Temple Baptist Church - 3-12-2008
2 Corinthians 6:1-18
A. The term “Lifestyle Evangelism” has certainly been viewed by Bible believers in a negative light in these last days. Many churches, including some Independent Baptist, have taught their people to be like the world in order to win them to Christ. They use such verses as 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 to prove their philosophies.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 For though I be free from all [men], yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,)that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
B. These folks grow their hair long, dress like the world, evangelize on the beaches, enter the bars, in order to witness to the lost. They try to make the lost comfortable with who they are and, after “winning them to the Lord,” leave them in the same condition.
C. Their “Lifestyle Evangelism” is not the will of God for the believer! This same philosophy has unfortunately crept into our churches also. People no longer think that it matters how you dress, where you go, or how you act because you are under grace and not the law.
D. Standards are breaking down on every hand as pastors give in to pressure from both outside and inside of the church house. God’s people “buck” at the thought of being preached to on the subject. Pastors also give into the “laid back,” “come as you are,” “do as you please,” and “leave as you came” methods of “growing” their congregations. These ear-tickling pastors fail to teach and preach the whole counsel of God of which separation is a vital part! The child of God is commanded to be separate from worldliness while living holy, consecrated lives.
E. The Bible DOES, however, teach “Lifestyle Evangelism” in a Scriptural realm! Chapter 6 deals thoroughly with this very subject. I want to take several weeks on this particular chapter because it is of the utmost importance when winning souls to Christ.
F. God’s people are to win others to Christ through contrast, not similarity! We are different. We are converted. We are changed! Our families and friends, our schoolmates and co-workers, our casual acquaintances should see that we are different.
Matthew 5:13-14 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Salt can be tasted and adds flavor. Light can be seen and shows others the way.)
G. “Lifestyle Evangelism” is not a lifestyle to be forced upon anyone. It is a lifestyle that is obedient to God’s Word and is seen by the lost. It should compel them to come to Christ, not turn them away. The danger of separation is Phariseeism!
H. Notice verses 3-4: “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed” and “In all things approving ourselves as ministers of God”
I. I want to deal with the first one tonight. “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed!”
1. “Lifestyle Evangelism” Requires A Right Walk
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more.
Ephesians 2:1-6 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Though Paul is speaking of our Position in Christ in verse six, the context draws a contrast between the past life of verses 2-3 and verses 5-6. The words “in time past” indicate that our walk has changed!)
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Titus 3:8 [This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
2. “Lifestyle Evangelism” Requires A Right Body
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Peter 2:11-12 Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and [my] hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but [that] with all boldness, as always, [so] now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether [it be] by life, or by death.
3. “Lifestyle Evangelism” Requires A Right Attitude
1 Corinthians 8:4-13 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (Some folks do not care what anyone thinks about what they do or do not do! There are two types: those who think that everybody has to do just as they do and those who do not care what anybody thinks about what they do! Both are wrong. What we do affects everybody!)
4. “Lifestyle Evangelism” Requires A Right Speech
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Ephesians 5:3-4 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Matthew 12:34-37 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.
5. “Lifestyle Evangelism” Requires A Right Love
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.
1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
6. “Lifestyle Evangelism” Requires A Right Glorification
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Conclusion: Our conversions are to reflect the glory of God. If we do not show the lost a life worthy of our calling, then they do not desire what we have.
Pastor David Johnston
Temple Baptist Church