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"How to Be A Witness of Jesus"

November 12, 2017 Speaker: Tim Zulker Series: God Loves Growth

Topic: Sermons Passage: John 4:5–4:30, John 4:39–4:42

God Loves Growth #2 

“How to be a Witness of Jesus"


John 4:5-30, 39-42 

5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
 
27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?”28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.
 
……..
 
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
 
 
Introduction
 
I don’t like preaching about evangelism. 
 
Because first of all, some of you may not consider yourself a Christian and have been turned off by feeling like you were someone’s conversion project. That saddens me and frustrates me. If that’s true for you, I hope you will talk wth me afterward and I hope you will find this is a sympathetic place to be. You are very welcome here.  Second, most of you don’t want to hear it. In a group of 150, about 10 people will like this topic. The rest of you are already uncomfortable. And third, this topic has accumulated so many layers of bad teaching and unnecessary guilt, that it feels almost impossible to approach it in a fresh way. But I’m going to try today, and I want to ask you to give God’s Word a fair hearing. He has something fresh to say to you today. 
 
What I believe God wants to say is that all he asks you to do is testify about what you know about Jesus and about your experience with him. He will do the rest. 
 
Be honest about yourself
Be honest about Jesus
Be available 
 
 
1. Be honest about yourself
 
The Samaritan woman was not honest with Jesus at first. Jesus wanted to offer her new life. But first she needed to be honest about her need.  She wanted the “living water” that Jesus offered her: "13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
 
What is the pathway to receiving this eternal life from Jesus? We need to know our need. We need to be honest about our sin problem. The Bible says that we are sinners and in need of salvation. In order to get to the heart of her sin, Jesus says to the woman, "16 “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
 
Friends, the road to life is through the gateway of humility. God does NOT help those who help themselves. He reveals our spiritual poverty and then offers us spiritual wealth. 
 
Being aware and honest about your condition is required if you want to be a follower of Jesus, and if you want to be a witness to Jesus. 
 
That’s the point of the most familiar Christian song in the world: Amazing Grace.  
 
Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. That’s the first statement of honesty, right. I’m a wretch. Not a loser, but a sinner. I’m spiritually corrupted.
 
I once was lost, but now I’m found. That means I don’t have a good understanding of how to live my life apart from Jesus. 
 
Was blind, but now I see. That means I don’t see God’s truth about myself and my world apart from God’s Word.
 
So telling other people about Jesus means being honest about our spiritual problem. 
 
Do you remember the story, The Emperor’s New Clothes? Two tailors promise to make an emperor a new suit of clothes. The clothes, they tell him, are invisible to anyone who is stupid, incompetent and unfit for their position in life. The king of course doesn’t want to be judged stupid and incompetent, so he parades around naked, acting as if he can see his own clothes. No one else wants to be judged incompetent either so everyone goes along with the lie. Until a simple child cries out, “The emperor has no clothes!” He was honest about the truth.
 
What can you say about yourself honestly? Do you know yourself well enough to say, “Before I met Jesus, this is what I was like.” Or, “If I didn’t know Jesus, I’d be like this.”  Telling another person about how good Jesus is starts with knowing how he has changed you, and continues to change you. That’s far different than telling people you're right and they’re wrong. Instead it’s telling them that God has changed you, and here’s how.
 
The Samaritan woman runs back to her village: verse 28 ”28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him."
 
The road to being a witness of Jesus starts with being honest about yourself.
 

2. Be honest about Jesus
 
In this story the woman is able to bring Jesus in person to her friends. 39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
 
Jesus talked with the woman’s friends. Through hearing from him, they became believers in Jesus. She could introduce her friends to Jesus face-to-face.  You and I can introduce our friends to Jesus through the Bible. Jesus was able to get to the woman’s heart with a key question about her husband. The Bible is just as powerful — Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
 
To be a witness of a car accident you don’t need to know all of the details of the law. To be a witness of Jesus, do not need to know all the Bible and all sorts of theology. Learn what you can, open the Bible and point to Jesus.
 
Here’s an example of what this means. If you know you are a sinner, then you can be thankful that Jesus is a friend of sinners. Matthew 9:10-13 "10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
 
You don’t always need to share the Romans Road. Maybe you open up to Matthew 9 and show this story about how Jesus eagerly spent time with sinful outcasts of proper society.   Being honest about Jesus means showing your friend who he really is. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t reject sinful, broken people. He actually likes people like you and me.
 
3. Be available
 
Gospel witness begins with gospel experience. 
 
The Samaritan woman went back to town. She could have snuck back home. Kept it a secret. Instead, she made herself available to talk with her friends.
 
”28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.
 
What really happened here is that her experience simply spilled over. Do you have a genuine experience with Jesus? Then are you willing to be honest about it. Let it spill over. 
 
Do you share what you learned in BSF with a friend that week?
Do you tell people that you went to church on Sunday?
 
A week or two ago, there was a really cool ring around the moon one night. I wonder if you saw it. Cindy was out back and saw it first. She came into the house and got us all and had us come out back. It was a 360º rainbow around the moon. She was so excited, she wanted to tell us all. We loved it.
 
“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”
 
When I look five years into the future, I see this room full. God loves growth! I see it full of people who are here because you and I were honest about ourselves, honest about Jesus, and available. Friends and family who came to meet Jesus because of the overflow of our own experience with this remarkable man.
 
Be honest about yourself
Be honest about Jesus
Be available 
 
Conclusion
 
I like Tim Keller’s suggestions for how to do this:
 
• let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way)
• ask friends about their faith — and just listen
• Listen to your friends problems – maybe offer to pray for them
• Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you
• Give them a book to read
• Share your story
• Answer objections and questions
• Invite them to a church event
• Offer to read the Bible with them
 
Be honest about yourself
Be honest about Jesus
Be available 
 
That’s the best way to be a witness of Jesus

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