Grow with Christ

Being a follower of Jesus Christ is not about remaining in one place and doing things a certain way.  Growing in Christ is about learning who we are, exploring our faith, and then using what we learn to share our faith with others.

One way to help ourselves grow in faith is to explore our own faith.  Taking the time to stop and think about how we might share our faith.

There are many Bible verses that tell us about the need to share our faith in Christ.  Philemon 1:6  says  “Pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ.”  Sharing your faith, is about you talking to people.  It is about you taking an active role and sharing the love of Christ.  We are challenged in the Great Commission, in Matthew 28:19-20 to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”   Go and make disciples is the whole point of a faithful life.  To tell those that don’t know about Christ what it is you know!

Not all of us are experts at faith sharing.  Recently I heard one local evangelist who said he had the ability to strike up a conversation with an elevator door!  That isn’t a gift we all have.  But we all are challenged to share our faith.  Christ calls us to go and make disciples but sharing doesn’t work like a genie in a bottle that can only be shared 3 times.  It needs, in fact Christ demanded of his followers constant worship, praying, and sharing.

Faith sharing needs to be personal.  It is best done relationally.  When done in mass there are challenges and doubts and backsliding.  Billy Graham, a world renowned evangelist, says that even when thousands of people respond at a crusade.  They can only expect 10 to 15 percent to remain active as Christians.  When directly challenged through emotional appeals Christ becomes just a fad, something that seems good at the time.  Kind of like a diet.  Diets generally go well at first but within a year most diets are long forgotten and so it is with commitments made simply because of the use of manipulative emotion.

There are things that seem easy for Christians to talk about.  These are not all faith sharing though.  Talking about your church, Sunday School, Bible Study, retreats, and quoting the bible is not enough when sharing your faith.

Scripture doesn’t really mean anything to people who don’t know Christ.  So it takes more than quoting your favorite scripture and expecting it to have a magical and immediate effect.  A prime example of an over used passage is John 3:16-17  “”For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  I don’t know anyone who would argue against the power of this verse but even non-Christians have become so familiar with the John 3:16 reference that Stone Cold Steve Austin a well known professional wrestler has adopted 3:16 as his motto a spoof of the scripture as part of his promotion.  He is a wrestler that is known for loving to break the rules.  How flattering to us as Christians to be spoofed by a wrestler?

As you try to share your faith you need to take care not to simply be talking about your church and its activities.  The activities of the church are a result of your faith.  They are not the reason for your faith.  Your faith is something deeper.  Your faith is unique.  None of us will have the same statement of faith.  None of us can share the same words.  Sure we all have certain words that mean things to us.  Like words to a song called “Amazing Grace” which goes “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.”  How were you lost?  Why were you a wretch?  How blind we all have been at many points in our lives.  We all have that individual unique story.  That is why it is so hard to have words of faith that we all share that have meaning to others and that we are comfortable sharing.  The words of faith we share have to be comfortable to us.

What we all need in a faith sharing statement is to speak of your most firm beliefs, what you believe and are willing to defend.

Making a Faith Sharing Statement:

“What do I believe?” Answering this question is the beginning of making your faith sharing statement.

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