How can we build bridges with people instead of putting up barriers, especially when it comes to knowing Jesus?
In Acts 15, which many of us studying this week, we find a great example of how to build bridges. The context of this passage is that some were teaching that a person had to go through the ritual of circumcision if they were to be a Christ follower. Paul, who you remember to be a “Pharisee among the Pharisees” was at one time a strict religious law follower. Now we find him dialoguing and even demonstrating that the way to Jesus was not through ritual but relationship.
Paul and Barnabas engaged in healthy dialogues between the Gentile and Jewish Christ followers. They took it one step farther in that Paul and Barnabas traveled back to Jerusalem with the Jewish Christians emissaries back to Jerusalem to continue the discussion at its place of origin.
Notice the route they took…right through Samaria…
and what they did…shared the Gospel.
Paul and Barnabas along with the Christian Jews went to places where a good Jew would never travel. They shared that Jesus died for all mankind and that faith/grace results in salvation. There was much joy among those being freed from sin, guilt and the hopelessness of death. Imagine what the Christian Jews experienced as they saw multitudes of people receiving the Holy Spirit into their lives. It cut them to the heart!
How can we build bridges with the Gospel of Christ?
- Discuss in healthy ways the things of God. Don’t polarize people with arguments.
- Demonstrate the power of Christ. Give them opportunities to see Christ at work through acts of service, uplifting conversations and ultimately your life.
- Do build bridges, on ramps, pathways for your friends, family, co-workers to access the things of God. Ask the Lord what that looks like for them.
- Disassemble barriers and walls that you have put up or that others have erected that block people from seeing who Jesus really is.
- Do pray and ask God to give you insight and wisdom as to how you can deliver His message through word and deed.
The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus loves all humanity as demonstrated by His death on the cross. Death could not hold him and we have the promise of eternal life with Him in Heaven. Let’s do all we can to make sure that we share this message to everyone.