The following is a guest article from Fred Gladney* (view the original article on Fred’s blog). We thought it did a great job summarizing why a Christ follower is to share their faith. Share your thoughts below the article!
We’re in a series about the spiritual disciplines, because all of us as believers want to bear fruit. We want to be more Christlike in every dimension of our lives. We want to hear, “Well done!” when we see Christ.
The road to godliness is through the spiritual disciplines. We’re commanded to be disciplined. We’ve talked previously about the discipline of Bible intake, the discipline of worship, the discipline of service. Today I want to talk about the discipline of evangelism through three Es. Hopefully these Es will be easy to remember and give you courage as you embark on this discipline.
1st E: we’re expected to share our faith. Nothing causes more foot-shuffling, eye-dropping anxiety than talking about witnessing. If you’re a believer, you’ve given your life to follow Christ, you will live forever in his presence. On the other hand, the Bible teaches hell is real. Jesus said unbelievers are eternally lost, away from God’s presence, where there is torment, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. Do you believe that? Then why do you suppose we don’t share our faith?
Some might say, well, the Holy Spirit does the saving. He does, but he commanded us to go tell them the good news. (Mark 16:15) Jesus said in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, I send you.” 1 Peter 2:9 says we all are expected to declare his praises.
Maybe he didn’t call you to the vocational ministry of an evangelist, but he called all believers to be his witnesses. In 2 Corinthians 5:18 to 20, Paul reminds the church that we all have the ministry of reconciliation. We’re ambassadors for Christ. So the first E, you and I are expected to share our faith. Don’t miss that. Who is expecting you and I to witness? God himself.
2nd E: we’re empowered to share our faith. The power is from God. You and I can do nothing of any eternal value without Christ (John 15:5), but we can do all things through Christ. Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me…” 1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 tells us we’re sealed with the Holy Spirit.
You and I are empowered by him to witness, to tell others using our unique personalities, temperaments, and gifts. God’s Spirit is in us. Plus, we have power in his Word and through his Word. Look at Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” That’s why people can be converted whether they hear the Word from a third grader or a Ph.D. You were empowered, we have his Spirit and his Word.
There is power in living a sincere Christian life. 2 Corinthians 2:14 through 17, says if we’re living the Christian life, we are the fragrance of Christ to those being saved. Our lifestyles will attract. That’s power. We are empowered to share our faith.
3rd E: we’re not excused from sharing our faith. Typically our excuses go like this: I’m not trained to witness. Was the brother in John 9 trained? You know the story about the blind man Jesus healed. He used seven words in his witness: “I was blind, but now I see.”
I remember my son asking my wife and me about Christ and the Bible. I went first. For 10 minutes I gave him the apologetic about the historicity and veracity of Scripture, the archaeological and prophetic and bibliographic evidence and so on. After I finished, he said, “Gee, thanks, Dad. That’s really cool.” Then he said, “What about you, Mom?” My wife simply said, “All I know is he changed my life. I was headed in the wrong direction, and he miraculously rescued me.”
Wow! My son’s jaw dropped. That’s powerful, and not hard to do. If you understood the gospel enough to be converted, you know it well enough to tell somebody else about your experience. Another excuse is that we don’t have the time to witness, but that’s why it’s a discipline. Donald Whitney said, “Unless we discipline ourselves for evangelism, it’s very easy to excuse ourselves from even sharing the gospel with a single person.”
Another excuse: I don’t have the opportunity. Yes, you do. You’re just afraid. You’re afraid of criticism, of rejection, of failure. Was Jesus an evangelistic failure when the rich young ruler refused his message? Of course not! Success is just sharing. Another common excuse is: my life is too contradictory. No one is perfect, but it’s all the more reason to share the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
We can all be effective witnesses sharing the good news if we remember the three E’s. We’re expected to share our faith, we’re empowered to share our faith, and we’re not excused from sharing our faith. God expects, empowers and does not excuse us from this discipline. So be a doer of the Word and discipline yourself to proactively share the good news.
*“This article reflects the views of the author. It is being distributed by Dare 2 Share to spur dialogue and challenge youth leaders to mobilize their students to reach their generation for Christ.“
What are your thoughts? Are we expected, empowered, and not excused from sharing the gospel?