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Gentle Boldness - BaptistWay Press

Gentle Boldness - BaptistWay Press

Remember Jo, the woman I

Remember Jo, the woman I met in the airport? During ourconversation she said, "My mother took me to church when Iwas little." A diagnostic question fit comfortably into ourdiscussion. "When was it that you began to have a personalrelationship with Jesus, apart from your mother?"Jo was not offended, but it did make her think. Our conversationcontinued with my sharing how I came to have a personalrelationship with Jesus. I began sharing my testimony ata point she would easily understand. I had been taken tochurch by my mother also. However, at a time later in mylife, after years of struggling to 'be good,' I realized I was asinner and needed forgiveness. Jesus had died on the crossfor my sins. I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.His gift to me was His Holy Spirit. My life is differentbecause I was changed on the inside! Instead of an externalrelationship with God, He abides in me!She sat, quietly listening, allowing me to share.Questions such as listed here elicit "Yes" or "No" responses.Your Caring,Discerning QuestionWhat was confirmationlike for you?A Person'sReligious CommentEXAMPLE:I don't go to church, but Iwent through confirmation.I was baptizedwhen I was eight.I grew upin the church.I was raisedin a Christian family.80 "Are you a Christian?" "Do you go to church?" "Do you know Jesus?"That often ends a conversation. Diagnostic questions cannotusually be answered with just one word. "What do you believeabout Jesus?" or "What are your spiritual beliefs?" or "Who isJesus to you?" can help you learn quite a bit about someone.Try your hand now at asking caring, diagnostic questions thatwill help you discern where someone is in their walk with theLord, or if God is drawing them to Him for salvation. Usequestions, as Jesus did.Notice the chart in the next column. You will find statementscommonly made by people in regard to religion on the right.In the space on the left, write a question you could ask to helpyou discern how to continue the conversation.I hope I makeit to heaven.Asking caring questions does not have to be uncomfortable.It can and should be conversational. What about after you getsomeone's answer? What do you do then? Having a firmfoundation in what you believe allows you to continue theconversation with confidence.If you sense that God is working in their heart, you can moveto an intentional question, such as "Would you like to knowmore about Him?" If they say "Yes," you have been given theopportunity to share the gospel with them. If they say "No,"tell them you understand, but if they would ever like to discussspiritual issues, you would love to do so. Keep them inyour prayers, calling on the Holy Spirit to work in their heart."Conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders,making the most of the opportunity."COLOSSIANS 4:5 (NAS)

BoldAnswersWHEN THE CONVERSATIONTURNS TO SPIRITUAL MATTERSMaggie's question struck me like a bolt of lightning, "Doyou know who God is?" My mind went blank. Although I wasteaching the names of God at the time, I could not think ofone name. So challenging was the question and her tone ofvoice, I could not even speak. As I faced her penetrating stare,I finally realized my answer. It was a simple,"Yes". Then Ibegan to relate to her who I knew God to be. She listened asI shared many of the names and characteristics of Christ thatwe discovered in Week 4.A personal relationship with God is the foundation for sharingthe good news of Christ Jesus. Realizing the truth of whatJesus taught concerning heaven and hell and eternity motivatesus to share. You may already have marked in your Biblea very clear way to present the plan of salvation to someone.If not, please do that now. You will be glad you did whenGod gives you the first opportunity to share with someone.The suggestion here is what is commonly called The RomanRoad, with all verses found in the book of Romans.This 'road map' will allow you to guide someone tosalvation, much as a road map helps you guide a lost personto a city. You will simply be guiding them to the eternal city,the New Jerusalem!Write out the verses in the next column. Highlight each versein your Bible, writing the next reference in the margin as achain reference for easy use. You will never have to rely onyour memory to move through the verses.The Roman RoadROMANS 3:23ROMANS 6:23ROMANS 5:8ROMANS 10:9ROMANS 10:13I suggest that you practice leading someone through apresentation of the gospel. Tell your friend that you are ina course in which you are trying to learn to communicatespiritual truths more effectively. Ask if they would mind you'practicing on them.' It is helpful to ask them to read aloudthe scriptures as you turn to the right pages. There is powerin their reading the verses for themselves. Ask, "What does thatsay to you?" Keep your commentary short and simple. Let theHoly Spirit speak through His Word to their hearts.But sanctify Christas Lordin your hearts,always being readyto make a defenseto everyonewho asks you to givean accountfor the hopethat is in you,yet with gentlenessand reverence;1 PETER 3:15 (NAS)81

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