose that you were to die today, and as you stood before God He said to you, "Why should I let you into my heaven?" What would you say? If the person s answer to these question leads you to believe that they have not trusted Christ for their salvation, you are trained to lead them through a simple explanation of God s plan for their salvation. 1. GRACE For by grace you are saved, not by any work you can do. 2. MAN Man is a sinner from birth and cannot be good enough to earn salvation. 3

4 3. GOD God created us and loves us. He does not want us to be separated from Him forever. 4. CHRIST God sent his only Son, perfect in every way, to die and pay the price for our sins. 5. FAITH If we accept the free gift that Jesus offers by His death, we can have eternal life and be assured that we will be with Him forever. NOTES Colored Beads Bracelet BLACK The black bead represents the belief that everyone sins. Sin makes it impossible to have a relationship with God. This belief is a key component to the Christian faith. The verses used to accompany this bead are Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." RED The red bead symbolizes the blood of Jesus and the belief that faith in Jesus and his sacrificial death are necessary for the forgiveness of sins. The belief that Jesus died on the cross to serve as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of all mankind is the core belief of the Christian faith. Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." WHITE The white bead stands for purity and the Christian teaching that once you put your faith in Jesus, your sins are forgiven and you are made pure. 1 John 3:5 is the verse used alongside this bead, and it says, "But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin." GREEN The green bead is to help teach the need for continued growth in the faith. 2 Peter 3:18 instructs believers to, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." This verse is used to encourage new believers to continue to study the Bible, attend church, pray and learn. GOLD The gold bead represents the streets of heaven lined with gold. Believers look to the day where Jesus will return to earth to take his followers to heaven with him. Jesus says in John 14:2-3, "My Father s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." 4

5 DIGGING DEEPER This next week, review the verses we discussed in this session on the grace of God and complete the following: In your own words, write out your own personal testimony. DAILY LIFE Memorize this week: Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. 5

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