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April 1, 2019 2:23 pm
Letting you know that our mission at Calvary church is being and making authentic followers of Jesus Christ.
That is probably church exists so that girls and boys and men and woman will be brought into saving faith in Jesus Christ and then grow in their faith to be authentic followers of Jesus, and we believe that this life transforming message of the gospel is so powerful, so important, so eternal in his consequences and implications that everyone in the world needs to hear this message. We been studying recently, Romans, and Paul begins the wonderful light of Romans by reminding us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. Just think of that that this message is so powerful that men and women and boys and goes about cultures of all generations down the fourth 2000 years lives have been changed. People of been forgiven. People are being brought into a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ through the parlor of the gospel. The greatest power in the universe. It is to everyone who believes.
Now every year I challenge our soft also challenge the congregation but particular staff and their leaders on different matters and one of the themes that we selected this year was displaying and proclaiming Jesus with grace and truth and that so recently. As we met as pastors Pastor Caswell who is a pastor of missions and I rage along with Tysabri Japan. I was challenged to speak on the subject. So were taking a break from Romans, Lord willing, will resume at next week and I want to think on this theme of displaying and proclaiming Jesus with grace and truth that is that we are not only to live for Jesus.
We are to be witnesses for Jesus and so think with me on this subject. First of all we want to see that displaying and proclaiming Jesus with grace and truth must be our priority. If you have your Bible invite you to turn to John chapter 3 and were going to think of the example of Jesus as he talks to two people. First of all to see the priority of displaying and proclaiming Jesus with grace and truth. John chapter 3. Well-known passage. The passage of the new birth being born again and that we read first of all in the first three verses of John chapter 3 verse one John said there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
This man came to Jesus by night and said term Rabbi, we know that your teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him. Here is a man who appears to be a searcher for truth is a ruler of the Jews. He's a teacher well respected. Upon play knows the Old Testament law, and as he observed Jesus, he realizes that Jesus must come from God, because Jesus is doing miraculous things is doing very signs and the Nicodemus is smart enough or nosy Bible enough to know that God must be with this man and so he goes and enters into this very interesting dialogue with Jesus not notice what Jesus doesn't say a Jesus is buried in verse three is going to answer them is not going to talk about the miracles that Jesus died so though Jesus did medicals because that was not the primary reason why Jesus came. Notice what Jesus says in verse three Jesus answered him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Verse five truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God, not Nicodemus trained in the Old Testament Scriptures had an understanding that God was carrying an understanding of the kingdom of God and Jesus is saying to Nicodemus, Nicodemus, unless you are born again, you will never see you will never enter the kingdom of God. Do you believe that I believe that I believe without a supernatural birth the birth of the Holy Spirit that whoever you are, you will not see you will not enter the kingdom of God unless you are born again, look at the last verse of John three John three verse 36 whoever believes in the son has eternal life that is in the teaching of the gospel is the Christian gospel that those who believe in Jesus have eternal life present tense presently have it and will never lose it. If you truly receive as a gift of God eternal life.
Whoever believes in the son has eternal life, but notice when verse goes on to say whoever does not obey the son shall not see life, you want to see the kingdom of God. Q1 enter the kingdom of God. Whoever does not obey the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him remains on him.
That is our Lord and his student teaching is saying that souls can be won or lost for all of eternity.I realize that many people don't believe that people don't believe in God. People don't believe in the authority of Scripture.
They think this is an outdated message. It is very very wrong. It is rather bigoted, but that is the teaching of the gospel and if we believe the Bible is either an believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate and is absolute truth. We must accept what he say that people around us can either believe in the Lord Jesus and so of eternal life or they can reject him. They can obey him not, and they will not see life, they will not enter the kingdom of God.
So, eternal destiny Thursday country that this message that we believe in is not peripheral to life is not just a pull political philosophy based on just the way of conducting ourselves and life. This is very sensual to who we are as human beings on this tiny planet. Realizing that eternity awaits us in Jesus is saying unless you are born again, unless you believe in me you will not have eternal life. Now why my saying this one is to explain the gospel. But secondly, to say this as we think of this theme of displaying and proclaiming Jesus Christ.
This is all important.
The Lord Jesus instructs us encourages us. In fact, commands us as we so recently a missions conference. The tell others about him that I go over to chapter 4 here is another example of fascinating example of another conversation. Jesus has this one is not with the religious mind is whether a woman not one who comes to Jesus, but rather, Jesus organizes his circumstances of life. So he's at the right place at the right time to meet this woman. She's not religious in fact is very immoral.
John chapter 4 verse seven there came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, give me a drink. Notice how our Lord initiates a conversation with this woman who is a Samaritan despised by the Jews regarded as apostate Jesus great love initiates a conversation with her and says give me a drink, and as the story enfolds here in John for something wonderful happens, something that really doesn't surprise us and we know our Lord and why he came to earth that he bridges religious and racial and social and gender barriers and tells this woman of the gift of God was and what he says in verse 10 Jesus answered her, if you know the gift of God.
Have you understood that salvation is a gift not something you work for, not something that you desire but is a gift of God. We call that grace ring following the messages in Romans, I think. I hope you've got that. But God deals with us, not on the basis of reward, but on the basis of grace, that which is undeserved. It is a gift of God, and that's what Jesus is saying to this woman.
And therein lies her hope wasn't because she could never have changed supplied by herself to get it right with God. If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you. Give me a drink, you would've asked him and he would have given you living waters wonderful to know that our Lord Jesus comes to seek and to save the fallen.
The lost people like this woman that every person needs to hear the message of salvation. In fact, the Samaritans and in verse what is it at the end of verse 42 they describe Jesus in this powerful designation as the Savior of the world is not wonderful to know that with our Lord Jesus comes when God and his grace sends his son into this world.
He doesn't come just to a certain class of people or a separate nation, not just Israel, not just of the Middle East, not just a one nation but that he is in fact the Savior of the world and notice what Jesus does verse 13.
Listen to these powerful powerful words. I think of this woman. She's had five husbands. Even Charlotte, that's a little excessive, is made and just living with someone but she's not married to. She would fit in very well to our society would initiate but not to that society. She's an outcast. Notice what Jesus says to her verse 13 everyone who drinks of this water. That's the well at Samaria will be Thursday again that's true isn't it.
You take a drink of water at that 10 o'clock and by 2 o'clock is another drink will be Thursday again but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spraying of water, a fountain of water welling up to eternal life. Wonderful. Here is a woman who sought for pleasure and fulfillment, satisfaction and joy in external things in her case relationships with different men looking for jawed pleasure and fulfillment as well. Do but they failed her.
And Jesus is saying you've looked in the wrong place, but now I'm going to give you something supernatural. I'm going to give you water, not outside of yourself not coming from this well if you do that you're going to thirst again. You know that thing of all of the men you've lived with. You started off great excitement and they all fail. Joe and will continue to live like that. But I want you to stop living like that. I want you to drink of this water that I give you because this is different is the supernatural is going to be filing to the water inside springing up into life eternal on this dear woman who for years had been drinking from the waters of an immoral life now drinks from this fountain, the spring of living water. Supernatural water very grace of God within her. Which is going to spring up into life eternal. Some of your hood of my generation movement may remember the old hymn of relations bother.
I came to Jesus as I was.
I think Horatius Bonomo was to be thinking about this woman I came to Jesus as I was really and worn inside. I find in him a resting place, and he has made me glad, and this woman really worn used by man over her life and outcast in our society despised and look down on this wonderful encounter with Jesus Christ and is changed fines in Christ arresting place.
I want to shoot her with all of the example of Jesus use it while it was on this in teaching. He knew they could be missing you like to relate to Nicodemus continue this woman in your background will not like that that is true, we are not, we currently get people's hearts, but to give the example of the Samaritan woman as we think of the subject of displaying and proclaiming Jesus with grace and truth. What does she do after meeting Jesus hearing what he's saying she is so excited that you leave the water pots was she was there to get water. That's not important now a Jew rushes back to town and she invites everyone to commonly Jesus, I find that absolutely astonishing one. She was isolated from people. That's why she was the heat of the day, not with the other woman coming along despised social outcast because of the immortal life and now she rushes back and sighed and says come see her mind and told me all that I did is not this the Christ what you doing she's displaying and proclaiming Jesus to people. Verse 28, so the woman left her water charting with the wintertime then said to the people, see a man who told me all whatever I did. Can this be the Christ, or is not this the Christ.
Verse 39. Many Samaritans from that time believed in him that is believed in Jesus because of the woman's testimony notion never been to seminary gender in an online course in personal evangelism. What happened should had a personal encounter with Jesus, and she was never the same again and she was so excited that she wanted everyone to learn about Jesus.
What a change coming from a disadvantaged past she's a Samaritan she's a woman look down on and that culture is experienced many dysfunctional relationships.
Five husbands are living with a man does not matter to social outcast coming to the well on her own but no that she is my Jesus. She wants to tell others about that is. Jesus says in verse 36 that is gathering fruits for eternal life do anything about that gathering fruits for eternal life. What an inspiring and what an unexpected example of displaying a proclaiming Jesus seen in the Samaritan woman by the personal encounter with Jesus. So, have you ever told anyone find it. The example of Jesus engaging people in conversation two very different people. Nicodemus and this woman but the woman herself is a living witness for Jesus or by the disciples must've not such a good example of the surprisingly perhaps displaying and proclaiming Jesus is not the priority of the disciples when Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman about her deep spiritual thirst where the disciples they're not there there at the local fast food store buying some kosher chicken and watching the basketball game between Bethlehem and Nazareth in the playoff for there to single mention basketball okay that's of the original text. What was the priority of the disciples, not souls with food that's 31. Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him single wrapper height each he said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know about the disciples said to one another and someone brought him something to eat soup with their minds are like ours.
Jesus said to them, my foods is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Here is a time here was a woman here Samaritans who have never met Jesus and the disciples are with them, and instead of them telling people about Jesus. As this woman did very concerned about food, the personal comfort their selfish priorities yes and the cultural prejudices blind them to the reality that they are surrounded by lost people is not like yourselves, and we often like the disciples blind to spiritual realities, it may be that were prejudiced against the poor prejudiced against those of a different color of skin, different accent different at the sedate prejudiced against those who have more than we are right about jealousies and our insecurities so that we would never think of speaking to certain people about Jesus. That's the disciples Samaritans Jewish that unclean woman but has something to eat, you find it difficult to display and proclaim Jesus when the adjuster I space it is sometimes difficult because we want to fit in. We don't want to people to think that when a Jesus freak out an extremist and so we just blend. I think most of us would be like the disciples wouldn't let's get something to eat what's going on. Let's catch up with the latest news. I let's just talk. Let's leave Jesus back there and going to our own thing I remember just after I was baptized I was just before my 17th birthday, and we've recently moved to we we lived overseas for a while and with her family.
We went back to Scotland and I had gone overseas to boys only school small school and now I'm back to big Scottish school of public school and the I had been told you from Scripture that I should be telling people about Jesus.
I find it very difficult and I am trying to fit into school and so I thought, how do I do this and suggesting of students do it some other way if I need to in some way communicate the fact that my folder.
Jesus, I bought a little bad she was dark red or burgundy color with silver letters on it just to arch with said Jesus saves, and we do we where a school uniform so there I am with my black blazer and this little batch Jesus saves is that while some might be offended by that possibly, but I felt that time was the right thing to do innocently got a few comments and that Scottish culture not a culture of smiley faces, but I felt was right thing to do.
Remember going into the history class where we called him Doc Holliday. He was my favorite teacher.
History loved history then and now and that he knew me and sitting down in the he looks at me and says what that Jesus saves, and I knew he was an atheist brilliant teacher really likable person and I had quite a good relationship with them. I think in looks and says Monroe Jesus and Jesus use his hands to get some kind of Billy Graham that I thought I would turn up in Charlotte North Carolina. I guess it was hard for 17-year-old boy and when we asked for the wonderful thing was, and many of you have experienced this, that when you're doing what you believe God wants you to do is not a tremendous sense of peace and I don't know to this day without anybody or any teacher nor any staff member without it made much difference are not that I was wearing this pain saying Jesus saves, but I felt it was one way that I could say hey I'm different than my priority in life is Jesus Barnett researchers recently found that 14 7% of millennial practicing Christians think it is wrong to share one's belief with a person of another faith in hopes that the person will come to share one's belief in astonishing 47% of these young Christians. I think it's wrong to share their belief with someone of another faith. And then here's another statistic. 40% of practicing millennial Christians believe that if someone disagrees with your they are judging you very different environment from the way some of us were brought up. We will just surprise of anyone agreed with us, but apparently millennial's are are are not used to people disagreeing with yam because they think they're being judged to the whole generation growing up who are uncomfortable. Apparently with some people saying that some things are right and some things are wrong that's judgmental has been picketed. That's imposing your views on someone else. But we who follow Jesus believe in absolute truth, we believe that the Bible is the word of God.
We believe that Jesus is the son of God. We believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. We believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation. We believe that people for all of eternity will either be in heaven or in hell and we therefore must proclaim with grace that is true, as we'll see in a minute but we must proclaim the truth of God, even to a hostile society. Why, because were commanded to do that if you're doing it a few years ago I was coming back from Scotland and had a layover at JFK and then Witton for the plane places absently packed and I see an empty seat and I thought of the spell was probably Muslim.
Just the way he was dressed and sat down with them and conversation as it will put you from he said the eye from Saudi Arabia and the I said there we doing in the states. He said on here in business and so we started to speak. He was very open to speak about America very open to speak of either faith and as we started to talk a set of mama. I'm a follower of Jesus, and he said others were interesting, he said, I find that in the United States that theirs is a tremendous moral as society and I said yeah that's true I said I've never been to Saudi Arabia but I suppose you've got sinners there as well and that he he conceded that there were a few so he said that while we Muslims. We also believe in Jesus.
I said I knew they did, would you believe about Jesus, but we believe that he is a prophet so that I said to them, yes I believe he was a prophet.
He was the greatest of the prophets, but also believe that he is the son of God.
God incarnate and elected mainly smiled and he said no we don't accept that he didn't get angry, we don't raise her voice. This is a very respectful conversation. I was trying to understand his perspective he trying to understand mine as a government playing I thought you know perhaps for the first time this man from Saudi Arabia who let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say that he was a sincere practicing Muslim.
I don't know anything about his personal life with. Let's concede that he was. Perhaps this this was the first time that someone had told him that Jesus is God incarnate. He stated that make any difference. I do not know whether it made any difference are no but what I know is that God in his grace, put me next to this man to be able to enter into conversation with him and I trust with grace and withdrew to communicate who Jesus is. Member Jesus said your sewing seat. I don't know his heart.
I can't save them is not for me but we proclaim Christ with truth, not we are also to display Jesus with an authentic life turn to first Peter chapter 3 where we will see this week to display Jesus with an authentic life and isn't this the very place that often we as Christians father that there's a lack of authenticity that is often hypocrisy. Often there's a phoniness here is Peter to these first century Christians. He says in first Peter three verse three know who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good, but even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed. No fear of them nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord is holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asked you for the reason for the hope that is in you yet to with gentleness. Please notice gentleness and respect. Having a good conscience, so that when you're squandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good if that should be God's will than for doing evil displaying Jesus been gracious being gentle, being respectful and followers of Jesus who display grace but loudmouthed bigots not self nonjudgmental Pharisees that will appear charging down to others but displaying Jesus with grace with gentleness, with respect.
Jesus says 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 in your street in your office in your bank in your hospital. When people look on your was a follower of Jesus Christ.
Do they see your good works. Do they regard you as a kind person as an honest person is someone that they would go to in a time of need when they need help or you remote from them or you judgmental convey the fact that you think you're better than others. Scripture say not.
Don't be like that and even when people are hostile to you, even in the midst of suffering, display grace, even when people criticize you even when they reject you. Peter is sad in the plane and earlier in the chapter. If a Christian life is married to an unbelieving husband will just keep preaching to them know they can be one without a word as they see your respectful and pure conduct. Perhaps you have a hostile boss boss. Perhaps you live with a sarcastic parent or spouse or child who makes it very difficult for you to live for Christ. What you did to display grace.
Be respectful to good show good works. God is on your side, displaying Jesus with grace is so powerful. Peter is saying here show respect and always be Gentile.
Verse 16 yet do it with gentleness and respect and be ready to proclaim Jesus without reasonable defense, always be ready to explain your hope in the Lord. When people see your grace when they see your respect and gentleness, particularly in difficult circumstances that may ask for an explanation. What a great opportunity for witnessing is what a great opportunity when people say to you that that there's something different about you why you know getting mad that difficult boss. Why you are so discouraged when you have these hardships in life with an opportunity to make a defense. This is the word from which we get apologetics. This must mean Peter saying that we know what we believe and we know why we believe it. Alister McGrath says you cannot argue people into the kingdom of God. Apologetics creates a climate favorable to faith. It does not create faith. Now, very well put together argue people into this but with grace.
Having the ability to give a reasonable defense to explain what you believe and why you believe it to this Muslim man from Saudi Arabia. I try with respect to explain to him why I believe that Jesus is God why he's not just a prophet, and to do it respectfully to be like Jesus and learn to relate to people as individuals can I say that one of her problems. When we start telling people about Jesus is that were sometimes not very good listeners.
We must develop listening skills as Jesus did when he dialogued with Nicodemus as he did when he spoke to the woman. Jesus love them both. He interacted with them both. Don't try to give all of the answers don't come over as an all in and try to answer questions that people had present even as Paul says in Colossians 4 walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious. Season with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person each person is different.
Respect the integrity of each individual there made in the image of God. They may be far removed from you in terms of their belief but love them as Christ loved present the gospel make a reasonable defense of your faith. Yes, do that, but do it with gentleness and respect. And I'm going to suggest to you very quickly, as we close some thoughtful questions to ask the person depending on where you're coming from. Learn the art of asking the question don't come over as having all of the answers. When is this person coming from what is there concern of the first of all the questions, and these are big questions and I'm not saying everyone that you meet have all of these questions, but these are questions that most thinking people at least think of, from time to time.
First of all, the question of origins who are we, where did we come from, why is there something rather than nothing. How can something come into existence from nothing I can do nothing to reduce something to hear what they say. But I'm still reminding them of the first verse of the Bible that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The question of origins. Secondly, the question of purpose. Why are we here when I was in my late teens I came across in my reading that great quote from St. Augustine which is still one of my favorite quotes for Augustine and prayer to God says that has created us for thyself and our hearts can never rest until the rest in the and I find that very rarely helpful as a student at Edinburgh University with all of the lead uproar at that time in society and all of the rebellion and all of the anti-authority rhetoric and how so many of my colleagues were embracing Marxism and communism and all of that is to answer this question with the purpose of life to remind them that were created by God's and their hearts are priceless and I would Jesus was telling this woman your heart is restless until it rests in God is were made in the image of God and were made to glorify God with me to enjoy God and most people are on the search for they want justice and they want goodness that they want beauty and truth. But doesn't that say arch doesn't that class .II. The source of these virtues, namely God himself did God say you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart and up labs to leave the individual and to say to them will obviously look at life very very differently but I appreciate that you're on a search and that the Bible says that if you search for God with all of your heart he will be fond of you.
The question of origin. Secondly, the question of purpose.
Third, the question of what's gone wrong and this is what I began with my Muslim friends. He was talking about the ills of American life and how you he said he was appalled by the morality and the degradation of the was in America so well what is it that's going wrong. Most people would admit there something wrong in the world something wrong in our lives something wrong in the city of Charlotte when we have so many mergers under so much injustice what's going wrong.
I think most people would acknowledge that there something wrong in the world.
Why is it with all of the diplomats and with all of the technology and with all of the advances in so many fields, there is still such injustice in the world in such poverty and such devastation on so many wars, not just Albert but also in our hearts. What's going wrong is the fourth question with a solution with a solution.
Mr. Saudi Arabia, what's your solution and you admits there's a problem you admit that society isn't what you think it should be when is this so you should is a great question is I love it when people can get to that question, what, what's this Ilyushin was a Christian solution well in great love that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life and love and grace.
God sends his son to rescue us to forgive us to transform us and he accomplishes this.
He accomplishes this by dying on the cross for our sins being bullied and rising again and if we place our trust in this, Christ died for our sins and who is alive forevermore.
The Bible says that we will be saved. Our sins will be forgiven and that we begin this adventure of faith and following Jesus because the Christian gospel is not just giving assent to certain doctrinal truths is basic essence, it is following a person, Jesus says in John seven if anyone is thirsty, come to me and drink.
He says in John 11. If anyone is weary. Come to me and find rest. He says to the disciples come follow me and we begin to tell the person that were speaking to the wonder of the love of God that the Christian life is one of trust in Christ is one of loving Christ is one.
When we experience the joy of our sins forgiven and then the final question is the question of destiny which we go after death is a very foolish person who's never thought of that is that I have been is the Rachel, would you believe about the wonderful question to ask people being authentic disciple is trusting Jesus Christ who loves us, who comes to save us, and to transform us and to take us to have what am I saying I'm saying this that we are to display and proclaim Jesus with grace and truth. You take that form was in the looking up some way to help us display and proclaim Jesus. I want to ask you what are ways that you can display and proclaim Jesus. First of all to begin to pray for people to pray for open doors to your family to your neighbors to your friends to your colleagues who are not following Jesus at the right during the names to think of this, for God can use you number Jesus says there is joy in the presence of the Angels over one sinner who repents this passion of telling people about Jesus. This passion of displaying and proclaiming Jesus transforms our comfort transforms our personal goals and ambitions and priorities.
This is why God is put us here to tell others about Jesus because of souls can be won or lost for all of eternity displaying and proclaiming Jesus must be our priority now go to some opportunities here to go through the mall you see them engaging others reaching out to others with an act of love, kindness, praying for them. Share an act of kindness to his challengers about the coming family VBS with a great opportunity to invite people for that. Think of the coming Easter services to others people in Charlotte who don't know what Easter means I read today that every day that are 60 new people moving into our city from all over the world with a great mission field for you and for me to reach out to write down the names and to share Jesus Christ. We also have training with the garage upon the pastor of the region.
Internationals can help give you some training in reaching out to colleagues and beginning conversations with people so sign up for these will you display and proclaim Jesus with truth and grace. Father, help us to do this, we confess this is sometimes difficult for us were self absorbed.
Relook for a comfortable life.
We get tied up with their own families that own little life. Help us to look to the fields which appointed the harvest, may we not be like the disciples father concerned with ourselves, or perhaps with our prejudices over their hearts, open our minds. We thank you that someone told us about Jesus.
May we go and visit people this week and next week display and proclaim the Savior with grace and truth.
We ask it in his name a month