By Joshua Winslett
Who is your favorite sports team? Did the title grab your attention? I hope it did.
In my short 28 years of life I have noticed an interesting trend in American Christianity. Most Christians in the work force could easily be identified with their favorite sports team, hobby, political views, etc. Most people that I work with know that I bleed crimson and white. (Roll Tide, by the way) Yet, how many Christians would be just as easily identified with their faith in Jesus Christ, the church they attend, or doctrinal truths they affirm? If you, as a Christian, do not attend church or understand your basic doctrinal beliefs, then GET TO CHURCH AND READ YOUR BIBLE!! But, that is a different subject.
So, what do people think you are about? If someone said your name what would be your greatest marks of identity. Unfortunately, I have at times heard well meaning Christians, including Primitive Baptists, seemingly brag that they had worked at a company for many years without almost anyone really knowing anything about their faith or church. Usually this mentality is grounded on the well meaning intention of letting a person’s walk define them and not their words. I AMEN that sentiment! Our walk should match our talk. People should certainly be able to tell that we are Christians even before we express to them our faith in Christ. But nonetheless, as Christians, we should be actively engaged in persuing and seeking avenues of evangelism. Even if we are not pursuing evangelism, the gospel should be placed so highly at the fore front of our life that our faith is evident. We should be so obsessed with Jesus and the gospel that both inevitably come up in conversation. In essence, Jesus should be our culture. Another objection from some is that they do not wish to browbeat people with Christ. That is in no way what I am advocating. Browbeating is opposite extreme from being ashamed to talk about the gospel. Again, Jesus should be our culture. Do you push your other cultural dispositions on others? Probably not! It’s a lot like your accent. You don’t push it on other people. It is just a part of you and identifies who you are and where you grew up. And most people always love telling others where they grew up.
This is positive attitude can be illustrated with the life of the Apostle Paul.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” –Galatians 2:20
Paul understood that he was the chief of sinners and that Christ was his Savior (1 Timothy 1:15). His entire life was geared towards the furtherance of the gospel. After living a life as an enemy of God and His church, he spent the rest of his life identified with the God he hated and the church he persecuted. Paul was willing to even willing to die to proclaim and be identified with Jesus Christ (Acts 21:13).
Most readers will say, “Well that was the apostle Paul. I am just a nobody. His ministry is not my ministry.” On the contrary, an evangelistic spirit is a mark of a true disciple of Jesus and should be apart of every believers ministry. This can be seen by viewing Paul’s description of the church at Thessalonica.
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” –1 Thessalonians 1:6-10
As I write, I become ever more convicted. I measure myself against these words and find myself lacking. Obviously, at times, we will fail at this objective. But nevertheless, our goal should be the same, to be identified with Jesus Christ, His church, and His doctrine in ever facet of our life. I will conclude with the same question that I started with, who is your favorite sports team? God bless.
Originally published January 2014