A Call To Christian Courage
A CALL TO CHRISTIAN COURAGE
2 TIM 1:7
Exegetical Proposition: The fear of witnessing does not come from God.
Sermonic Proposition: Believing Christians are not afraid to witness for Christ.
Interrogative: Why are faithful Christians not afraid to witness fir Christ?
Here we have the true Spirit of a Christian set forth in three particulars, and each of these is an antidote to timidity.
I. God has given us the Spirit of power. It is said, 'The world belongs to those who have courage'; therefore, the saints ought to possess it, and if they do not possess it, it is because of their cowardice.
The Holy Spirit gives power into the believer's spirit. However, we do not receive power until we begin to minister. Power is not needed if we just sit around and remain silent about Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us power only when we begin to minister. That is when we actually need it. It is when we begin to live for Christ and to use our gifts to bear witness for Him that the Spirit of God injects power into our spirit. When we begin to live and proclaim Christ, the Holy Spirit endows us with enormous power.
II. God has given us the Spirit of love. Thus He has brought us into sympathy and fellowship with Himself, for God is love. If conscience makes cowards of us all, a good conscience should make us fearless.
A. Power to face the strain of difficulties and trials.
B. Power to stand tall in living and witnessing for Christ.
C. Power to take on the job and to do it well—to the very best of our ability.
In his book, taking God serious, Rick Warren says there are two basic reasons people don't know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior: (1) they have never met a Christian; and (2) they have met a Christian. Christian influence is no small matter.
The Holy Spirit infuses love into the believer's spirit. This is agapē love, the kind of love that loves people even if they are sinners and enemies. It is a love that arises within the mind and will, not in the emotions. It is the kind of love that says, "I will love this person no matter what he does to me. I will care for, nourish, and nurture him. I will share Christ with him. I will treat him just as I would want him to treat me if he knew Christ. I will love him and be responsible to him, no matter how he treats me." This kind of love that can love sinners and enemies is a gift of God's Spirit.
III. God has given us the Spirit of a sound mind. As opposed to the madness and folly of sin, true religion is a return to the true reason, sound judgment, and right action.
The Holy Spirit infuses a sound mind into the believer's spirit. "Sound mind" means self-control; the ability to control one's emotions, feelings, and thoughts in the midst of trials and circumstances, no matter how severe and stressful. A sound mind is the mastery over one's mind, over one's heart and life despite the trial or opposition. When the believer begins to live and bear testimony for Christ, the Holy Spirit gives him a sound mind.
A. A sound mind is a mind evenly balanced.
B. A sound mind is candid, open to all the truth and eager to gather it from all quarters.
C. A sound mind controls the life, and thus ensures true Christian temperance.
D. A sound mind gains, often quite imperceptibly, a great influence over other minds.
While speaking in London, evangelist D. L. Moody was approached by a British companion who wanted to know the secret of Moody's success in leading people to Christ. Moody directed the man to his hotel window and asked, "What do you see?" The man looked down on the square and reported a view of crowded streets. Moody suggested he look again. This time the man mentioned seeing people--men, women, and children. Moody then directed him to look a third time, and the man became frustrated that he was not seeing what Moody wanted him to see. The great evangelist came to the window with watery eyes and said, "I see people going to hell without Jesus. Until you see people like that, you will not lead them to Christ." What do you see in five o'clock traffic, a busy restaurant, a crowded waiting room, your neighborhood, or your extended family?
Conclusion: Membership in many Korean churches involves more than "walking the aisle." In fact, a lot of American Christians would be wanting for a church if the same standards were utilized here in the United States. The requirement for membership in many Korean churches is not only a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but a convert at your side as well. Not only must you believe in Christ, but you must lead someone else to the Savior before you can become a church member. Based upon our Korean brothers' standards, would you qualify for church membership?