Views from the Pew – 10.6.21

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What did you learn from last week’s sermon, “Shining Lights, Part Four” ?

Q1: What are the three defining qualities of Kingdom Saints defined in Matthew 5 or the Beatitudes?

Q2: After, the character and the context, what must be declared?

Q3: Why would evangelism be easier if it was a method with steps?

Q4: Did Paul’s imprisonment advance the gospel?

Q5: Can salt stop anything from rotting?

Q6: What is evangelism?

Sermon Summary & Answers

This Sunday, Pastor Steve continued his sermon, Faithful Evangelism, with Shining Lights part 4. Shockingly, the word Evangelism is used a sparse three times, but dominates so much of who we are and what we’re called to do. Shining Lights, born out of Matthew 5, describes

  1. The Character of Kingdom Saints in verses 1-9, you know, we’re poor in spirit, we mourn for our sins, we try to be peacemakers etc.
  2. The Context of Kingdom Saints meaning the way we live found in verse 10 and 11. We are persecuted and insulted. That is the context in which we live and work and accomplish what we can accomplish.
  3. The Influence of Kingdom Saints with that character. We are salt of the Earth and a light to the world. As in Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before men, that they will see and glorify your father. This is a picture of influence that begins with the metaphor of salt. This is how we slow down the rot. We can hold back the wrath of God, which would be poured out against this kind of decay. Salt also adds flavor. Many things we enjoy would not be as good without salt. Much the same, our influence should bring flavor into life.

We’re not here to rain on everyone’s parade. We bring energy and joy and hope and an absence of fear that’s what we’re called to be — that’s what we are. We create a thirst in other people’s life. They long for what we have — the joy in sorrow that only Christians have. This influence. For salt to be effective, it has to act in a cooperative endeavor. Can’t have one grain of salt on a piece of broccoli. So, we as a church must be salty together. One grain won’t do much to influence the world.”

Pastor Steve Wilson

Therefore, we also have a passive influence by just being who we are. We break into darkness with blinding light. John 12:46 says Jesus came as light so that if you believe your darkness is removed. Our faith allows light to penetrate. Faith is the conduit for energy to flow. Light is the energy, our faith is the conduit, and we are recipients. Then we become light instead of darkness.

Evangelism isn’t a method or worldly patterns and steps. The gospel doesn’t work that way. It’s the work of the Spirit that blows and you don’t know from which way it came from. That’s contra-method. It would be way easier to learn 7 steps then to let Jesus change your life and produce a character that shines out in darkness. That don’t happen overnight, it’s the work of the Spirit, of the church always learning, growing, and polishing our lights, so when we walk out in the world people take note.”

Pastor Steve Wilson

This idea of character and the qualities of the saints is what the New Testament focuses on. There are no lists or steps. It presents character, so they shine forth in darkness. In Philippians 1 Paul describes the growth of the gospel among his people and in his own life; even though, the term evangelism is glaringly missing. Paul wants you to know what you see going on in his life is the mark of progressing the gospel. There is no method. The method is his life. He influenced Roman guards with his light and would never have had opportunity if he wasn’t in prison. News got around about how his light shone in horrible circumstance. He says that some of you came to Christ through my imprisonment. This is evangelism and a peculiar way for God to progress the gospel. In bad situations, peace and hope not our own, will shine through.

Philippians 1:14 says, “And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. This illustrates a picture of saints with courage to shine in difficult situations. Philippians 1:27 says, Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. We don’t act like the world. We don’t walk around in fear all the time. We shine with courage, and we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel. We stand firm courageously as one mind for the gospel and are not alarmed by oppressors. We don’t need to create a go fund me to get out of jail. Philippians 1:29 says, For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.

So, hold fast to truth. This is Matthew 5:16, let your light shine in the worst circumstances even when there seems to be no hope. God reaches into darkness and gives saints every gift they need to squeeze the light, so it’ll shine out. They passively influence through their character during the context and actively influence by the content of declaring the glory of our Father. We can’t glorify by works, we have to declare him to the world. Be a man or woman of character committed to the course of light and godliness. When trouble comes, shine brighter and never turn your back on what you believe, the holy scripture. And always be ready to preach the gospel. That’s evangelism! Faithful Evangelism is living a life of character in the midst of this dark decaying world, seizing every opportunity to shine the light of truth by sharing the gospel of Jesus, so that the world may know. Even if you are locked up in chains, don’t think there goes my opportunity. No, that is your opportunity. 2 Peter 1:19 says, it is the light that shines in the darkness. This is how the gospel is spread.


Did you find this quiz and sermon summary helpful? Log on to gccbg.com/blog each week for the latest Q&A. Jessica will send the link out in the Midweek church emails. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please email me at thepew@gccbg.com.


Answers:

1. Character, Context, and Influence

2. The Content-You have to glorify the father by proclaiming the gospel when people ask.

3. It would be way easier to learn 7 steps then to let Jesus change your life and produce a character that shines out in darkness.

4. Absolutely, yes. Roman guards were even saved.

5. No, it can only slow down the rot.

6. To be a man or woman of character committed to the course of light and godliness. When trouble comes, shine brighter, and always be ready to preach the gospel. Faithful Evangelism is living a life of character in midst of this dark decaying world, seizing every opportunity to shine the light of truth by sharing the gospel of Jesus so that the world may know.