Audio Length: 45:17 Ministered @ Grace Community Church, Arroyo Hondo New Mexico
In order to convince people of the truth and successfully lead people to have a real salvation, a real relationship with Jesus Christ. The church (you and I) must first know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and be born-again. Believe the truth, learn the truth and then as you are learning, apply and live the truth. You cannot live what you do not believe, understand or receive. That means in order to be a soul winner, the church must learn to be a real Christian first.
What does it mean to be a Christian? To be like Jesus Christ in every way without hypocrisy. But it will not come easy. There will be things that will try to get in the way such as:
The cares of the world can try to obstruct the life flow of Jesus Christ in your life. The wiles of the devil can try to side track you off the path of righteousness. And the temptations and the will of the flesh if unchecked and unguarded can try to shipwreck your faith, make you feel unworthy, and can cause you to give up and walk away from the Lord.
There are so many more millions of ways a person can loose salvation and miss out on God, making the church ineffective and powerless. Everything we will ever go through, remember, Jesus Christ has already been there. The only difference is He never sinned and He did not fail! This is why the Lord ministered,
Opening Scripture: Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
There’s going to be times when God is preparing us for the work of the Lord. And the Lord will leads us to dark places in order to mold and fashion His children to be more like Jesus as His disciples (Psalm 23). He tests His work also whether we fail or succeed (1 Peter 1:6-7). There’s also going to be times we’ll learn how to be a Christian in the middle of trials, testing’s and in spiritual warfare. In any case, Jesus Christ is leading us through these difficult places. Why?
People are going to go there, and since you already have been there, you become a more effective witness on the level people are at, both Christians and the world.
It is also designed to strengthen our faith. “Faith that’s not tested is faith that cannot be trusted.” And produces in us (born-again children of God) power, patience, character, hope, godliness, and all manner of virtue.
Why does God take His children to such extreme places to mold, fashion and test His children? So we can be an effective minister of the Gospel, full of faith and power. And God teaches us this, using Jesus Christ His only begotten Son as our example
Matthew 4 (Highlights) Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” “Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.”“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
But in order to have the anointing, powerful faith and the power of God, we must follow the Lord Jesus Christ at all cost. What does it mean to follow the Lord?
Luke 5:10-11 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.
What does it take to follow the Lord?
· Being totally sold out to God
· Communion with God
· Strong faith
Communion: is having an intimate relationship, a personal fellowship with God. It is also consecration
Consecration: is bearing the fruits of repentance. Setting self apart from the life of sinning and from worldliness. Setting self apart from the sinful; worldly patterns of living, thought, and belief.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Luke 9:23 And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
What does Jesus mean by taking up the cross and follow Him? To crucify, to mortify (put to death) the deeds of the flesh. Let not sin reign in your mortal body. To crucify selfish plans and ambitions and every other vain things that can beset us and exalt itself above the priorities of God
Luke 9:57-62 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever Thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.
Jesus Christ is teaching here, ‘Sacrifice comfort and stepping out into the unknown beyond your comfort zone.’
And He said unto another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Jesus Christ is also teaching here, ‘In order to follow Him, your going to have to sever family ties and all personal priorities to follow Jesus’
And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Lastly in Jesus’ series of teachings here, ‘We must forsake and sever all ties of the worldly; sinful friends of the past to follow Jesus Christ.’ In order to have the demonstration of the power of God, you must have daily fellowship with God. Jesus Christ is our perfect example of this fact:
Luke 6:12-19 And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles; Simon, (whom He also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. And He came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases;
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all.
In order to operate in the power of God and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectively, you need to have powerful faith also. It takes faith to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and minister the Word of God. So how do you get this unshakable powerful faith?
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
This is why we go to church, pray, read and study the Holy Bible daily. To be strengthened and empowered to convince people of the truth of the Holy Gospel of salvation of Jesus Christ, just like in the days of the Book of Acts.
This is what it’s going to take to be His true disciple today as is always been since Jesus Christ called His first disciples then. Nothing has changed. And this is what it’s going to take to reach America for the Kingdom of God
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.