February 29, 2012

WISE - Evangelism

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Evangelism

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What is evangelism?

Evangelism is telling & showing others of God’s message of reconciliation to all people of all time. Down through the ages, the church has made two mistakes when it comes to evangelism. Firstly, it is not forcing people to adopt Church standards (1 Corinthians 5v12) and nor is it simply a message of join the church as a symbol of good works (Ephesians 2vv8-10). God has a message for all people. This message from God says that everybody has sinned against God (Isaiah 53v6; Romans 3vv10-11); nobody can earn their reconciliation with God (Ephesians 2v9); that God sent His Son Jesus to be born, crucified and resurrected so that salvation can be had by all people of all time (John 3v16; 1 Timothy 1v15); Because of that, it is only by acquiescing to God, by faith in Jesus alone that people are saved (John 5v24; Acts 16v31). That is the message of evangelism. Finally, evangelism is also lifestyle! Jesus Christ is to permeate every area of your life! You are a messenger of Jesus Christ, and a message from Jesus Christ, whether you want to be or not! The way you conduct yourself, both in public and in private, shows Jesus Christ to people.

Why evangelize?

The prime motivation for evangelism is out of gratitude for what God has done for you, in that the you love God because He loved you first (1 John 4vv10-12, 14,19). It was this sentiment Paul refers to when he writes, “For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” (2 Corinthians 5v14). When you evangelise, you reflect something of the character of God, because God Himself is a missionary God. Jesus was sent to save the lost and redeem mankind! The Holy Spirit was sent from the Father and the Son!

You are called to go!

While you may not be called to be an evangelist (Ephesians 4v11), you are called to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4v5). In Jesus’ last words on earth, His church was commanded to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1v8). You are a member of that church, and as a part of the Church, you are included in the way God has chosen to spread His message of reconciliation (Acts 4v12; 2 Peter 3v9). Remember Paul’s words from Romans 10vv14-15: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"”

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February 27, 2012

Think Spot

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27th February 2012

G'day and welcome to Partakers ThinkSpot on Monday, the 27th of February 2012. Play the audio and see how Jim and Joy are challenging you to live your faith out this week!

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February 26, 2012

Luke Looks Back 03

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Luke Looks Back Chapter 3

Luke 3:1-18

Heralding the Messiah

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Luke continues with his careful introduction to Jesus' ministry. He tells us all about John because John came before, and announced, Jesus. One thing he is going to make very clear throughout his book is that while John was a prophet Jesus was more than a prophet.

First we read Luke 3: 1-9

Luke in 3: 4 - 6 uses Isaiah's great picture of hope in Isaiah 40: 3 - 5, which prophesies the return of the Lord and his people to Jerusalem after the exile, as a picture of the coming of the Lord Jesus to the people of God. John is the voice. Jesus is the Lord.

An obvious first question to make you think, although it does not come directly from this passage is this:

What is your hope? How far does your hope change the way you live from day to day? Where should our hope be placed?

Pause.

Obviously the first part of that question has an individual answer, not an only right one. Our hope should be placed on being with Jesus in his heavenly kingdom and then after our resurrection on being part of his kingdom when heaven and earth meet to form the new heaven and new earth that is our ultimate destination.

Second question: the basic message that John preached was 'a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins'.  How does this compare with the messages you hear preached these days? Are the differences only because John was preaching before the life and death of Jesus and the preaching you hear is from long after?  Or are there differences there ought not to be?

Pause.

Again the answer to that question depends on your situation.

The last verse we read: ' the axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.' Is harsh.

Third question: in what ways can we see that happening in our day and in our society?

Pause.

Yet another question where the answer depends on who we are and where we are. When you look at the world today and see what a mess it is in because of men's greed and lust for power it hasn't improved much since John's day.

Part B

Read Luke 3: 10 - 18

When the people asked him how they were to live to show they had truly repented John gave them 4 practical examples in this passage. Two ways they were to look after the poor: giving tem clothes and food. Two ways they were not to be corrupt and to be good and honest in all things: the examples of the tax collectors and the soldiers.

Fourth question:          if he had been talking to us what examples would he have given? Were his examples, particularly the first two, really practical? (It would not be long before they ran out of spare clothes and food.) How realistic are the examples you think he might have given to you? How well can we follow these examples when we have to live in the real world we find ourselves in?

Pause.

Yet again the answers will all depend on who and where you are.

John talked about 3 things: a prophetic warning of coming judgement (flee from the wrath to come... the axe at the root of the trees ...); calling for justice and compassion in our dealings with others (sharing clothes and food ... honesty in all things ... ); and a right attitude to the coming Messiah (accepting the baptism of the Holy Spirit ).

Question 5:      Different churches major on one or other of the present day equivalents of these.'  Which do our churches make the most of? On which do we fall short?

Pause.

Like all the questions on this passage we have to ask ourselves how they apply to us. And I cannot tell you what your answers should be!

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