With Heart And Mouth
In a day when many are being “carried about with every wind of doctrine,” in Ephesians 4:14 we are reminded that the responsibility of the Christian witness is as vital as it has ever been… in light of the coming of Christ, His imminent return. The requirements for salvation are simple: firm confession and belief. See Romans 10:9, below. Salvation has nothing to do with church membership, rituals or any other external condition. Salvation is given by grace, through faith.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
With the heart we believe and with the mouth we confess faith. The two work together to bring salvation to the individual who calls upon the Lord in faith.
5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17So then faith cometh be hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1, 2
1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The Gospel is good news for a bad condition. All have sinned, both Jews and Gentiles, and there is no difference among people in this respect.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
There is no difference in the richness of God’s grace toward anyone who will believe. Paul did not preach an exclusive Gospel just for certain kinds of people; rather, his Gospel was the same one preached by Jesus and the other apostles. The ground is level at Calvary.
Just as we are stewards of our time, talents and money, so we are also stewards of the Gospel message. He has sent the Holy Spirit to provide the power, wisdom and guidance for us to witness for Him.
If anyone had a right to have confidence in the flesh it was the apostle Paul. He was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the most celebrated doctors of the Mosaic law in Paul’s time.
Paul did not use his background or his attainments or his education to enhance his ministry. Paul would have been the last person to brag about his accomplishments. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit his knowledge and experience exerted a powerful influence throughout his epistle/letter.
Perhaps you have heard preachers who had tremendous oratorical skills, but you went away from their sermons empty and wondered if they really preached the Gospel. God is not impressed with our abilities. What He desires is a heart that is turned toward Him and willing to do whatever He asks.
Paul emphasized that his preaching did not have its source in the worldly words of persuasion or earthly wisdom. He knew that the Divine saving and miracle-working power of Christ is demonstrated only through the Holy Spirit.
How we view people is an important part of living for Christ. We are not to judge the worth of people by their outer appearance, after the flesh, neither by their social status, by their economical class or by their race.
We are to view people through the eyes of God who sees potential. Christ died for all because God loves all. No Christian can serve the Lord well unless he sees people the way Christ does, all in need of a Saviour.
Every Christian has been given a special assignment, Holy Spirit gift, from Heaven to link others with God. We are to see people who have not accepted Christ, by faith, as sheep without a shepherd, living in a dangerous environment.
Paul preached emphatically
1 Corinthians 3:11
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The same Holy Spirit that inspired holy men of God to write the Word of God and prompted Paul to preach as he did still influences men and women today. We can have confidence that when we witness to others we do not need to rely upon our own abilities. We can rely on the Spirit of God to speak through us in a way that will build faith in others through the demonstrations of the Spirit’s power.
If a person knows that faith in Christ is the only way a person can be saved, then he needs to tell someone about it. Christ’s love motivates us to tell others God sent His BEST, JESUS CHRIST, for the world’s worst.
Christ has presented the church with a Divine commission to go and make disciples. In addition to this He has pledged His Presence. He has also promised us His Power. He spoke to his disciples saying in
Luke 24:49 (Jesus speaking)
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Like the disciples we are called to be His representatives as long as we are on this earth. As ambassadors of God we are to let others both see and hear our testimony and thereby bring glory to our Heavenly Father.
One of the first things needed is personal prayer… in order to sense just how great the need for evangelism is. We must then be sensitive to where the Holy Spirit may lead.
If we were able to purchase an interest in righteousness by our works on our own, salvation would be by works. We are continually told that righteousness comes by faith and by faith alone. Deeply rooted in the heart of every man is self-righteousness. Its workings are numerous and subtle and its danger is far-reaching. It robs God of His glory.
Each individual Christian needs to prayerfully search his heart to see whether he is a willing vessel, surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and called of God in his heart to serve in a ministry position. God does make that clear to the searching heart.
What kind of a man or woman are you, based on the following scenario? A man watched a group of construction workers on the job. After observing for a while, he approached the group and began asking various ones what they were doing. The answers he received were varied.
The first man looked around carefully before he responded, “I’m doing only as much as I have to, to keep from getting fired.” The second man answered, “I’m working eight hours a day.” The third man’s response showed that he had a little more interest in his work. “I’m laying bricks,” he answered. The fourth man indicated he had some sense of purpose in what he was doing. He answered, “I’m building a wall.” The fifth man’s response revealed that he had it all together. He had the big picture. He knew how the piece of work he was doing contributed to the whole. Proudly, he said, “I’m building a cathedral.”
The question comes to us: “What are we doing?” Do we see how our particular service is contributing to the big picture of reconciling people to God through Jesus Christ? God has placed in our hands the gospel of Christ. More powerful than dynamite, this message of God’s love can take a person who is dead in sin and make him or her new – entirely new. What will we do with this Word of Life he has committed unto us? We are ambassadors.
As the Jewish nation’s history unfolds day by day, we can thank God for the Jews. Jesus was a Jew. He is the greatest Gift offered to mankind. God has given Him to the world. We just need to invite Him to be Lord of our lives, asking Him for forgiveness of sin in our lives. He will hear our prayer and He will answer our prayer when we confess our sins and invite Him to be Lord of our lives.
Are you prepared to spend eternity in the Presence of Jesus when you die or when Jesus returns to earth to live here forever with the redeemed?
The signs of the time…do we recognize them, based on Scripture?
Luke 21:8-12 (Jesus speaking)
8And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near; go ye not therefore after them.
9But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
10Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
11And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Luke 21:16-18 (Jesus speaking)
16And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
18But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19In your patience possess ye your souls.
Luke 21:28 (Jesus speaking)
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Luke 21:36 (Jesus speaking)
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Jesus, the Messiah, will come in a manner similar to the one in which He left this world, as we see the fulfillment of prophecy. Let us “look up” and rejoice for our Redeemer shall return to this earth, just like he promised in His Word.
As Christians we have an opportunity: sharing the truth about Jesus with others. Will I? Will you? Will we?
Today’s thought: He who has the Holy Spirit in his heart and the Scriptures in his hands has all he needs to help win others to Christ. The Gospel breaks hard hearts and heals broken hearts.
There are three things God must have before evangelism can begin:
- the man
- the message
- and the means
When God needed a man He could use, He found Paul. He put His Spirit in Paul’s heart and the Gospel in his mouth and sent him to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul was the man with the Gospel message. The power of the Spirit was the means by which he succeeded.
When we think of the dynamic power of evangelism, there are three things that must be employed:
- and obedience
The work of the church is spiritual business!
It is unthinkable to try being successful evangelizing lost souls without a fervent prayer life. We must have Divine love for God and people to give us motivation for obedience to evangelize “our world” and we must be endowed, guarded and informed by the Holy Spirit of God.