Our text for this sermon comes from John 4:1-30.
From the moment that Adam bit the forbidden fruit. Sin has corrupted every human being from Adam till now and every child that will ever be born until Jesus ends it.
God put his plan into action. A plan of redemption. A plan of reconciliation.
Sin causes us to hate God. Not to seek him. Not to want him. Sin causes us to want to be in control and to live our lives the way we want to our own destruction.
Sin has corrupted everything we think, say, or do. Sin has corrupted everything our hands touch.
God sent Jesus. Jesus the Creator, Savior, Shepherd, Redeemer, King became the ultimate blood sacrifice to destroy sin once and for all. Jesus draws people to himself to give them a new life and a new hope and the opportunity to walk with him to be conformed to his image.
The church has been called to be agents of transformation and reconciliation.
However, there is a very real problem:
90% of Christians have never shared their faith outside of their family.
1% of churches in the US grow from sharing the gospel with lost people and those people getting redeemed by Jesus and becoming members of that local church.
99% of church growth is simply shuffling around existing Christians.
Where have we failed? In obedience.
Jesus told us to Go.
Jesus told us to make disciples?
Jesus told us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
If we are doing those things, it is inevitable that Jesus will save people and draw them to himself.
I want to focus on something that sometimes gets overlooked. vs. 28-30.
You have not experienced the grace and mercy of Jesus if you do not display it.
As soon as the woman at the well realizes who she is talking to, her life changed. Her encounter with Jesus leads to her redemption and reconciliation. Jesus forgives her of her sins and makes her part of his flock. Jesus is now her Shepherd, Savior, and Redeemer King.
After her encounter with Jesus, she immediately goes into the town and starts telling people how Jesus changed her life.
Then look what happens…Because of the woman’s testimony, people heard what she was saying and they left the town to go meet Jesus.
The woman did not wait. She did not have the Romans road. She did not have five ways to share your faith. She didn’t have an app on her phone. She didn’t go to a class.
She didn’t make excuses. She just went. She left her water jar at the well. The whole reason that she went to the well changed when she met Jesus.
Why do Christians act like sharing the gospel is so complicated?
The problem I believe that a lot of Christians have is they try to force the gospel.
You naturally talk about what you love. You naturally talk about your kids, food, cars, sports, movies, what you love. You don’t have to force the words out when you naturally talk about what you love? Do some people call themselves Christians and they are not Christians because they don’t truly love Jesus?
No one can share your story better than you because it is your story.
Jesus tells us that we are – this is not a choice you get to make or optional. When Jesus says you are something…he means that it is ingrained into the very core of your identity that he gives you when you become a Christian.
Matthew 5:13 – You are salt.
Matthew 5:14 – You are light.
You are agents of transformation and reconciliation. God wants to redeem people, reconcile them to himself and transform into the image of Jesus.
Salt is a preservative and a flavor enhancer.
Light makes it possible for you to see and points you in the right direction.
As salt, you are to enhance the lives of those around you in the same way that salt enhances the flavor of food. The lives of your family, friends, church, co-workers and acquaintances should be better because you are in them. You are enhancing their life. You are adding flavor to their life.
As light, you are pointing the way. You do not fight darkness with darkness. You do not fight evil with more evil. You fight darkness with light. You are light, pointing the way to Jesus. You shine so that the way to Jesus can be seen more clearly than if there was no light at all.
May you be effective at making disciples. Be open to being used how God wants to use you to accomplish his purposes.