A pastor at a recent mission conference stood up and made a startling statement.
He no longer uses the word “faith” when he is talking to people about believing in Christ. The word no longer has the same connotation that accurately reflects the biblical definition of what faith means. When sharing the gospel with others, the pastor suggests using the word “trust”.
Trust in what Jesus has already done for you and receive salvation from your sins.
That makes sense. A loving relationships is based on trust. In a saving relationship with Christ, we trust His promises that our righteousness is secure because of His faithfulness – not our own; His obedience and not our own; His trustworthiness and not our own.
“Joy attracts joy.”
This is a popular saying that encompasses all world religions. But it’s true. When peace and joy is evident in a person’s life, they are set apart – different from the world. These are characteristics that are enviable that will cause people to inquire.
An Evangelist’s Joy reflects the gospel light in their own lives that attracts unbelievers.
An Evangelist’s Peace comes from their identity in Christ that washes away the guilt of sin.
How is the joy and peace different for a biblical Christians than other religions? It all depends on the object of their trust. World religions attempt to search within to find true meaning and purpose. The object of their faith is themselves. Biblical Christians trust squarely on Jesus promises as the object of their faith. Peace and joy is not something that is self-generated, but Spirit-filled.
Jesus told us to “remain in Him” and He will hold on to you. Being connected to the root of Christ brings forth fruit that bears witness to our trust and sheds light on the presence of Christ. The spiritual fruits of hope and joy is a reflection of our trust – and an important component of what successful evangelists do.
“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?” (1 Thess. 2:19)
Evangelists fix their eyes on the end game. They maintain a 30,000 foot view on what really matters. Trusting in Christ breeds a heart of anticipation that centers on what is to come rather than be distracted by the present. Hope and peace rests on what you possess when Christ comes again.
I had Mormon missionaries come over to my house (www.pleaseopenthedoor.com) for several visits and shared the gospel with them in a way they could understand. For Mormons, faith is a principle of action. The object of their faith is based on how closely they follow Jesus’ example. Mormonism teaches that happiness in this life is a reflection of their obedience to all the commands and ordinances of the LDS Church. It is a sign that they are on the right path towards receiving the full forgiveness of their sins.
A biblical Christian has a far different perspective. Joy comes from trusting God’s promises that we will be with him forever. Peace comes from knowing that we will be avoiding the alternative – hell.
It is like going to the Super Bowl.
Many people will say, “I hope I can go to the Super Bowl?” It’s just wishful thinking until they spend thousands of dollars to purchase a ticket to the game. What a difference it makes when a person can say, “I can’t wait to go to the Super Bowl!” They have a ticket and it’s already purchased.
Christians look forward to the day when they can redeem their ticket to heaven because of what the Redeemer has already done for them.
True joy and peace is a reflection of the assurance and confidence that we have in Christ – a trust that we have the ticket.
“You may be surprised to learn that to be a successful evangelists is not all about good ideas, initiating programs and or learning techniques. It is about manifesting the power of the Holy Spirit that emphasizes the spiritual gifts God has given to each of us, clarifying our identity in Christ, and remaining in His presence through the power of His Word.” [Twelve Things that Successful Evangelists Do]
An evangelist fully trusts God’s promises associated with being His messenger. Sharing the message of the gospel is not about us, but proclaiming the power of the message. In Christ, we conquer fear, worry, and guilt. By remaining in Christ, we bear fruits of the Spirit that reflects the light of Christ and introduces His presence to the world.
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