Sermon series: Transformational Church
- A Winning Witness - Acts 4
- The Priority of Praying Together - Acts 6
- Dare to Fail - Acts 13, 15
- Sharing Christ with a Christless Culture - Acts 17
Scriptures: Acts 4:23-36
Today's message is about communication. Specifically, we will examine how to effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. The words witness or soul-winning often create fear, anxiety, or guilt in believers, but understanding that our commission is simply to communicate helps relieve negative emotions associated with evangelism. God calls every follower of Christ to witness on a daily basis by using every means of communicating the gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.
For evangelism to be effective, the saints must recognize that God's evangelistic call extends to all Christians. It is not limited to certain groups or leaders in the church. God does equip the church with evangelists, but we must not confuse the gift of an evangelist with the commission of evangelism.
Note the use of the plural pronouns in the text. Verse 31 indicates that the apostles were joined by the rest of the church in speaking the message of the gospel. In an amazing answer to prayer, God empowers ordinary Christians with extraordinary boldness to witness for Christ. God will do the same for you.
I. Spend time with Christ (4:13; 20)
A second principle for effective communication of the gospel is to spend time with Christ. Verse 13 says the community took note that these men had been with Jesus. Then in verse 20, Peter informs the religious leaders that he is simply speaking about things he had seen and heard. These verses obviously refer to the apostle Peter, but the text reveals a simple yet powerful truth for all believers to embrace. We talk about those things that interest us. Grandparents talk about grandkids. Some people talk about politics. Others talk about sports. When spending time to build our faith becomes a priority, the result will be speaking to others about Christ.
II. Seek with conviction (24-30)
The primary way to spend time with Christ is by seeking Christ through prayer. Jesus said to seek first His kingdom (Matt. 6:33). Through prayer, we identify with Christ's love for people. Through prayer, we destroy strongholds of the enemy. Through prayer, we receive the power to boldly share the gospel.
Verses 24-30 reveal that the saints prayed in Unity.
Verse 25 contains a portion of Psalm 2 and illustrates the saints praying with Authority. Claiming the promises of God in prayer adds conviction and authority to our requests.
The saints prayed with Intensity as they asked for boldness. They understood the battle for souls is not for timid or lukewarm Christians. Engaging in the fight for the eternal destiny of souls requires an intense effort.
Finally, the saints prayed Expectantly. These first century Christians believed that God had miraculously worked in the past, and they asked God to do it again.
III. Speak with confidence (4:31)
God answered their prayer for boldness, but understand the text could read "they responded with obedience to speak with boldness." God did not remove the obstacles. These saints were criticized and some were persecuted for their witness. The anointing with boldness and speaking are simultaneous events. We do not store up boldness for a future encounter. God provides the boldness when we are ready to obey the call to witness for Christ.
IV. Share with compassion (4:32-36)
The command to witness for Christ is not just a military assignment that we execute as an obedient soldier. Christ-honoring witnessing flows from a compassionate heart. The Bible says that Jesus had compassion when He saw the multitudes (Matt. 9:36). Love draws lost souls to Christ, and love drives Christians to lost souls.
We have the best training resources money can buy, but resources do not reach people. People reach people. Saints, who see the commission, spend time with Christ, seek with conviction, speak with confidence, and share with compassion, can expect a loving God to use their winning witness to save souls.