Be BOLD, HUMBLE, and FULL of JOY
1 Peter 3:9-17
Suffering for Righteousness Sake
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
Crossway Bibles (2011-02-09). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References) (Kindle Locations 40562-40566). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.
We've been studying witnessing and how to witness effectively. 1 Peter 3:15 is one of the texts from that study. In verse 15 Peter tells us to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Also, you should do it with gentleness and respect.
The three abilities we have to have to share Jesus with others is boldness, humility, and joy. If we don't have boldness, fear is going to get us. Fear of what others think. I am trying to get over this myself. Even here in the blog or on facebook, when I proclaim the gospel of Christ, fear still tries to get me. Be bold.
If we don't have humility, we will be talking down to people (the sin of pride) and can not communicate the love Jesus has for us effectively. People have to see that I need the gospel every day in my life too. The Christian life is not one of once saved your set. It is a life of daily preaching the gospel to myself to recognize just what a lousy sinner I am even on my best day. God's grace is needed by me every day. Remembering that makes me a humble witness to share what Christ has done to change my life.
If we don't have joy, then what is the point. The joy of the freedom from sin and its condemnation should be effervescent (thanks spell checker) out of us to get the lost to see the hope that is in me.
We need to be ready with a defense. This is as simple as, "I met Jesus, He changed my life. You should meet him too." That is where I am starting with my witness. I don't have it all down yet, that is why we are working on it together.
The next step is to have the outline of the gospel memorized. It is simple and can be put on five fingers to help remember. The steps are:
Remember the order of the Bible. First comes God. Remember His holiness. He creates all things. He created man.
Man blew it with sin. We are all born with a sin nature, a propensity to sin is engrained in us.
God's plan has been to send Jesus to live the life we can't, then sacrifice by death on the cross, to be a substitute for our punishment.
We have to repent and have faith in Jesus to save us. Repentance and faith are opposite sides of the same coin. Repentance means to turn away from wanting to sin. Faith is putting your trust in Jesus to do what He said He would do.
You should not have this outline as an agenda when witnessing. This outline can be discussed in steps or parts and pieces as you have different conversations with folks. We have to listen to the other side of the conversation to be effective, otherwise we are just going thru a checklist. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
We have been listening to the sermon series on being a better witness from Pastor R.W. Glenn from www.solidfoodmedia.com