Classic Christianity – Book of John p11 (11-05-18)
Welcome to Class Christianity Radio with Bob George on the clear, timeliness teaching on the complete forgiveness and unconditional love of Jesus, that transforms your life as you learn about God’s amazing love. Let’s join Bob as he continues sharing through the book of John. Currently, we are looking at John 4:28-54 concerning the Samaritan woman who shares her testimony to the local town and how through her testimony and the words of Jesus, many come to believe. Bob shares from these passages what is true evangelism and true discipleship. Evangelism is sharing the good news of Christ so someone is led to become a child of God by their expressed faith in the word of truth in the gospel, the message of good news. Discipleship is the exhortation and encouragement so someone comes to understand all that has been done for them by Jesus Christ and continues to grow in that new relationship as a child of God. There is no better way than learning from the Spirit of God what is the meaning of God’s word!
From this passage, Bob starts by sharing a sample prayer of someone who has faith. From there he encourages believers to not only share from their own testimony but also truth from God’s word, the message of the gospel. Specifically, Bob challenges people to carry and hand out “Born Free” gospel tracts, one a week. These tracts are available at “https://bobgeorge.net/books-by-bob-george/born-free/.” Bob then elaborates more fully on the proper mindset of a believer, the desire to make Christ known and to study God’s word with a longing to learn, asking the Spirit to explain the meaning of God’s word. By doing so, a believer will not be led astray by any deceptive teaching of men in various denominations nor will they be merely passing on error from a denominational persuasion contrary to biblical truth. Bob elaborates on what is proper evangelism and discipleship. Evangelism is not about sharing how wonderful you are but sharing about how wonderful Jesus is. Evangelism is not following certain techniques that do not work but about leading a person to know Jesus and to know him intimately. Discipleship is not about bringing someone to church, a certain denomination, so as to listen to teaching and merely repeat what one has heard. Rather, discipleship is about leading or influencing someone to learn from the Holy Spirit and the meaning of God’s word through the reading of His word. True discipleship is making a disciple of Jesus, not a person or a denomination. A true disciple has a living, vital relationship with Jesus Christ that sets him free with truth that is revealed to him by the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.
Bob starts by sharing a sample prayer, emphasizing that such a prayer or just saying such a prayer saves anyone. Prayer is an expression of what someone has already believed in his heart concerning Jesus Christ, an expression of his faith. By the time a person gets ready and agrees to pray this prayer, he is probably already saved, having already exercise faith. Bob shared this sample prayer with the question: What are you going to do now? Thank God for what Jesus has already done.
“Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for the forgiveness of my sin. Thank you for offering your life. I now ask you to come into my heart as my Lord and Savior”
and following with an attitude of thankfulness and longing to be made new, one might say:
“Thank you for coming into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Get control of my life and make me into the new creation you want me to be. I now thank you for coming into my heart and giving me eternal life.”
If you say such a prayer, as speaking to God, from an expression of your faith in Jesus, then the Spirit of the living Christ comes to dwell in you forever. You are now on a new adventure for which you were created as a child of God.
Bob just introduced the concepts of evangelism and discipleship.
Beginning with the passage in John 4 where Jesus shares about the fields are ripe for harvest but the laborers are few, Bob issues a challenge to believers to be a laborer. A laborer is a one who is evangelizing, bringing the message of good news, the gospel, to those who are lost, not yet a child of God. Just as the Samaritan woman shared what Jesus did for her, a good start is for all of us to get someone’s attention by sharing what God has done for you. Anyone who is born again has such a testimony.
Bob also challenges believers to get a copy of “Born Free” and hand out this gospel tract to others. Specifically, he challenges believers to hand out such a tract once a week challenge. Such a booklet contains a full presentation of the gospel, including the deity of Christ with answers in the life of Christ. A believer, with the Holy Spirit, can confirm the message of the gospel as true by knowing the God and His word. Other tracts may not be as clear and may not present a full or clear gospel message. Bob emphasized proper attitudes in evangelism. This is not a popularity contest or competition with others in how many tracts you hand out nor legalism or guilt trip but truth one shares out of love for people. Evangelism is an expression of God’s love for you and, in turn, your love for people whom God wants to be in His family. For example, one could say “This booklet explains what changed my life. Will you read it if I give it to you? Next week, I will ask you what you think.”
Bob also shared how many churches teach a technique of evangelism, which never work. Not only are churches lacking in evangelism, but their discipleship is lacking too. Sadly, often churches spend more time teaching things they ought not teach, errors really. Rather than the simple gospel message, more people know about tithing or “keeping short accounts with God”, both of which are erroneous teaching for those living under grace. The mixing of law and grace is often taught in many denominations. So as a believer, what is your real desire? To share truth? But do you know the truth?
Bob elaborates more on true discipleship. To be a disciple of Jesus is not getting involved in a technique, but getting involved in the person of Jesus Christ. Bob poses a series of questions to help someone understand true discipleship.
“How can you disciple people unless you teach them truth?”
“How are they going to be discipled with Jesus unless they know what Jesus said?”
“How are they going to know what Jesus meant unless they read the epistles of Paul where he explains what he meant?”
Bob also pointed out the current state of world in his day, with the attack of the world trade center and politics, with a growing trend of more chaos and disorder. Considering the state of this world today, a downward trend to lawlessness and disorder, are you compelled to share the gospel message? And, with current trends in the world today, no one knows how much longer this world will come to an end. That day certainly appears to be drawing near. Nor does anyone know how much time he has left on earth, whether he will have a heart attack or stroke that limits his ability. Share truth while you are able and have time, or write materials for future generations, so when you are no longer able, the message will still be delivered by God’s faithful servants of the future.
Bob also made a point to mention a common phrase one might hear. Have you ever heard someone say “Let your walk match your talk”. Bob said that is all self-righteous sounding stuff. Bob countered by asking this question, “Do you know anyone whose walk matches their talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Such a phrase only serves to discourage or trick people into not sharing truth or evangelizing. The implication in such a statement, “Let your walk match your talk” is that you are telling people to look at how wonderful you are rather than how wonderful Jesus Christ is. Evangelism is about sharing truth about Jesus, not us.
True discipleship is getting involved to know this Christ that we proclaim we know. Then you can go out and share this Jesus you know. Discipleship is not about getting people to be like me but rather discipling a person to think like Jesus. Bob continues to share about how believers grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you believe that what you have been hearing or taught, how do you know it is true? How do you know what Bob shares is true? Only way you know what is true is when you are studying and reading the Bible yourself, letting the Holy Spirit teach you. Bob really made a point to emphasize this. You do not need Bob or some other teacher to tell you the meaning of God’s word, for the Holy Spirit is your teacher. Do you say to the Holy Spirit, “Lord, if you do not teach me, how will I know what the word of God means.” That is the mindset every believer needs to have or form. God will use teachers to help you understand the meaning of God’s word but if a teacher has learned only from a certain denomination than he will merely be passing on a denominational persuasion. As we ask the Lord to teach us, he will reveal to us error in our thinking. Bob shared a personal testimony how he taught incorrectly for years. But as he grew in the Lord, he spoke before to those under his leadership, that he was teaching them error, and now he will teach them the truth. Are you humble to admit when you are in error, being deceived by the teaching in this world, and then move forward to teaching truth. How thankful you are when a teacher points out the error in your thinking. Truth indeed will set you free.
So as you are in the religious world or see the current political state of this world, does it make you shudder? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that sets you free with truth? This is the message believers share, the life of Christ in you, a message of truth that God has revealed to you by the Spirit of the living God. Will you confront error with truth or merely repeat the same lies you have heard? Will you appeal to men to be reconciled to God? Will you disciple others who have believed the message concerning Christ, those whom God has brought to you?
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