Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How do I speak of Christ? I don't feel equipped!
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

As society raises its intolerable fist at evangelical, Bible-believing Christians, there are many believers that simply don’t feel equipped to speak of the gospel of salvation.  Many attend church faithfully, they read their Bible regularly, they pray with diligence, and they even want to speak of their Savior. They just feel ill-equipped and incompetent to be a mouthpiece for the Lord in the midst of a hostile and hellbent society. What is to be done?  This brief essay provides five helpful encouragements for every Christian so you can speak of Christ as His ambassador and for His glory!

1. Speak what you know.    PROCLAMATION
Every Christian is called to evangelize. None are excluded. ‘But how can this be?’ one may reply. Simple: if you are a Christian then you have heard the truths of the gospel and you have come to believe it to be true. If you yourself are saved, then you know enough to share with others so that they may be saved. You may not have the finesse and theological mastery that some others may have, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Better to have diligence, passion and tenderness in evangelism than heady, arrogant and even apathetic fact-telling of the gospel. So, Christian, speak what you know! You know God and His holy character! Then speak of that! You know of your sin and man’s inability to save himself! Then speak of that! You know of God sending His Son and putting Him on the cross as the sin-bearer to extinguish God’s wrath and to forgive of your sin. Then speak of that! You know of the need to repent and forsake your sin and trust in Christ alone to be clothed with His spotless righteousness! Then speak of that! Dear Christian, speak of what you already know. Proclaim the truths that are hidden in your soul that are so precious to you.

2. Speak of whom you love.   AFFECTION
A Christian is part of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is termed throughout the New Testament as the Bride of Christ. Just as a bride loves her husband, so the church of Jesus Christ loves her Bridegroom. Just as a bride enjoys her husband, submits to him, loves him, honors him, and follows him, so the bride of Christ enjoys, submits to, loves, honors, and follows the ultimate and everlastingly sweet Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.  Speak of the one your soul loves. Speaking theological, gospel facts is one thing. Speaking these blessed truths with passion because they erupt from a soul that has been ravished and satisfied by the sweet embraces of Christ can be a very powerful gospel witness. Of course, it’s not a show. But true believers love to speak of the One they love. As we speak of our newborn children when they are born because we love them so much, how much more ought the people of God to speak often and speak highly of our great Savior who has won our affections.

3. Speak with loving urgency.   URGENCY
Eternity is soon-coming. Countless millions of souls live as practical atheists: whether or not they profess to believe in God, they live as though God does not exist and as though they are accountable to no one. Hell is truth learned too late. All in hell understand that they reside there forevermore because they did not repent. This must instruct and inflame us to speak often and urgently to the lost with gospel truth. To be urgent regarding something is to present something as of supreme importance that necessitates careful hearing, diligent response, and focused attention. Dear Christian, you don’t need to be a scholar to speak gospel truth, you simply need to love God and love your neighbor. You don’t need to know all the theological arguments of eschatology and all the opposing arguments (and counter-arguments) for the false beliefs of the afterlife. Rather, speak urgently and winsomely as you have a great love for the souls of others and you want them to join you on the journey to heaven and to experience the fullness of Christ’s face and embrace in the everlasting bliss of happiness. You’d be urgent if someone’s house was on fire. You’d be urgent if a toddler walked into the street with oncoming traffic approaching. How much more must we be urgent with the undying souls of others -- those whom we know and those whom we don’t know. Be urgent! Be loving! Be speaking!

4. Speak of God's grace to your soul.   TESTIMONY
Never underestimate the power of your testimony. Your gospel story is a unique, God-given, divinely-graced experience. Of course, every person’s story is different in some details but the gospel will always remain the same. Sinners were dead. God freely came out of infinite and sovereign love and imparted life to the spiritually dead soul. And the regenerated person repented of sin, trusted in Christ, saw Him as glorious, and happily forsakes all to follow Him. Speak this gospel story to others. Everyone loves a story. Tell them what happened to you. Tell them how God changed you. Tell them how Christ saved you! Tell them how the sovereign Spirit drew & regenerated you. Speak of what God has done for you. You can do this! You can recount your life. Brag on the Lord. Bless His Name. Make much of His grace, His redemption, His crosswork, His beauty, His forgiveness, His righteousness, His patient and everflowing mercies. So Christian, no degrees are needed for this. Speak of the story of God’s radically transforming work that He wrought in the depths of your soul that thus changed your life. If you aren’t sure how to do this, focus on how Paul does this throughout the Book of Acts. Share your testimony. Be unashamed and be happy to share this!

5. Speak of what you're studying.      MATURATION
Often people will ask you on a Monday morning: “how’d your weekend go?” Or, maybe on a Friday morning, they may ask: “how are you today?” Consider having a thoughtful reply to such questions rather than just the easy, typical, thoughtless responses that we can sometimes mechanically mutter. Speak to others of what you’re learning in your own Bible reading. Share with others what you’re hearing preached from your local church on Sundays and Wednesdays. Be willing to express how you have been changing and growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Speak of what you’re studying. People usually want to learn and hear what people are learning, thinking about, or contemplating. Be willing to share these things with others. As you mature, make it known to others. Are you hearing a sermon series through the Book of Psalms? Then share with others how you’re learning that God’s Word is sufficient for the people of God to guard and guide them through any and all issues and circumstances of life (the good, the bad, the ugly). Are you currently reading Romans on your own? Share with others what you’re reading and meditating upon in the early morning hours. Are you reading a book on the attributes of God? Then, share a bit of information from your reading with others that may stimulate their thinking and open up more conversations. Dear Christian, you are equipped to share the gospel. No education is necessary. Grow, of course! Study more, obviously! Seek to deepen your knowledge and widen your understandings of the gospel but don’t think that you need something else in order to be equipped to share the gospel of God’s grace.

So, then, dear Christian, if you have been saved by God’s grace, then you are equipped and can speak of Christ! So go and be proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus has done for you (Luke 8:39)!

More articles at Pastor Geoff's website.
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