I Will Share My Faith
(preached at United Methodist Church, Embury, Tennessee, USA)
We continue our worship with the sermon! Did you know that the sermon is part of our worship – both the delivery and the hearing of it?
When I was growing up my favourite question was “Why?” “Why is it so?” Of course being a young’un, that question came to mind for all sorts of things. I am sure you have all heard kids in Walmart yelling out “Why?” to their parents or guardians. We all have, I am sure, questions we want to know the answer to. Why? Ask for any examples of things you ask “Why is it so?”
Our theme today in this new series is “I will share my faith” and our key text is taken from Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”.
Why did the Jesus say that He came to seek and save the lost and how did He do it and how does he still do it today? So why are we to share our faith? Hopefully by the end I will have at least answered those 2 questions a little, given the time we have.
Why Is It So?
Let me start our journey today by first telling you my testimony. That is a good starting point and is what most people probably consider today as evangelism.
Before I do though, I will say this. A Christian testimony is more than just saying how a person became a Christian. It should also include why the person became a Christian. Have you even thought about your testimony and why you became a Christian?
So here is mine! I am sure you have all heard kids in Walmart yelling out “Why?” to their parents. We all have, I am sure, questions we want to know the answer to. Why? The question I am often asked is “You are a Christian. Why is it so?” My father was and remained throughout his life a convinced agnostic and in the few conversations we had about religion and Christianity, he could never understand why it was, that I could not just admit that I would never know if God existed or not, far less a God who was personally interested in me. My reply as ever, was that the very question “Why is it so?” needed to be answered, in order for me to be satisfied.
Why I am a Christian?
So why I am a Christian? The reason that I am a Christian is not because I chased God, but rather He chased me. Unknown to me at the time, God was chasing me and following my every path with the urgency of a lover after the beloved.
How did that happen? As a teenager I was actually invited to a church and I subsequently accepted that invitation. I thought “Ok! If church is so dangerous, let’s go for a bit of danger!” So I rebelled and went to church, and after a few weeks, became a Christian. Much to the dismay of my father, who as I said could never understand why I would want to be a Christian of all things!
So at that church, it was the first time I had heard of God’s love for me, that I was indeed apart from God and that this God had been on a mission to seek me, and change me from being lost and apart from Him to being found by him and accepted as His child! Amazing news to me as a teenager back a long time ago now! Additionally, it was not in my search for Him that I found Him, but rather through His search for me that I found Him! It was that there, that I discovered there was nothing I could do in order to be reconciled to God, but that He had done it all, when Jesus died on the cross 2000 years and rose again from the dead!
So what is the answer to why am I a Christian? I am a Christian, not through anything I have done or my own pursuit of God, but rather I am a Christian because of God’s constant pursuit of love after me. Continuing with our topic for today about Sharing our Faith, What is to be the goal or aim of a person being a Christian – a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ? Is it praying a lot? Perhaps it is reading and memorizing the whole Bible? Perhaps it is by doing lots of evangelism, sharing the faith avidly or doing lots of work for the church? As admirable and important as those things are, they are not the prime focus and goal for those who call themselves “Christian.” How is that for a WOW?
Fulfilled 14 - So what?
During this brief series, we have seen just 45 of over 300 things predicted in history concerning the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Predictions made about Him before He was born.
Let’s look at these in summary together:
The Messiah would be born of a woman - born of a virgin - in the town of Bethlehem.
The Messiah would come from the line of Abraham and be a descendant of Isaac & Jacob - from the tribe of Judah and be an heir to King David's throne.
This Messiah's throne will be anointed and eternal and his name would be Immanuel. This Messiah would spend a period of time away in Egypt. At the Messiah’s birthplace there would be a grand massacre of children.
There would be a messenger sent who would prepare the way for the Messiah who would be rejected by his own people.
The Messiah would be a prophet, preceded by Elijah and this Messiah would be declared the Son of God.
This Messiah would be a Nazarene and bring light to Galilee. He would do this by speaking in parables and healing the brokenhearted.
This Messiah would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek, be called King yet also praised by little children.
This Messiah would be betrayed for a sum of money which would be used to buy a potter's field.
This Messiah would be falsely accused, He would be silent before his accusers who would spit upon and strike him.
This Messiah would be hated without cause and be crucified with criminals.
This Messiah would be given vinegar to drink, have his hands and feet pierced, be mocked and ridiculed and soldiers would gamble for His very clothes.
Yet despite all this, this Messiah would pray for his enemies.
This Messiah’s bones would not be broken but He would be forsaken by God Himself.
Soldiers would pierce Messiah's side on His death and he would be buried with the rich.
But there is more! This Messiah would rise from the dead and into new life! WOW! This Messiah would ascend to heaven where He would be seated at God's right hand.
This Messiah would be a sacrifice for sin before God and therefore anybody can take on this Messiah as their Saviour and be restored back into a living and dynamic relationship with God.
If you are not already in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, there is no need to delay! If you want to turn to God there is no need for delay. You are separated from God now, but there is no need to be. God is ready and willing to take you as His own right now. Just ask and He will take you in and help you.
At Partakers, like most of the world, we are now on the countdown to Christmas! This year we will look at how the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ was fulfilment of words and promises spoken about down through the ages – through countless years as people looked to God to rescue them.
Over 300 predictions in the Old Testament look to the coming of a Messiah. That man we Christians believe was Jesus Christ. Over these 2 weeks, we will look at just a few of them! Look up the Bible references yourself to see!
We continue tomorrow in our series "Fulfilled!" See you then!