EO-BO! You’re a Living Letter!

EO-BO! You’re a Living Letter!

EO-BO! You’re a Living Letter!

A Sermon By: Pastor Henry T. Anderson

Windsor Avenue Bible Church, Oceanside, NY

www.windsoravenuebiblechurch.org

2 Corinthians 3:2-3

2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

Intro:Now last week we started a New Series and a New Campaign! The Campaign is Church Growth and The Name of The Series is EO-BO! Now what does EO-BO mean? Everyone Brings One!

Now by quick Review According to anthropologists, an anthropologist is someone who scientifically and statistically study humans and their customs, beliefs, and relationships. This group also includes sociologists, social psychologists. They study everything from the traditions of a tribe on a remote island to the culture of an urban community and everything in between. They study physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, social customs and beliefs of humankind. They study how we live, how we react, how we shop, why we do things a certain way and our Human Relationships, who we hang with and who are Friends are…

They say that Human Brains have a limit on how many meaningful relationships they can keep track of. Dunbar says most people can have up to:

· 5 intimate bonds: spouses, best friends, family member and so on.

· 15 close friends: people you trust and spend time with regularly, OK...

· 50 friends: people you would invite to a personal event like a Wedding or Event Dinner, and

· 150 casual friends: people you would invite to a really big party!

Now, I’m not gonna focus on the Big Numbers, I’d like to focus on “The One!” My “The One” Your “The One!” …

The One is, can be anyone of 5-155 Friends and BEYOND that You have a Relationship with. “The One” could be: Your Spouse, Your Child or Your Family Member…

The One can be Your Co-Worker, Your Neighbor, Someone that Works for You, Someone You Work for. It can be from The Neighborhood Auto Mechanic, Your Nurse or Medical Doctor, Your Dentist-Now we know that most Dentists are going straight to Hell, so we gotta be double thinking of them.

The One can be: A Waitress or Waiter from your favorite Restaurant. Stop right here, here’s a Pro Tip: kind of related. We’re got, I think 10,000 of The Jesus Videos… Every time You go to a Restaurant, leave a Jesus DVD Video with Your Tip!

“The One” can be your Mail Carrier, Your Garbage Man, Your Barber, Your Hair Stylist, Your Sushi Guy, Your Teacher, Or Someone You Teach!

The One might be someone that God has placed on Your Heart or it could be someone that You’ve asked God to act upon in Your life!

Why, “The One?” The Campaign is about Church Growth, Multiplying Disciplines, Growing The Church. Why? Because, We Love Our “The One!” We want “The One” to know that we Love them and that God Loves them, and We want “The One” to have a Relationship with Jesus!

Why “The One”? Jesus said so! He said in:

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

We’ve got The Biblical Commandment from Our Lord and Savior, but before we kidnap, abduct, hijack or coerce, or Bribe “The One!” and Bring them to Church, we have to deal with a few things…

Last week we looked at why most Church Growth Programs fail

1. Christians have no sense of urgency to reach lost people.

2. Many Christians and Church Members Fail to make friends and spend time with lost persons.

3. Sadly, Many Christians are Apathetic.

What does Apathetic mean? Apathetic means, and this is a sad meaning, it means: Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

4. Many church members think that evangelism is the role of the Pastor and paid staff.

5. Church membership today is more about getting their needs met rather than reaching the lost. I believe in taking care of us, but we need to reach out to the Lost!

6. Church members are in a retreat mode as culture becomes more worldly and unbiblical. I know we’re in The End Times, it’s discouraging, but until God calls You home or He shows up WE MUST BE BUSY ABOUT The Lord’s Business!

Why Do Most Church Outreach Programs Fail? Rapid Fire here: Sadly

#7. Some Church members don’t really believe that Christ is the only way of salvation.

#8. Christians do not want to share the truth of the gospel for fear they will offend others. Political correctness is too commonplace even among Christians.

#9. Some Churches have lost their focus on making disciples who will thus be equipped and motivated to reach the lost.

#10. Many Christians work two jobs, work on Sunday, have Family and Business duties and think if they show up once or twice a month, they cool with God.

And again, before we go and kidnap, abduct, hijack or coerce, or Bribe “The One!” and Bring them to Church, we looked at Three things about our Position and Accountability before God.

They were:

1. That we examine ourselves before God and be right with Him.

2. We need to Trust God.

3. We need to Trust The Promises of God!

Now it’s important be Right with God, Amen!

And what I’d like to focus on this Morning is our Position and Accountability before Man and especially “The One” in Your life!

Paul says here in our Opening Text: 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

Throughout the Bible we find that we as Christians have been compared to many things. We have been compared to branches. I am the true vine, ye are the “branches”. We have been compared to salt. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” We have been compared to lights, “Ye are the light of the world.” We have even been compared to sheep “My sheep know my voice and a stranger will they not here.”

Here in II Cor. 3:2-3 we are compared to epistles. An epistle is a letter. You and I are epistles, or letters written with the spirit of the living God.

1. Letters carry messages. There are friendly letters, thank you letters, letters of congratulations, letters of sympathy, love letters and we even have “Dear John” letters. There are many Styles of letters,

2. Some letters are written in bold for emphasis

3. Some letters are written containing italics to highlight

4. Some letters are short. (They get right to the point)

5. Some letters are long. (It takes 10 Pages to get to the point)

6. Some letters carry urgent messages.

7. Some letters are just informative.

8. Some letters announce things, like a Wedding Invitation.

9. Some letters demand…. (Bill collectors)

SEEING THE BELEIVERS ARE ‘LIVING LETTERS’, WHAT DOES THE WORLD SEE WHEN IT READS US? ARE WE ‘LETTERS OF CHRIST’?

Each believer's life becomes a letter to the world,

Each week you write another chapter in their lives of Your “Special One”. Write them well; they will remember what they have read of You!

Have you ever thought of yourself as a letter? Have you ever thought of yourself as a living communication? Somebody said that the only Bible that some folk will see is you. The only way that some folk will ever hear about somebody who is able to save anybody is that you tell them.

God chooses a willing vessel, filled with his Holy Spirit to write His thoughts and feelings to his creation. How can I be a Better Witness for Him? Well, here’s a few Tips:

Just for a few moments I want to look at a few characteristics of a letter.

1. First of all, a letter is written to convey a message.

God has designed every believer to be a deliverer of good news. It is the news that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our Living Letter Must Be Filled and Guided by The Holy Spirit!

Look at our Opening Text here 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

Acts 13:52

52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

You’re a Holy Letter, You’re a Special Letter, You’re a Joyful Letter, You’re a Holy Spirit Filled Letter, You’re a Letter of Love, The Ink on Your Letter is a Living Holy Ink that is not written a table of stone, but is written on Your Heart!

Christians are meant to be Living Letters of Jesus Christ, delivering a message of The Good News, The Message of God’s Love, and a Message of Hope unto a dying world.

We have The Message, We Have Jesus The Savior of Mankind, We Have The Book, We Have, We Have The Organization: The Church, We Have Each Other! We Have The Message of Hope, We Have The Holy Spirit Guiding Us and Leading Us!

Our Message is a simple Message! The Gospel is simple, our task is simple.

2 Corinthians 1:12 says:

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

Acts 16:30-31

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Is that not a simple Message? What do I gotta do to be saved? Answer-The Message: Believe! We got The message, we got the Answer!

2. Secondly, a letter is written to be read. Every Christian should let his Christianity be visible before the world.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Those who are Christians in name only are simply forged documents designed to deceive and mislead.

There are many whom we associate with everyday who will never read the written Bible. Whose only hope of salvation is that they may read or hear the living epistle of your life and my life.

Part of our Visible Light is telling others about Jesus!

Romans 10:14

14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Now I’m the Preacher, but you know what? You-all are Preachers as well!

Jesus Himself said in:

Mark 16:15

15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Paul said in:

Romans 1:16

16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

We’re Ordained of God as Christians to tell others about Jesus, Amen!

And let’s be bold, let’s be courageous, let’s not be ashamed! Always Trusting God! Let’s be Wise about this!

You want the Church to double this year? Go to Your “One” and win them!

- When was the last time you gave someone a Bible or a Tract or other Christian Literature? We got a Table full of Free Bibles and Tracts and other Christian Literature. That Table isn’t just for Visitors, it’s for you-all to take some things and give them to others!

Our Living Letter is a Message of Hope, Our Living Letter is an Action of Hope!

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Our Letter is a Letter of Action, and that Action involves Good Works

Let’s do some Good Works for “The One” and let’s encourage each other!

Hebrews 10:24

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Our Good Works are to then be seen by a Lost and Dying World.

That means getting out of Church and into The Lives and to be seen by our “The One!”!

Good works is Love, Good works is help, Good works is patience, Good works is going the Extra Mile!

A third thing about a Letter is:

3. Not only is a letter written to be read, but it should be legible.

As Christians our message becomes unreadable when we live contradictory lives. Too many times, people don’t want hear what we saying, because they’re looking at what we are doing.

We live one way at church and another way at home. We can sing and shout on Sunday but on Monday and Tuesday you cuss like a Sailor. We live one way around our church family and another way around our “The One”.

“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.”

You know why a lot people don’t go Church? Because they see a Mixed

When our lives or inconsistent we send mix messages to an already confused world. The bible calls us to be steadfast, unmovable always abounding in the word of God.

You might be designed to carry a message of eternal truth, but all that the world can see is the blots. Blots of tempers, blots of worldliness, blots of unforgiveness. Blots of Envy, blots of jealousy. Blots of strife. The bible teaches us that the only cure for an illegible and contradictory message is a life of holiness.

Galatians 5:22-25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

That’s Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk!

Why? So Your “The One” Can see how You Talk and how You Talk!

So, I want to let you know this morning that every man, woman, girl, or boy is an Open Living Letter for Jesus Christ. Every Christian is an advertisement for the kingdom of God. We judge the shop keeper by the goods that he sells. We judge the craftsman by the articles he produces. We judge the Church by the disciples it creates. Therefore, men judge Christ by his followers.

The greatest handicap in the Church is the unsatisfactory lives of professing Christians. That’s why God Tells us to be Holy. That’s why he commands us to be ye holy as He is Holy. He has designed us to be Living Letters to a dying world.

I’ll Close here with a Few Tips on:

How to be That Living Letter to Your “The One!” First:

1. Ask God and Pray for Opportunities and when Opportunity Knocks, remember this is coming from God for You to respond to Your “The One!”

Galatians 6:10

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

2. Be Authentic-Be Real! Paul said:

Philippians 1:8

8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 27:6

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Be that Honest, Loving Friend to Your “The One!”

3. Communication is Important!

Engage in a conversation. You can talk about the weather, their health, sports a movie they’ve recently watched, show interest in their lives.

Be a listener, not a yapper…

James 1:19

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

But at the same time, it’s Ok to talk about Spiritual things. Ask questions and Ask People for a Response when you ask them Spiritual questions like:

Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Jesus?

Do you believe in Heaven or Hell?

Remember, Your “The One” might ask You some Spiritual questions!

4. Tip number 4: It’s good to have a Basic Knowledge of Christianity.

Peter writes in: 1 Peter 3:15-16

15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Learn the Bible, be ready with Grace, You’ve got the Answer of Hope to Your “The One!” It’s Jesus Christ!

Psalm 126:6

6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

5. You also need the right attitude!

Colossians 3:12

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

6. Remember, Actions speak louder than….words.

You are a Living Active Letter to Your “The One!”

7. Be committed, Be all in! Don’t give up, don’t be a quitter!

2 Timothy 4:10

10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Be Committed… That’s important…

You Bring ‘em in and let God’s grace Save ‘em!


EO-BO! Amen!

Next Week: The Plan!

Preached On Sunday, March 8, 2020

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