#2 Misconceptions About Sharing The Gospel

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Have you ever doubted your abilities or effectiveness as a witness? I’ll admit, I have. I want to discuss some misconceptions about sharing the gospel that fuels fear in my heart and the hearts of other about witnessing. If you’ve struggled like I have with any of these, my intention is not to discourage you, but rather I pray you will be fully equipped to boldly take the Gospel of truth to the world.

And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men. Mark 1:17

Before reading on, I encourage you to read the first entry in this series. Click here to access it  #1: YOU MUST BE GOOD AT IT.  And while you at it, take a look at this simple, yet powerful picture of the Holy Trinity.

#2: Everything in your own life has to be together

Scriptures

Philippians 1:6 1 Corinthians 2:6-15 Romans 8:33-34 Hebrews 9:12 Romans 3:23

We hinder ourselves in witnessing for Jesus because of our issues, but here’s the truth –you don’t have to be perfect in order to be a Christian. Actually, if you think you’re a perfect Christian, then stop reading now… Did you stop reading?  I didn’t think so! It is made clear to us that perfection is not necessary in Galatians 6:3:

“If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.

Furthermore, the Spirit encouraged you to begin witnessing in the first place, why would now want to “perfect” yourself my worldly standards? Galatians 3:3 says:

Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

The Spirit points us to the sacrifice of Jesus. Our flesh brags about our own achievements and abilities. To accept God’s grace, we must admit that God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Why then do we get so caught up with our own “perfect” performances?

When we focus on “how well we’re doing” as Christians, it’s easy to let mistakes impair us. We also fear that the lost will see through our facade and point out our imperfections.

I have good news: God still has grace for us and it is still sufficient for you and me (2 Corinthians 12:9). You don’t have to be perfect to be a witness. You don’t have to appear perfect either. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. You can testify of the changes God has made in your life, but you can also be honest about the work God is still doing. Philippians 1:6 encourages us, saying:

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Yes, God redeemed and delivered when you repented, believed in Jesus and were baptised. However, He continues to do a good work in you—God’s not done yet, you’re not done yet. This is no excuse for sin, we all sin a fall short of the glory of God. I’m saying, don’t undervalue the power of God’s grace. Don’t let your current struggle pull you down.  Endure through the struggles (2 Timothy 2:10).

Jesus gave Himself up before God as the perfect sacrifice for your sins. He pleaded your case in the courts of heaven. He defended you against the convicting claims of the enemy. He continues to defend you. Your justification is not based on your works or actions, but on the blood of Christ.

Sanctification is an ongoing process. As believers, we are complete in our identity, but our transformation is continual and a lifetime commitment. When we trust in our own righteous acts, we’re acting like we’ve arrived. It’s as if we no longer need grace. But no matter who you are, you still need it. I still need it.

Let God take the pressure off. Your “perfection” isn’t what draws people to the Gospel. Jesus draws you in, He draws us all in (John12:32).  The transforming work in your life can and should act as a testimony to others (without a test, there can be no testimony). However, even if you feel like you’ve got a long way to go, you can be a witness today. God has the power to save people despite our imperfections.

What we receive to be witnesses is not of this world, but from the Spirit who is from God.  The Spirit intercedes for us, Jesus, who is at the right hand of God, intercedes for us, so that we may understand what God has for us.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath, 4 comments

Trinity – The Holy Trinity

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A short post today as most times a picture says a thousand words – The Holy Trinity!

God the Lion – Hosea 11:10

The Holy Trinity is God the Lion

Photo by Zaheer Ali

They will walk after the Lord,
He will roar like a lion;
Indeed He will roar
And His sons will come trembling from the west.

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Jesus the Lamb – John 1:29

The Holy Trinity is the Lamb of God

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

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Holy Spirit the Dove – Luke 3:22

The Holy Trinity is a white dove

and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased

Powerful pictures of the Holy Trinity

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Holy Trinity, 3 comments

#1 Misconceptions About Sharing The Gospel

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Have you ever doubted your abilities or effectiveness as a witness? I’ll admit, I have. I want to discuss some misconceptions about sharing the gospel that fuels fear in my heart and the hearts of other about witnessing. If you’ve struggled like I have with any of these, my intention is not to discourage you, but rather I pray you will be fully equipped to boldly take the Gospel of truth to the world.

Jesus’ greatest commandments to us is to love God and to love one another. Matthew 22:36-39

Over the course of my next few blogs, I will share my thoughts with you about what I believe, from God’s good Word, are misconceptions about sharing the Gospel.

#1: You must be good at it

Scriptures

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Isaiah 43:10-13 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

One of the worst things as a witness you can do is to compare yourself to another believer, wishing you had their talents, charisma or personality. That will just leave you thinking “I’m just not good at this”. Thankfully, God’s perspective releases us from this weight, giving us freedom to be witnesses just as we are, just as we were created. In 1 Corinthians 1:27, Paul tell us “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” The best we can do is to be true to our own identity. I encourage you to watch the content I share below. I pray you find encouragement not to be afraid of what others may think.  Never be ashamed to share the Gospel, regardless of your abilities or what you perceive to be your “lack”.

YouTube: Be True to your own identity Adobe Spark: Be True to your own identity

You might think you do not have a charismatic enough personality to be a witness, but God can use you whether you’re the shyest introvert or the most outspoken extrovert and even when you stutter like I do. In fact, the very aspect of your personality that you consider a weakness, God wants to use.

Just think about Jesus choosing Peter. Reading through the Gospels, I often think, what’s up with Peter? He’s headstrong, bold, over-zealous, rash, and plain awkward. Then I get to Acts, and I read about Peter standing up before the crowds at Pentecost and leading 3,000 to Christ in one day. Peter is a perfect example of God using the foolish things to shame the wise.

Another reason I know God can use you is because He is using me. I’m not the best of speakers and I cannot recall Scripture quickly or easily. I’ve murmured God bless you to a homeless person, quickly walked away, and then felt like I just change that persons life. When it comes to interacting with people I’m not close to, I’m unqualified. So, why would God choose me? For the same reason He chose Peter. For the same reason He chooses you. 1 Corinthians 1:29 goes on to say: “so that no one may boast before Him.”

God chooses to use the unqualified because He wants to show off His strength—to prove that He is the one at work, and not to show off your own abilities.  The glory in your witnessing is all for Him.

You may get nervous. You may fail at times—I have. That’s okay. Where your ability falls short, God will come through. We must trust that He will work through us when we step out in faith, and the results are thankfully not up to us. They are up to Him. Be free from the lie that says you’re not good at sharing the gospel. God can use even your weaknesses to His advantage.

#2: EVERYTHING IN YOUR OWN LIFE HAS TO BE TOGETHER

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath, 5 comments