Matthew 5: 13-16

Introduction
: 4th and final installation of ‘Let’s Go!’

There are two specific areas I want to touch on this morning…. our ‘witness’ and ‘encouragement’.

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me1 in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (NKJ)

martus {mar’-toos} Meaning:  1) a witness 1a) in a legal sense 1b) an historical sense 1b1) one who is a spectator of anything, e.g. of a contest 1c) in an ethical sense 1c1) those who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death.

 

  1. Testimony / Story

Application: Everyone of us has a story to tell / share! 

1 Peter 3:15 ‘But sanctify the Lord God1 in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; (NKJ)

Taken From – Why We Witness for Christ and 6 Practical Points  on How to Do It

https://blog.biblesforamerica.org/witnessing-for-christ/

 

I.           From God’s side—He commanded us

The Lord Jesus died on the cross to accomplish redemption and then victoriously resurrected from the dead. Right after this, He told His disciples,

“Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

The Lord Jesus didn’t suggest or recommend; He commanded them to do this. He commissioned us to go out and preach Him, to spread the news about Him to all the people of this world.

Whether or not we feel like speaking for Christ, God’s will and commission to us is for us to witness for Him to everyone. In this, our preference or opinion has no place. His Word clearly charges us to go and disciple all the nations.

II.         From the believers’ side—we are chosen branches set in the vine to bear fruit

The Lord tells us in John 15:16:

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit.”

The Lord chose us and set us as branches in Him, the true vine. The picture of branches in the vine shows us that our relationship with the Lord is one in His divine life. Branches cannot live unless they are attached to and share the life of the vine. We now share Christ’s life! How wonderful! But this isn’t the whole story.

The Lord has an intention and purpose for our being branches in Him. His Word clearly tells us that He chose us and set us in Himself as His branches so that we would bear fruit. The Lord wants each of us branches to bear fruit.

We did not choose the Lord. He chose each one of us, and He set us as branches in Himself, the vine. And what is His desire and intention for setting us as branches in Him, sharing His life? It is that we would go forth and be fruitful, speaking to others so that they would become those who share this life also. He never intended that the life He imparted into us would stop with us.

III.      From the unbelievers’ side—they need to hear to believe

“I am debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to foolish.”

Every one of us believers is a debtor. Without salvation, those who have not believed into the Son of God will perish eternally in the lake of fire. We may be saved, but what about others? We who have received the Lord Jesus are the only ones who have what these perishing ones need. We owe it to the people around us—to our relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others—to speak the gospel of Jesus Christ to them so that they would not perish but would believe in Him and receive eternal life.

Romans 10:14-15 compels us to share the good news with others:

“How then shall they call upon Him into whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe into Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without one who proclaims Him?”

If someone had not spoken to us about the Lord Jesus, where would we be today? In the same way, we must witness to others about our Savior. People can’t call upon the Lord to receive His salvation if they don’t hear about it.

This is why Romans 10:15 says,

“How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the news of good things!” 

IV.       From Satan’s side—his kingdom will suffer loss

Witnessing for Christ also defeats Satan’s strategy of keeping people under his authority. The Lord Jesus needs us to speak the gospel to people, as the following verses say,

“To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:18)

When we speak to others and they confess the Lord as their Savior, as Colossians 1:13 tells us, they are delivered out of the authority of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son.


Transition
: So, our witness/story needs to be heard louder and clearer than ever!

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Transition: The second area I want to address about going/being louder is in the area of encouragement (especially toward others).

1 Thessalonians 3:1-2, ‘Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,’ (NKJ)

Encourageparakaleo {par-ak-al-eh’-o} Meaning:  1) to call to one’s side, call for, summon 2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc. 2a) to admonish, exhort 2b) to beg, entreat, beseech 2b1) to strive to appease by entreaty 2c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort.

Taken from Danielle Bernock, Connecting People to the Love that Heals

https://www.daniellebernock.com/5-ways-encouragement-is-powerful/

  1. Encouragement is giving support.My first thought when I saw that word “support” was money. Which is true but not exclusively. There is also the support a building requires for the walls and roof to stay up. There is the support provided when you half carry someone with an injured leg or foot who cannot walk. A cast supports broken bones so they can heal. Support is being there for what is needed.
  2. Encouragement is instilling confidence.Which is putting courage in where it is lacking, where there is uncertainty and doubt. It is reminding someone of what is true and trustworthy. Reminding them of where their trust and faith can be placed. The secure place for their emotional footing.
  3. Encouragement is feeding hope.Hope is the support system to our belief that we can expect a different and better outcome. Hopelessness is a byproduct of discouragement. Hope needs to be fed.
  4. Encouragement is empowering.It changes perception. It causes a person to see their abilities differently.
  5. Encouragement is a form of love. It puts courage back where it has been lost due to fear. But there is a perfect love that throws that fear out and instills a boldness. It is what I call The Love that Heals.

Conclusion: So much to do in 2019. Go Deeper, Go Wider, Go Straighter, and Go Louder.

Application: Ask for a show of hands of anyone who could use encouragement today.

Our witness and encouragement is needed today. By us, for them, and for us.