Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Talking About Spiritual Things

Sunday's sermon was based on Romans 1:11-17, where Paul gives his reasons for preaching the gospel to the citizens of Rome. Based on Paul's motivations, we were challenged to share our faith. Our pastor encouraged us to give people "a glimpse of the hope that we have" - to be ready to explain the hope that lies within us.

As I have been mulling this over in my mind, and discussing it with fellow believers, it has been interesting to note some of the "methods" of witnessing. Some people believe that "sharing the faith" with their neighbour would mean telling them, "I go to church." Other people suggest saying "I'll pray for you" or "I don't believe in homosexuality because of the Bible" could be a way to communicate the gospel. I would like to suggest these to be conversations about spiritual things which may be a way to enter into deeper discussion. However, I wonder if we are actually more often "skirting" the truth.

Could a person come to see their sinfulness from such a conversation? Can they understand their destiny - hell? Do they understand why Jesus died on the cross and what actually happened when He willingly hung there until His last breath disappeared? Have I given them any true hope, which I now have because Christ overcame death and was resurrected?

Dear sisters, I fear that, too often, we are talking about spiritual things with our non-believing friends without taking the conversation to the main points of the spiritual - the gospel. When all is said and done, the critical topic to be addressed is our spiritual state: are we still covered in our sinfulness or are we pardoned under Christ's blood?

I have been convicted this week. Sadly, I have not always been faithful to the cross and therefore not been sharing accurately the truth. My goal is to make my dialogues with friends go deeper into the spiritual and honestly share the truth - the whole truth. My hope is hope because I know that I was a sinner and now am forgiven. My hope is hope because Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died a sinner's death when He didn't have to... and did this on my behalf. My hope is that I will someday be in heaven with Him, worshipping at the throne of Almighty God, singing with the angels.

Let us not stop short in our conversations of things spiritual. In Romans 1:16 Paul says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. May this be true of us as we are faithful to share that gospel with those around us! !


Kim from Hiraeth said...

Amen, Marlene! This is something that I have been thinking about as well. So what if my neighbor knows I am a Christian and feels free to come to me when she needs prayer or a "good word." My prayers and generic spiritual encouragement may only be immunizing her into thinking she has something I have! I must love her enough to tell her the good news--and the bad.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God for salvation for those who believe.

Marlene S. said...

Generic spiritual encouragement as an immunization to the soul... wonder if this is addressed in Lewis' Screwtape letters. I am afraid that the gospel has lost it's power in many of our lives because we are not truly sharing the gospel. Maybe that's because we are immunizing rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to truly heal. Thanks for your comments.

Homemanager said...

Marlene, excellent post! I believe that you are right.
The sad part is that many people do not know what the gospel is. Many people think it is "you need to ask Jesus into your heart and repent of sin and say this prayer and you will be saved."
That's not the gospel. Sadly, there are many in the church who were brought in this way, but are not bearing fruit of true salvation. Then there is the dilema of thinking that someone isn't saved, but you can't confront them with this, because now you are "judging" them.
My one comfort is that the Lord knows His own and if someone is called, the Lord will see to it that they come in.

Homemanager said...

Missed your post today! Have you decided where you will be memorizing?
I had done Psalm 1 and Psalm 23. I've been working on Psalm 19. I sort of have it down, but there are a few rough spots. :o)Maybe we can encourage each other as we go...
Have a blessed night!

Marlene S. said...

Okay. Psalm 19 it is.