The Duty of Every Christian

Acts 8:26-40

At the very beginning of this message I want to emphasize that every Christian has a duty
to be a witness to those who are lost without Christ.
Some might think that because they are not a pastor or an evangelist that they are not expected
to talk to people about being saved.

If you have convinced yourself that personal witnessing is not your responsibility,
then you need to re-examine the great commission and many other Scriptures that remind us
that we are to be witnesses to the lost.

So in this sermon I want to discuss God's plan of using individual Christians as His witnesses.
The aim of this message is to lead everyone of us resolve to accept personal responsibility
in seeking and leading the lost to Jesus.

First, we must be about our Father's business.

Before William Carey became a foreign missionary, he was a cobbler.
He made and repaired shoes.
Carey always had before him a map of the world of the world drawn on a piece of shoe leather.
Carey often said, "My business… is to extend the kingdom of Christ.
I only make and mend shoes to help pay expenses
."

Carey reminds us that witnessing for Christ is not an "extra" something that we do
apart from our daily duties.
We witness for Christ as we work, as we play, as we buy and sell, as we join in the social
and civic activities, and as we attend and participate in church services.
Personal witnessing for Christ is the normal everyday business of every Christian.

Philip is a good example of the witnessing layman.
Philip was one of the seven "deacons," or helpers, of the apostles appointed by the Jerusalem church.
(See Acts 6:1-7)

When the persecuted Jerusalem Christians were scattered abroad, they "went everywhere preaching the word."
Singled out for special mention is Philip, who "went down to the city of Samaria,
and preached Christ unto them
."
Philip was not trained to be a preacher; yet we find him bearing effectual witness,
so much that "the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake."

Second, we must be spiritually sensitive.

We can become so absorbed in the pursuit and use of things that we grow insensitive
to the voice of God's Spirit.
A businessman once confessed to his pastor that he became so consumed with making money
that when he saw a man walking down the street the figure appeared to him
in the shape of the dollar mark.

Some Christians never bear a witness because they have no witness to bear.
Such persons have allowed their Christian experience to grow cold, frozen in the deep-freeze of selfishness.
If we are to witness for Christ, we must keep our relationship with him unbroken,
and keep our souls sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Philip is also a good example of the spiritual sensitivity necessary to witnessing to a lost person.
In the midst of a real revival in Samaria, he received a strange command.
He was told to take the desert road that led southward from Jerusalem to Gaza.

Philip might have objected, arguing that there was plenty left to do were he was,
and that this desert road seem to be a dead end.
Instead, "he arose and went". (Acts 8:27)
Philip asked no questions, and raised no objections.
He laid down what he was doing, and followed the instructions that were given to him.

Is this kind of spiritual direction possible for us today?
Over and over, spiritually minded men and women have found it to be so.
A Sunday school teacher tells that late one night he felt an overpowering impulse to see a man
for whom salvation he had become concerned.

As he rang the man's doorbell, he felt somewhat foolish and began to apologize for calling so late at night.
At once the unsaved man urged him to come in because he had been restless and unable to sleep
and was wishing that this teacher would call to talk with him about being saved.

If we keep ourselves spiritually sensitive, we can always depend upon spiritual guidance
for direction in personal witnessing.

Third, we must be soul-conscious.

What value do we place on a human soul?
Do we really believe that one soul is worth more than everything in the world.
Are we really convinced that everyone is lost without Jesus Christ?
Do we understand what is lost when a soul is lost?

We should consider that the lost in their sins are forever deprived of one whom He made
to live with Him forever.
We should think of the lost to Christ, whose death on the cross was in vain for that soul
that goes out to spend eternity in hell unsaved.

Just think of the loss to loved ones, who will be forever deprived of the companionship
of those they have loved.
We must remember the loss to the one who dies in sin, whose fate will be that of an ending death
and torments in an everlasting hell. (Luke 16:23-24)
When we see that every soul has infinite value, and when we realize that nothing has enough value
to be given in exchange for a soul (Matthew 16:26), how can we refuse to give our witness
of the saving power of Jesus Christ?

Philip is a good example of a soul-conscious Christian.
As he went his way on the lonely road, he was overtaken by a chariot in which sat a man reading
from the prophecy of Isaiah.

The Holy Spirit, who had sent Philip to make that strange journey, had been at work
also on the other side of the line.
Now the Holy Spirit brought together the seeking sinner and the Christian with the saving message.
Shouldn't this take away our fear and timidity when the opportunity comes to talk to someone
about Jesus Christ?
We may always rest assured that the Holy Spirit is working with us and that He will go before us
to prepare the way.

Fourth, I must make the way plain.

There may be another reason for our reluctance to witness.
We may feel that we do not know what to say.
So, how can we avoid that difficulty?

Again, we find a perfect example in the approach made by the deacon Philip.
With an open Bible between them, Philip asked the Ethiopian, "Do you understand what you're reading?"
The Ethiopian answered, "How can I, except some man should guide me?" gave Philip his opportunity.

Together they discussed Isaiah 53, which marvelously portrays the way of salvation.
Taking his cue from this gospel in the Old Testament, Philip "preached unto him Jesus." (Acts 8:30-35)
Phillips' message is one which any of us who is at all acquainted with the Bible can use.

Fifth, I must press for a decision.

Suppose Philip had said to the Ethiopian, "All this is interesting and I hope that you will think it over.
Thanks for the ride and I hope to see you again someday
."

Isn't it true that we forfeit our opportunity by some lame conclusion of a conversation about Christ
and becoming a Christian?

A businessman once said to his pastor after close of the service, "If you were on my staff, I'd fire you."
"Why," stammered the preacher, "what have I done?"

The businessman replied, "You had some persons here who were almost ready to sign on the dotted line,
and you did not press for a decision
."

Perhaps some of us have been guilty of that same failure.

What better example could we have at this point and that of deacon Philip?
Having enlightened the Ethiopian's understanding and having convinced him of the claims of Christ,
Philip baptized him immediately and sent him on his way, rejoicing.

Here was a key man, in a high position, who went back to his own land to share his witness to others
as it had been shared with him.
Each of us should now be ready to say, "By the grace of God, I can do that – and I will."

In our minds, each one of us must be convinced that personal witnessing the loss person is the duty
of every Christian.
In our hearts, we must be ready to make a beginning?
Satan will have won the victory if we put off making a start until some "more convenient season."

I pray that each of us will determined to pick an unsaved friend or loved one or acquaintance,
and this week put into practice what we have just heard.

I'll tell the world that I am a Christian.

I'll tell the world, that I'm a Christian, I'm not ashamed, His name to bear;
I'll tell the world, that I'm a Christian, I'll take Him with me anywhere.

I'll tell the world, how Jesus saved me, and how He gave me a life brand new;
And I know that if you trust Him, that all He gave me, He'll give to you.

I'll tell the world, that He's my Saviour, No other one, could love me so;
My life, my all is His forever, and where He leads me I will go.

For when He comes, and life is over, For those who love Him there's more to be;
Eyes have never seen the wonders, That He's preparing, for you and me."

I'll tell the world that I am a Christian.
I would say to each one here that we must tell the world, that you're a Christian.
This is not only our duty, but it is our wonderful opportunity and also our great blessing.


Sermon was adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L White

{Song "I'll Tell The World That I'm A Christian" by By Baynard L. Fox)