A Redemptive Person is a Neighbor

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A Redemptive Person is a Neighbor
Text: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Occasion: General
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Evangelism, Neighbors
Author: Dick Emery


Direction

Evangelism is building bridges so we become true neighbors.

How to Get There

  • We have a great message, but we need a strategy to get that message, those “goods” out to the people who need it.
  • The best method for reaching people with what God has given us is to be a real neighbor.
  • And in Luke 10 Jesus implies that everyone we come in contact with is a neighbor.
  • ”Neighbor” comes from the Greek and Latin roots that mean literally “to draw near.”
  • This isn't about being close enough to shout at someone, but being right there with them in their lives, right next to them experiencing what they experience.
  • As Christians in America we have let the gap between us and our neighbor grow to be so large that we can't hear our neighbors call for help, let alone actually be near enough to help.
  • We need to become real neighbors again for those around us, building bridges to people around us.
  • A bridge-building neighbor gives us his/her rights for the sake of someone else (verse 19). Normally we demand our rights, but as Christian neighbors we must give some of those up, the right to privacy, comfort, pleasure, comfort, etc.
  • A neighbor also accepts responsibility (verse 16). God has put some people in our lives that we are responsible for.
    • And in a real sense we are the message and so people seeing the message is seeing us. If we aren't living it, they won't see it.
    • That means we have to open up our lives so others can see the message we are living.
  • A neighbor anticipates a reward (verse 17-18). We have a great gift to tell others about, eternal life. And when we tell others we get a gift ourselves, a sense of fulfillment that comes from God working in us.
  • Those who live as a true neighbor, who give up their rights and privileges and think more about others feel fulfilled here and now.
  • Being a neighbor is about being a servant (verse 19). Paul is his own man, but voluntary makes himself a servant of everyone. It's about letting go of our ego and pride to help others.
  • Finally, to be a neighbor we have to adapt to the culture without adopting the culture (verses 20-22).
    • Normally we like those who are like us, but being a neighbor means we have to go beyond just being around Christians and be where people need us.
    • Building bridges has to extend to the other side of the river.

Things to Watch For

This is of course only part of a larger story, but is a good introduction to the idea that we can evangelize through our lives and actions.

Other Ideas that use this Topic:

 DirectionCategory
How Not to Hook Someone UpA man tries to get a stranger to marry a women, using the worst methods possible, but all ways that we use to try and get people to build a relationship with God.Dramas
Puppets:Fishers of MenA puppet learns that fishing for men is about living so that people can see us.Dramas