by Polly Gwinn, November 2007
Since I am a West Texas farmer’s wife my little German friend felt I should know the difference between dirt and sand and asked me to explain. I very intelligently told her that “dirt” was malicious gossip that we “dig up” on people and spread around and “sand” was another word for guts or the nerve to tell someone off! Feeling regret that I had misled her with my warped sense of humor, I corrected my statement. I went into great detail about sand being on beaches, packed down with the ability to shed water leaving a firm flat surface. On the other hand there is the hot, dry, loose sand of the desert that is not much use in growing any kind of vegetation. Dirt has clots which hold plant life in place, allowing the roots to grow down, finding the life giving moisture. Then I asked my husband, the real farmer in the family, the difference between “dirt” and “sand”. He used one word! “Texture”! Why couldn’t I have thought of that instead of doing the “over-kill” with numerous words that did not make sense to the one asking? She probably lost interest half way through the explanation and decided she could care less what sand and dirt even were.
Have you had someone ask you how to become saved? Did you “over-kill” the answer? You might have started in the book of Genesis and traveled through to the book of Revelation. You may have told them the story of Adam and Eve and how sin started, went on into the three stories of Moses. He was saved out of the Egyptian Nile as a baby, saved out of the desert and saved in the wilderness; however, did you tell them HOW he was saved? We never leave out David when telling the salvation story, showing the example of repentance and repentance and repentance, ending with David being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). We love the story of baby Jesus being born to a Virgin even though we cannot explain it to an unsaved person’s satisfaction and understanding. After all this we are likely to jump into the book of Revelation to assure the person of what will be their final destination if they are not saved. One word could have been used to answer the question of how to be saved! “BELIEVE”! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31, Romans 10:13). It is the TEXTURE of the Word of God that you need to present.
Now the person has accepted Jesus as their Savior and is saved and you can tell all the bible stories you like. God and the Holy Spirit actually have done the “saving work” for you (John 6:44, 16:18) and Jesus has opened their minds to understand the scripture (Luke 24:45). Now your work begins! You become a tutor, mentor, spiritual guide and Christian Brother or Sister. Most brand new Christians will experience a different sense of being lost right after salvation. This is understandable since they have just turned away from a life time friend; the world! All new born humans must have milk for the first few weeks of their lives and the same goes for born again believers (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). The first things you help a baby learn is how to hold up their head, then sit alone, crawl, walk and finally run. All this help needs to be given to a new Christian. Think back to when you led an adult to Christ. Unless they are young children the convert usually thinks he/she has done something too bad to be accepted into the Body of Christ. What is your job? Help them hold up their head just like Jesus did for the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-11); the woman at the well (John 4:7-26, 39) and the leper who had become an out-cast (Matthew 8:1-3). “A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out” (Matthew 12:20). “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 103:12).
Texture is defined as “the character of” and “the arrangement of the constituent parts of anything”. The texture (character) of God is love. He loved the unsaved world so much that He gave His one and only Son for all to believe in and have eternal life (John 3:16-18). The arrangement of the parts: The saved are now the Body of Christ and each person is a part of this Body (1 Corinthians 12:27). “God has arranged the parts in the Body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:18). Like dirt and sand mixed together gives the opportunity of life to plants; Christians’ aroma gives the fragrance of life to those being saved. Use a few words or many words, but speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God, spreading the knowledge of Him (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).