Years ago I came across what I consider to be the mission and vision of each and every Christian and the Christian Church. You may have heard me refer to it, either in conversation or in a sermon. It is only eight words, but within those eight words are found what our faith and the Church call us to learn and share. Hopefully you will not only read on but consider allowing these eight words to provide you direction in the way you live your life as well as the way you participate in our church and share your faith with others.
Those eight words? To Know Christ … and … To Make Christ Known. I’d like to use the rest of this month’s column to share some thoughts about how these words will impact your life.
Too often as we live our life within the church we are uncertain about what we ought to be doing and how we ought to go about doing church work. These words direct us in the goal for our own faith development as we grow into mature Christians.
What we do when we come to church for worship, Sunday School, a Bible study, reading our Bibles, a prayer meeting, a fellowship activity and meal, is geared towards helping us learn about Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior so that we really know Him and not just know about him. With these words before us, we participate in the life of our church and in our devotional and life practices with a goal “To Know Christ.”
As we live our lives in the world, at work and at home, and in our community we are to be focused in such a way that we “Make Christ Known.” We become evangelists. We become people called and challenged to share the Christ we know with other people. We never assume others have heard about Jesus Christ and therefore have no need of us telling them about Him. Rather we share the Christ we know in such a way that our own excitement is contagiously communicated. If the person or persons you are talking with already know Christ, then you are in for a great conversation as the two of you share your faith. If the person or persons do not know Christ, then you will be in for a great conversation as you share the greatest news any person shall ever hear.
By now you may be catching on to the truth that Christians are called to know in a personal way the Son of God who is our Savior and then to take what we know and share it with other people. We constantly learn and commit our own lives to Christ in new ways, and then act upon what we know and believe by going out into the world to share it. Think of it this way – act upon what you know.
And the reason this phrase can be so helpful to us: it instructs us in the reasons we do what we do. Everything is done with Christ as the focus. If we stick with this, we will never get confused about what we, or the Church, ought to be doing.
“To Know Christ … and … To Make Christ Known.” Eight short little words. Yet they are life changing as we understand what a believer in Jesus Christ and the Christian Church are called to be doing. We are not to be still or stagnant but, to always be moving forward: forward in our growth to know Christ and forward growing the Church by making Christ known.
I know we can remember these eight words. Now let’s live them.
Pastor Butler +