The Importance of Holiness in Personal Evangelism Part 2 of 2

Knowing a Christian should live in harmony with God and God’s ways is one thing, but actually doing it is another. The expectation of Jesus was that we actually live what we believe. We are to love our enemies and pray for them. We are to turn the other cheek when one is struck. We are to go that extra mile of service to someone who needs our help. In short, we are to be and live the Sermon on the Mount as found in Matthew 5-7. How one lives in personal holiness to Christ ought to be the most natural thing for a disciple of Jesus to do. However, for most it’s not. We have not trained our minds and bodies to be holy. To make the change will involve time, the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study and memorization, service, and probably lots of personal repentance.

Holy Spirit,

Image by kelsey_lovefusionphoto via Flickr

To help with this I have written a personal spiritual preparation guide. This guide is included in the personal evangelism training course CROSS Training. Working through the acrostic CROSS below will help to prepare your heart, mind and body for effective evangelism.

Set aside plenty of time for you to meet with Christ. Strive to set all the things right with God and others so your witness will be what it should be. I don’t want anything to hold you back.

Confession: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

To “confess” means to “agree” with God about our sin. It is viewing sin from God’s perspective and turning from it. Do you have unconfessed sin in your life? Do you have sin in your life that causes you to live a defeated Christian life? It’s time to “agree” with God. Let Him remove it from your life. Spend time asking God to test your heart concerning your sin. Sin can be things you do, which you shouldn’t do. They can also be things you should do, which you are not doing. There are sins of thought, attitude and deeds. Confess your sins to God and let Him cleanse you.

Relationships: So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). “For If you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing” (Matthew 6: 14-15).

Broken relationships are a great hindrance to evangelism. When our relationships are wrong with others it is also wrong before God. There is no place for foolish pride in the life of a Christian. You are commanded by your Master to do the best to reconcile with others who may have something against you, whether it is justified or not. Ask yourself: Is there anyone I have offended and have not asked forgiveness? Am I harboring unforgiveness toward someone? Forgive them, so that your Heavenly Father may forgive you. Forgive for your own sake as well as for theirs. They will still have to answer to God for their sin, as will you. Seek restoration and forgive.

Obedience: If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you” (John 15: 10-14). “I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

For Jesus, love is obedience. If you love Jesus, you will obey Jesus. His command is to love one another. Jesus says the whole world will know we are His people when we do this. How is your love for Jesus? Just check your obedience. Is there a part of your life you have not surrendered to God? Is there something you know God wants you to do, but you haven’t done it yet? How long will you make excuses or run from His perfect will? Are you doing things God has told you to stop? Then stop. You can say what you like, but you can’t fool God at all or others for long. Love is measured in obedience. Surrender the controls of your life to Him now. You know it’s the right thing to do. Then you will remain in Jesus’ love.

Speech: No rotten talk should come from your mouth, but only what is good for the building up of someone in need, in order to give grace to those who hear. And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit, who sealed you for the day of redemption. All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ” (Ephesians 4:29-32).

How much does your daily speech match up with Ephesians 4:29-30? Do you say things about others that you shouldn’t? Have you been kind in your words? Have you treated others as well as God has treated you? Do you realize by the words of your mouth you can stifle the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? Have you exaggerated the truth? It’s called lying. Have you told inappropriate jokes? Would you tell Jesus what you have been telling others? Seek His forgiveness and help. Ask God to put a guard over your mouth.

Service: “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus…. He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5, 7-8). You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20).

How is your service to others? Are there some things you just won’t do? Do you have a poor attitude when asked to serve? Do you serve God the way you want to or the way God wants? Do you treat others as better than yourself? Have you made your faith about you and not about God? Are you in it for what you can get? What if God didn’t answer another prayer of yours for the rest of your life? Would you serve Him? The Bible says you do not belong to yourself, but to God. We are His servants. He is not ours.

What do you need to talk with God about now?

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About Jimmy Kinnaird

Jimmy started his ministry on the streets of the French Quarter of New Orleans leading a jazz band as a tool to witness for Christ. He has also been a church staff member, church planter, pastor, and Church Outreach Team Leader for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Recently, Jimmy served as Personal Evangelism Resource Coordinator on the Personal Evangelism Team at the North American Mission Board, SBC. He is currently pastor of Village Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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