These days fuel is a hot topic… mainly because it’s super expensive… I mean anytime gasoline tops $3.50/gal with it’s sights set on $4 we begin to take our fuel pretty seriously… because it’s the fuel that keeps us going, it’s the fuel that keeps us moving.
That got me thinking about our faith-motivation.
Why do we do anything for the Lord? Why do we share his love, his message, why serve? What’s the fuel – or the motivation for our the “doing” stuff of faith? Is it cheap or expensive? Is it reliable? Let’s look at evangelism for a second or why we share our faith.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This is is one of the best Scriptures I know regarding evangelism, because it gives us the motivation, the message, and the end-result of our evangelistic efforts. Our motivation for evangelism is NOT to win people – that would be a human-focused motivation… but our motivation is Christ alone. Vs. 17-19 makes it clear that we are new creations – and all this is from God – he has reconciled himself to us through Jesus Christ! Reconciliation is a big flippin’ deal… because left on our own we were separated from God… totally separated because of our sin. The relationship is broken, and God himself reconciled it – he fixed it through Jesus Christ.
So, he has committed that same message to us: “be reconciled to God!” I love Paul’s passion here – he says, “We implore you [not on our own behalf, not for the sake of our church or our own self-satisfaction] on Christ’s behalf…” If the motivation is Christ then the end-result is Christ; our goal should always be that people live in the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. Paul makes it clear that salvation without surrender does not lead to anything really. Jesus became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.
The end-result of evangelism is not that someone pray a specified prayer… though that may be a step in the process… but the end-result is a changed life in Christ.