How a Christian is Called to Live Before Outsiders

October 29, 2016

Good Afternoon Church,

I pray you are rejoicing in the faithfulness[1] of our never changing God[2] who providentially[3] watches over every aspect of our universe[4] including every microscopic detail of our lives.[5] Nothing is outside of God’s sovereign gaze and guidance[6] to the ultimate end of His glory[7] and the good of His people.[8] This theological reality should ground your life as you live in a world gone wrong.[9] This truth of God’s sovereign control over everyone, everything, everywhere, all the time should bring a presence of peace and calm amidst the undeniable chaos and harsh calamities that surround and often invade our lives.[10]  In light of these most encouraging truths, I hope that as an ambassador of Jesus Christ you will use every opportunity to penetrate the world around you with the hope and peace of the gospel.[11] Our world is shrouded in a cloud of unrest and uncertainty, and thus poised to hear and see the good news of Jesus Christ, which is the only means to find true rest and objective certainty! Yet, there is much confusion permeating many Christians in how they are to respond and live in this wicked world. Furthermore, the current political crisis has served, among many things, to deepen the distractions that seek to derail us from our evangelistic duty and the delight in living for, and in light of, the gospel. Therefore, I want to remind us today of some key biblical truths that directly speak to how believers are called to live before outsiders.

 

How a Christian is Called to Live Before Outsiders

 set-example

The Word of God undeniably calls Christians to live in manner worthy of the gospel[12] as they seek and strive to reflect the character of Christ in all that is said and done.[13] Yet, the Bible also specifically directs how believers are to live in this world that is not there home.[14] Most poignantly, the Scriptures also delineate how Christians are to live before those outside of Christianity. Sadly, far too many believers are either mired down by complacency, or consumed by living within the “Christian bubble”, that they give little or no thought of how their actions, attitudes, lifestyles, and even their work ethic is supposed to impact outsiders for Christ. As a matter of fact, the Bible does not assume or even presume to infiltrate our everyday world with the gospel for the purpose of impacting outsiders and evangelism, the Bible actually commands it. Here are a few of the specific ways believers are called to live before outsiders in a God honoring way that points to Christ, which will also publically confirm their claim of being a Christian.

  1. Live before outsiders in wisdom so as to protect your witness.[15] Instead of giving no thought to unbelievers around us, the Bible actually commands Christians to thoughtfully consider how they conduct themselves before, and communicate with, outsiders so as to promote and protect a positive witness for Christ.
  1. Live before outsiders in grace and gratitude so as to shine forth the light of the gospel.[16] Instead of giving no thought to unbelievers around us, the Bible commands us to do all things without complaining or quarreling so that our lives serve as a lighthouse pointing people to the Truth amidst this error laden, crooked, and twisted world.
  1. Live before outsiders in peace, productivity, and patience so as to point others to Christ.[17] Instead of giving no thought to unbelievers around us, the Bible commands that we live properly before them by seeking to live quiet and ordered lives as we work hard and even bless the unbelievers that might persecute us. Interestingly, how a Christian man interacts with unbelievers also serves as a point of whether or not he is qualified as an elder in the church.[18]
  1. Live before outsiders in sacrificial servanthood so as to lead them to Christ.[19] Instead of giving no thought to unbelievers around us, the Bible commands us to not seek our own good, but the good of our neighbor. Thus, we are to live, as best as possible, in such a manner as to not give offense to anyone, but instead seek to biblically please everyone, that they might be saved!

We find ourselves in a church climate that is becoming more distracted by, enamored with, and entangled in civilian affairs.[20] The political paranoia that pervades far too many of our lives further proves the point. May God move us all to live before this watching world in a manner marked by purity and evangelistic productively so as to glorify Christ in everything that is said and done![21]

I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday as we contemplate our mission mandate to take the gospel to the farthest reaches of the globe for the glory of God. Yet, much confusion abounds when considering the purpose, priority, and practice of modern missions and evangelism. What is the ultimate purpose in evangelism? What are some of the pitfalls in sharing the gospel and with the modern missions movement. How do we as a church, and as individuals, do our part in this mission mandate? What are the biblical marks of a missions minded church? Well, these and many other questions will be addressed as we grapple with Christ’s discipleship commission given in Matthew 28-16-20. May the Lord bless you today as you proactively seek to know Him and make Him known both here in Bowie and beyond!

For the praise of His glory,

 

Pastor Matt

 

 

[1] Dt 32:4

[2] Mal 3:6; Js 1:17

[3] Acts 17:24-31

[4] Col 1:17; Heb 1:3; Isa 40:25-31; Ps 147:4; Job 12:10

[5] Mt 10:26-33; Ps 145:15-16; Job 33:4; Ps 139:1-18; Lk 12:22-34

[6] Rev 22:13; Ps 115:3; Prov 16:1-4,9; 2 Chron 16:9; 1 Pet 3:12; Ps 33:10-19

[7] Ps 106:7-8; Isa 43:6-7, 48:9-11, 49:3; Jerm 13:11;  Jn 5:44, 14:13; Rom 9:17, 11:36; 1Cor 10:31; Eph 1:4-6; 1 Pet 4:11

[8] Rom 8:28-30

[9] Job 42:1-6; Dan 4:34-35

[10] Mt 6:25-34; Gen 50:20; Dan 3:16-18; 1 Pet 2:23

[11] 2 Cor 5:14-6:2

[12] Phil 1:27

[13] Col 3:12-14

[14] Eph 4:17-5:21

[15] Col 4:5-6; 1 Pet 3:13-17

[16] Phil 2:13-16

[17] 1 Thess 4:9-12; Rom  12:14-21; 1 Pet 2:13-17

[18] 1 Tim 3:7

[19] 1 Cor 10:23-11:1

[20] 2 Tim 2:3-4

[21] Mt 5:13-16; Titus 3:1-8

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