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Thistletown Baptist Church

March 8, 2009

You Shall Be My Witnesses I

I    Introduction

1.The purpose statement of this church, in our official documents, says TBC …. Are we fulfilling our
purpose? We are attempting to do this in some fairly significant ways. The Flea Market, Our Missions programme, Sunday School, Sunday services… One of the most significant ways in which this church can help itself fulfill its mandate to make disciples is to prepare the people of TBC to be lovers of God and people (the two great commandments) in a way that helps them be givers of the Gospel in their daily lives. We ARE missionaries and missionaries need to be fed good food in order to be healthy. They need to be given the tools to do what they are called to do in the right manner. They need to be prepared to live such godly lives among the pagans … (I Peter 2:11-12). They need to be helped in their calling to be ready to give an answer to those who ask them about the hope that they have.

We are focussing on the Gospel this year in our verses, in the Ministry Leaders’ Study, in the focus of the Missions Conference … . Let your light shine.

2.Today we start a short series of messages about the essential marks of a witness of the Gospel. I
am doing this series with you because I want to help you understand that the Gospel is not a matter of knowing a few facts and spitting them out at people. (God, save us from that). We want to be effective in our witness of the Gospel. That does not mean that our Gospel declaration will always produce converts but it does mean that it will always please God.
a.We need to do this together because:
i.God has given us a mandate to tell the world
ii.The only way people are going to be converted is through the declaration of the
Gospel by others. The Scriptures are clear that the Gospel must be delivered by those who               already know it:

Romans 10:13-15.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
[14] But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? [15] And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Even in the videos that we watched during the Missions Conference – the people had dreams about Jesus coming to them and saying they needed Him but they still had someone come to them and explain it to them – see Acts 8:26-31
iii.We are doing this because we want to make disciples. And that necessarily means
that what we are before people is just as important as what we say to people.

1 Peter 2:11-12 (ESV)
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. [12] Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evil doers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)
but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
iv.God is glorified through the salvation of sinners.