Evangelistic Speaking — Part 1

2008/10/18 at 9:00 上午 發表留言

Audience Description and the Message/Topic Rationale

        I
intend to write a word-for-word evangelistic sermon for a typical Sunday
morning service in a church in Vancouver,
Canada, where I
reside currently. The date is June 15, 2008. I am the senior pastor of a
congregation of about one hundred, and I preach regularly on Sundays. This area
is mostly populated by the middle class. The church is composed of all age
groups from seniors, elder and younger adults, teenagers, and kids. The people
have an average educational background ranging from technical school diplomas
to college degrees. Most of the church attendees are Christians, about
one-third have been to this church since her inception three years ago, some a
shorter period of time, but most of them are members. This was a special Sunday
where many non-Christian new friends were invited to come and there are quite a
number of them present. A few of these newcomers have been to this church a
couple of times before, some of them are first-timers, and there are always
those seekers who have attended this church for years but have not come to a
personal relationship with Christ yet. Among them are about half Caucasians and
half Asians. I do not know each of their particular spiritual background. Their
religious views could range from a general belief in a non-personal god or
gods, Eastern religion, ancestor worship, plain atheism espousers, or those who
are so occupied with earthly affairs that they have never considered
spirituality issues before. Most of these non-Christians are adults, but there
are also some teenagers.

        The
host has led us in warm greetings with one another; I tried to shake hands with
as many new faces as possible during this time. The host then made some
announcements and prayed before the worship and offering. I focused on God
wholeheartedly especially during the worship and waited on Him in my heart. I
tried not to be so concerned with my preaching in just a moment but listened to
God and asked for grace so that Christ would minister through me by the power
of the Holy Spirit. I had waited on God a few days ago on what He wanted me to
share this coming Sunday. I believe the Spirit has impressed on my heart to
share on Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. He
wanted me to share that Jesus came to give us life and not to establish a
religion. It has been my practice to hear what God’s will is in every message I
preach or teach. Therefore, as the worship ended and I stepped up the platform,
my heart rested in God as it is He who will now take over and I am just a
yielded instrument. I have named my sermon topic “Jesus Came to Give us Life.”
The tone of my voice is mostly friendly. It is compassionate and empathetic at
places, and firm and pleading during other parts. Since these nuances of tone
are very hard to convey in written words, or even impossible especially with
the work of the Spirit moving in actual services, some imagination of emotions
may be needed on the part of the reader in order to feel the overall impact of
this sermon. I actually speak fairly fast especially when I am explaining the
Bible, so there may be a lot of words being written, but I may speak slower and
even slow in places where I feel the Spirit wants me to emphasize a particular
point or simply to slow down so the people can absorb the impact of His
presence and Word.


Jesus Came to Give Life

        I
want to welcome you all warmly again to the house of God this morning. It is
good to be in the presence of God and seeing you all here. I especially want to
welcome those who are here for the first time. I hope you’ll also sense God’s
love, joy and peace with us as well. And feel free to write down your prayer
requests in the friendship cards in the pews, and we’ll pray for your needs—we
always love to pray with you.

        This
morning we’re going to look at the Gospel of John. So if you have your Bibles,
please turn with me to John chapter four, verses one to forty-two. The Gospel
of John, chapter four, verses one to forty-two. If you don’t have a Bible,
there are Bibles in the pews in front of you. Ok, now let me read this passage
to you, and it is also displayed on the screen:

“1 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the
Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2
(though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and
departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to
go through Samaria.

5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot
of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was
about the sixth hour.

7 A woman of 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 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You,
being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings
with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you
knew the gift of God, and who it is who says 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 with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living
water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and
drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever
drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that
I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will
become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this
water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your
husband, and come here.”

17 The woman answered and said, “I have no
husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I
have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now
have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive
that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews
say that in Jerusalem
is the place where one ought to worship.”

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me,
the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is
of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such 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” (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 And at this point His disciples came, and
they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?”
or, “Why are You talking with her?”

28 The woman then left her waterpot, went
her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all
things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the
city and came to Him.

31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him,
saying, “Rabbi, eat.”

32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat
of which you do not know.”

33 Therefore the disciples said to one
another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”

34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the
will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are
still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up
your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36
And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both
he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is
true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you
have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their
labors.”  

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city
believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all
that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to
stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because
of His own word.

42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we
believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we
know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

        Let’s
pray before we begin.

        Dear
Heavenly Father, we come to You this morning, we know that You are with us, and
You are speaking to us through Your Word and Spirit. Father, help us to hear
and to understand Your Word even now. We don’t want to rush things, and we know
that this is not just another Sunday and another message. I pray that our
hearts would be soft and pliable this day. I ask that You would continue to
grant us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that it is not human wisdom
that will unfold Your Word, but let Your Spirit flood our hearts with the light
of Your revelation so we can know You and experience You this day. Father You
love each one of us here. You know our names and You know us so intimately and
deeply and You care for us so much. I ask that we would have eyes to see and
ears to hear the gentle whisper of Your love to us even this morning. Let Your
love come, and make us whole. Help us by Your grace to see once again that
Jesus came to give us life, and not to establish a religion. It is never about
a religion, but a relationship. A relationship with You because You’re alive today
and is here with us now. I ask as we share this message, that we’ll see more
about the purpose of why You came, never to condemn, but to love and heal,
that’s why You took our place and sacrificed Yourself and Your life for us. May
this love establish and ground our hearts and souls this morning. And in this
precious name of Jesus we pray, amen.

        My
sermon topic this morning is, as you might have seen on the screen already,
“Jesus Came to Give Life.” The Pharisees in verse one are the top religious leaders
of Jesus’ days. However, they are legalistic people whom Jesus calls
hypocrites, because they add extra man-made rules, and they seldom practice
what they teach. They have a very systematic form of religion, but not a true
relationship with God, although they speak of His name and Word all the time.
But Jesus wanted to show His disciples that He was different, that God is not
like that, a dead religion of mere rules, regulations, and do’s and don’ts. In
verse four it says Jesus needed to go
through Samaria while heading to Galilee. Judea is where Jerusalem
is, and Galilee is up far north. In between
was a province called Samaria.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea, but His
hometown was Nazareth, Galilee;
He grew up there. Now verse four was not saying that it’s the only route to Jerusalem, because it is
not. Samaria
was a special province where its residents are not pure Jews, but they are sort
of a half-breed of Jews and Gentiles. And the Jews despised them utterly, and
they have no dealings with one another. To call someone a Samaritan, to the
Jews, was a big insult. Therefore, most Jews who are traveling north or south
never take the routes passing through Samaria; it would be something like
unclean to them, although we know there’s nothing unclean about passing through
certain geographical area, it’s just what they believed in prejudice. Jesus
needed to go through Samaria
because He has something to do there, and the Father wanted to use this
incident to show to us something very important. Jesus, as the Son of God, was
revealing that He shows no personal favoritism, regardless of race, gender,
skin color, ethnicity, socioeconomic or religious statues, because God created
everyone of the same value and worth—all in the very image of God. In walking
through the area the Samaritans, Jesus was not afraid to offend the Jewish
religious leaders.

        Now
in verse seven, Jesus was tired and He meets a Samaritan lady there. We also
notice that Jesus in His full humanity, besides being fully divine God Himself,
do also feel physically tired while on earth. Now talking with a Samaritan
woman was something very unusual to both the Jews and Samaritans, as we’ve
explained. Men and women also don’t relate to one another very openly in those
days and culture. So the woman in verse nine says, “’How is it that You, being
a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with
Samaritans.” Now Jesus was showing again that He was not afraid to approach
those people whom the society may dislike. He was not someone who tries to
please the top religious or political figures for personal gain or popularity.
His main concern was and is always with people. How people feel, and the truth.
The truth is that everyone is equal, everyone is precious, everyone is valuable,
and there need not be any kind of hatred between people. He is concerned with
how I feel, He is concerned with how you feel, each one of us here. His
disciples were absent, went away to buy food. Now in later verses, we’ll see
that the reason Jesus was here talking to this Samaritan lady was exactly the
Father’s will for Him. And if Jesus is the Son of God, that means He is God,
what He does is what the Father’s will and heart is. God is concerned with your
feelings and He cares for you. Jesus asked for a drink, and then they had a
dialogue concerning the place of the temple worship. The Jews have always
believed that the place that God has specially chosen for the temple worship is
Jerusalem. The
Samaritans did not believe that it’s Jerusalem,
and they later had their own temple on Mt. Gerizim.
If we check back the Book of Deuteronomy and the Old Testament, we see that the
Jews are right, Jerusalem
was the place that God has chosen. Furthermore, He has pointed out that
“salvation in of the Jews” in verse twenty-two, meaning, the Jews were the
God-chosen people from whom the Messiah, namely Himself, would come from the
earthly perspective. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah. The Samaritans did not read
the entire Old Testament, but only the Pentateuch, which is also called the
Book of Moses, because they were traditionally believed to be written by Moses.
But moreover, their Pentateuch was a different version than the Jews’
Pentateuch or our Old Testament Pentateuch. Our Pentateuch is the Jews’
Pentateuch, but theirs’ is called the Samaritan Pentateuch, with some
variations. Now we believe the Jewish Hebrew Bible, that is our Old Testament
is the inspired correct Bible, we as Christians just have an addition of the
New Testament because we believe in Jesus is the Christ, while the Jews do not
believe Him to be the Messiah yet, Messiah means “Savior,” they’re still
looking for their Messiah even this day. So in a strong sense, this Samaritan
lady would be someone we might classify as a cult member, believing something
about Christianity, but don’t have the complete Scriptures or core doctrines
that evangelical Christians believe in. In any event, this shows forth very
clearly, that regardless of what religious background, you don’t even need to
be a Christian for God to care and love you. That’s true, for God so loved the
world, that is everyone. That’s exactly why the Father had Jesus approached and
ministered to this Samaritan lady.

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The Prophet and the Evangelist Evangelistic Speaking — Part 2

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