Are you approachable?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by agedman, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    187
    There are many variations on this theme, but an interesting thread by Icon, on a different topic, got me thinking about how approachable a believer should be.

    One of the principles that I developed that caused some problems in some of both the IFB world and the SBC world was how approachable I was.

    When do you suspend critical evaluation toward a person or event in order to be approachable?

    When does one not preach "the wages of sin" when in hope of leading a person to understanding the hope of Christ?

    When does "having no fellowship with this world" become suspended for a time because the one you are seeking to help wants to see the image of "shock" followed by "rejection" at what and how they talk?

    How approachable is a witness for Christ when that witness condemns?

    Folks, for clarification, I do not consider expressing that sin has consequences or that the believer should live a life that does not bring rebuke to those who are of and in the world.

    My question is more about the believer's approach-ability.

    Christ was approachable, for healing, for learning, for support.

    Was He more approachable than the typical believer, in your opinion?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. thjplgvp

    thjplgvp
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    23
    Hello my brother,

    I love the question because it strikes at the heart of all ministry and I believe was at the center of Paul's treatise on love in 1 Corinthians 13. Are you a good preacher who rightly divides the word of God show it in your love. Kindness, love concern, humility and faithfulness toward others will always mean you are approachable. I have been affiliated with the church I am now a member of for 12 years and in that time I cannot tell you how many people I have seen leave our church and return a couple years later saying we made a mistake when we left. Pastor always says hi when we see him and he is always so loving so we came back.

    It makes little difference what you know or how well you do what you do or what you give if you do not love you will have a difficult ministry. if we cannot love one another how will we project approachability.

    I love the post and the question and look forward to reading the responses.

    thjplgvp
     
  3. thjplgvp

    thjplgvp
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    23
    I always marvel when reading the gospels that Christ took time for everyone even when his disciples told people not to bother the Master he often rebuked them for it. Even the religious leaders who threatened him and complained still knew they could talk with him, that he would listen. So yes I believe he was more approachable than the average believer.

    concerning fellowship with the world I believe the scriptures are clear that that we are to be in the world but not part of it. Even the passage that we at times take out of context concerning church discipline that the person disciplined is to be treated as a heathen does not mean we are to be hateful but understanding that our friendship with such a one cannot an intimate friendship but a friendship that encourages repentance toward Christ.

    I cannot see us treating the world with hatred they are sinners how can we expect them to act any other way. But we cannot be an intimate part of their life or their world. We don't have to be mean, but we do have to be consistent in our personal holiness after all how are we to reach them if we hate them or refuse to be seen with them, or don't go to their homes to who will they come with a question if they do not feel they can trust us? We do not bring ourselves to their level of wickedness in order to try to witness to them but we certainly befriend them and love them in Christ.

    thjplgvp
     
  4. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    Excellent thread. This again, is why I deal with folks who SAY they are Christians the same way I deal with politicians. If you don't show me that you love Jesus and other folks out of that overflow, I'm not going to be close to you. I'm not gonna appear very approachable to those types because I tend to gravitate towards the outcasts and the folks who no one else seems to want to deal.

    I believe more Christians have to learn to operate from the standpoint of "Jesus Christ has forgiven me by His GRACE through faith and I am redeemed and THAT leaves me NO ROOM to get a funky attitude with or turn up my nose against ANYONE just because I disagree with something they do or believe".

    For the Christian Brother or Sister, we are to lovingly teach, correct, rebuke and train in righteousness in hopes of pointing them MORE towards Christ.

    For the lost, our every action should be about showing them the love of Christ and pointing them towards Christ.

    It makes for the type of person who isn't gonna get bogged down on a particular sin, but who will get bogged down on telling you about the One Who will forgive ALL sin and not just the pet sins of a religious denomination or political party.

    If you love people, your spirit will be very approachable.
     
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    Never......To do so would be to fail to deliver the gospel.
     
  6. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    187
    Like I said in the OP, "...I do not consider expressing that sin has consequences or that the believer should live a life that does not bring rebuke to those who are of and in the world."

    However, you do not see a scenario in which it is unnecessary to even mention "the wages of sin" either because the person is already well aware of such, or has already admittedly determined the character is so damaged that the person has no hope of salvation?

    Why would the "wages of sin" even become a part of the conversation?

    Seem like, the thief didn't need "the wages of sin" preached to him, for he was admittedly well aware of the crimes committed against both humanity and God. What did he need?

    How often did Christ preach "the wages of sin" when dealing with people who inquired in His presence?
     
  7. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    When you are hanging on the cross next to a thief who asks God for salvation then you too should skip it.
     
  8. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    187
    That is a point.

    In the accounts given of the work of Paul are there any times when dealing with those that inquire (example: jailer) that he brings up "the wages of sin?"

    Acts 26 gives a good account of a presentation by Paul. Where is the mention of "the wages of sin?"
     
  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    In verse 23 Paul said "That Christ should suffer" so no the wages of sin are not ignored there.
     
  10. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    187
    Not so.

    But, Paul is showing how that the prophets (verse 22) and Moses statements of prophecy concerning the suffering messiah was fulfilled.

    There was no mention of "the wages of sin." Christ did not sin, but became or took upon Himself the sin of the whole world (1 John). Christ did not suffer the "wages of sin" any more than the wee little lambs sacrificed for over a 1000 years suffered for their own sin. Rather, He fulfilled the requirements of the blood sacrifice demanded by the law as the sinless lamb of God. The large group of Hebrews in attendance would have understood and indeed is mentioned by Paul in verse 26, which brought Agrippa's scornful reply, "So, you actually believe the prophets. Of course you do!" (27) (for it is obvious in the text that Agrippa did not)
     
    #10 agedman, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  11. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    As Jesus was dealing with mostly an audience of Jews who knew the law and what a transgression of it meant, it probably wasn't necessary to write that again and again.

    Even so, they too were told to repent.Paul preached "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" in Acts 20:21. The first public word Jesus preached was "repent" in Matthew 4:17. John the Baptist began his ministry the same way in Matthew 3:2 with Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Jesus told His hearers that No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3).

    It's often difficult to point people to Christ and repentance without explaining what Christ did to save them from their sin. This is rudimentary in preparing them to turn around and teach others the same thing and make disciples.
     
  12. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    187

    I am not saying that one need not repent, nor have a repentant heart.

    However, the repentance John the Baptist proclaimed for was not the same as what Christ gives in salvation of the soul. Jesus said, "The LEAST in the kingdom of heaven is GREATER than John" the baptist.

    The question that I raised is specific about the statement that the proclamation of the Gospel must include "the wages of sin." I am not certain that it does, as given by the examples in the NT.

    I am not saying that it shouldn't, but there is a difference between sometimes and always.
     
  13. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    I believe this is incorrect as repentance is repentance.

    Why would or must a proclamation of the Gospel include those words specifically?O O The Holy Spirit directs on how to deliver the Gospel and it often varies dependent on the person or people being spoken to and their life situations. There's no script. But sin and repentance must be dealt with. And unless we are teaching them that this must take place, who will?

    See above.
     
  14. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    187
    The repentance of John was NOT salvation, but that born of works - hence the demand that the religious righteous bring work.

    Repentance of the kind seen of the world is NOT salvation, rather only that of Godly sorrow brings salvation.

    That is my point.
     
  15. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    What do you mean " the repentance of John"? He was directing them to the same repentance in Christ as did everyone who preached repentance after him.

    Huh? I don't think anyone said that repentance IS salvation. What Scripture points to is that there will be repentance where you see salvation.
     
  16. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    187
    Ok, Zaac.

    I think we've traveled this trail to the end.

    I view the repentance that John preached as not the same as that of Christ. You do not. It matters very little.

    I stated that there is need for genuine repentance, and you agree. That is good.

    :)

    When I mentioned the jailer, and the other NT accounts, it was in the context of a lack of preaching "the wages of sin" statement. Not the need or lack of need for repentance.

    The basic thinking resolves that there are times when it isn't necessary to discuss "the wages of sin." When bringing someone to understanding the sufficiency of Christ, there are times when such a discussion may not be appropriate, and may actually be hurtful. The jailer didn't need to be informed of "the wages of sin," he desired salvation. The Eunuch had not need to be informed of "the wages of sin," he desired salvation. And so forth.

    The point being, that when one proclaims the Gospel, it does not always need to include "the wages of sin."
     
  17. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    Using Christ as our example, he was always harshest towards the religious elite of the pharisees who already knew what sin was but didn't think they were guilty of it.

    He was gentle and approachable to those who were sinners and didn't need to tell them they were sinners. They knew it already and came to him. Yes we need to call sin, sin and not be afraid to do that and not to sugar coat the consequences. But if we do so in love, they will know. If we do it out of obligation and judgement , they will also know. But we cannot convict a specific person of their own sin. That is the Holy Spirit's job.

    And if we want to reach people, we need to structure our lives to create those opportunities and build those relationships so that we can have those conversations in a way that is loving. It is hard to love strangers or for strangers to know that you love them unless you spend time with them. Sometimes that means doing less things in our comfortable Christian circles. I am guilty of this as much as the next person.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    I guess one of the problems is seeing a gospel presentation as a series of checklists of things we need to say. Maybe the fear is that if we don't get it all out at once that the opportunity will be missed.

    If we are sharing our own story of repentance and forgiveness in the context of a loving relationship where we spend time together, we will have future opportunities for all the details to come out over time. The consequences of sin is an important part that needs to be addressed at some point and most folks have some vague idea even in our increasingly secular world. But I think for many people, the spiritual journey to Christ and understanding theology often happens in steps and continues to happen even after they have made a "decision".
     
  19. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    Our story is not the gospel. The gospel only comes from the word of God.
     
  20. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    You are right. Our story is not the gospel. But it is one of our best tools for introducing the gospel in a way unchurched people can relate to. And through our story, we can point to God's story of grace for everyone found in his word.
     

Share This Page

Loading...