Place: Lurgan Baptist Church 24:7:2016
THE MASTER’S MEN
Reading: John 1:27-42
The Sunday School teacher was not having an easy time with his class of growing boys, He decided to visit them one by one during the week and have some private talks with them. One of the boys worked in Holton’s shoe store in Boston. Choosing a time when he thought the shop would not be busy the Sunday School teacher went to see him. He found him working in the stockroom wrapping and shelving shoes. The teacher said “ I could never remember just what I did say something about Christ and His love, that was all.” But before he left the two of them knelt in prayer. The teenager asked Christ to become his Saviour.
The name of the Sunday School teacher was Edward Kimball. The name of the difficult pupil was Dwight Lyman Moody. Of course D. L. Moody was used mightily by the Lord in America and England. Tens of thousands testified that that they came to Christ because of his ministry. Among Moody’s converts were people like C.T. Studd the great pioneer missionary and Wilbur Chapman who himself became a well known evangelist. Moody subsequently founded Moody Bible Institute, where thousands of missionaries, evangelists and other Christian workers have been trained and sent out into the world. But it all began when one man was faithful to introduce another individual to Christ. Is this not what Andrew did ? He was always bringing people to the Lord Jesus. In
( Ch 1 ) he brings his brother to Christ. In ( Ch 6 ) he brings a lad to Christ. In ( Ch 12 ) he brings some Greeks to Christ. As you read the life of Andrew you’ll find that he dispels a myth that still exists today. It is the myth that you cannot effectively serve Christ unless you are well known or greatly gifted. Scripture does not tell us a lot about Andrew. In fact many of the verses that name him add that hewas “ Simon Peter’s brother,.”( 1:40 ) as if that were the fact that made him significant. I wonder do you know what it is to live in the shadows of a colourful brother or sister ? Andrew is always in the shadows. His brother Simon Peter is always in the limelight. Simon Peter is the great preacher. Andrew is the great personal worker.
You see, you will not read of any books that Andrew wrote. You will not read of any letters that Andrew wrote. Unlike Paul and Peter, James and John, Andrew did not write any books, there are none of his sermons recorded for us in the New Testament. But what Andrew did was this. He went quietly about his job bringing others to Christ. Peter roared like a fire cracker, Andrew sizzled low like a sparkler. Peter was impetuous, Andrew was cautious. Peter led, but Andrew followed. My … the “ Andrews,” of our churches seldom preach from influential pulpits. They teach small Sunday School classes, lead Bible study groups, minister faithfully behind the scenes. My .... the church needs it “ few Peters,” but it cannot do without its multitude of “ Andrews.” For Andrew is a lovely picture of those that labour quietly in humble places. Not a pillar like Peter, James, or John but one who was willing to take second place, to be in the place of support. Andrew, whose name means,
“ manly,” is the kind of man that all leaders depend on, the backbone of every ministry. Now there are three pictures of Andrew that I want you to see this …. !
(1)ANDREW: AN EXPERIENCE TO FORM
To find Christ in a genuine saving experience is the greatest discovery that anyone can make. Now John the Baptist was preaching around the River Jordan and Andrew who was a fisherman by profession, left his business for a while, went down to hear John preach and became one of his disciples. ( 1:44 Mk 1:21-29 ) But John was not just gathering a crowd around himself. He was pointing people toward the Lamb of God who was going to come. That day when Jesus Christ came walking along the banks of Jordan, John the Baptist cried, “ Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” ( 1:29 ) And his disciples turned and started following Christ. Thus, Andrew’s experience with Christ,
(a) COMMENCED WITH FAITH:
Andrew must have felt a thrill run through his flesh the day the Baptist pointed out Christ and cried, “ Behold the Lamb of God.” But you say, “ When Andrew was saved the Lord Jesus had not yet died.” That’s true. But here John the Baptist is preaching that the Lamb of God is coming and has come. ( 1:36 ) And Andrew said, “ Ibelieve his message that one is coming to die for me who will be my Saviour.” My …. Andrew was saved by looking forward to the cross, we are saved by looking backward to the cross. But tell me, do you know Christ as your Saviour ? Are you saved ? The Lord Jesus would say to you today, what He said to Andrew and John on that day. “ What seek ye ?” What are you seeking ? What are you looking for in life ? Just imagine that Christ is sitting next to you and He is asking you this question. “ What are you seeking ?” What would be your answer ? Would you say fame ? Would you say fortune ? Would you say pleasure ? Would you say power ? My …. tell me your answer and I’ll tell you a great deal about how happy and fulfilled you are going to be. Like Andrew have you come face to face with Christ ?
(b) CONTINUED WITH FOLLOWING:
For we read “ And the two disciples heard him speak and they followed Jesus.” ( 1:37 ) The two disciples were Andrew and John. Indeed John’s first meeting with Christ was so life-changing that he remembered the exact hour when he first met the Lord. It was “ the tenth hour,” ( 1:39 ) about 4.00pm in the afternoon. So these two disciples Andrew and John followed the Saviour. James Merritt says “ When you follow someone you go where they tell you to go, you do what they tell you to do, and you say what they tell you to say.”Do you recall what Christ said to Andrew some nine to twelve months since his initial meeting with the Master ? “ Come ye after me and I will make you to become fishers of men.”( Mk 1:17 ) In other words
“ If you do your part and follow Me, then I will do my part and will make you to become fishers of men. You will become what I will make you to be. You must change, but I will do the changing.” You see, there is no way for us to become fishers of men other than by following the Saviour. He makes His followers into His fishers. That means if you are not fishing you are not following. R. A. Torrey one of the greatest Bible teachers of the 20th century said, “ I would like to ask what right does a man have to call himself a follower of Jesus Christ if he is not a soul-winner ? There is absolutely no such thing as following Christ unless you make the purpose of His life the purpose of your life.” My …. is the purpose of His life, the purpose of yours ? Like Andrew are you winning others for Christ ? (a) (b)
(c) CLIMAXED WITH FELLOWSHIP:
For we read “ They came and saw where he dwelt and abode with him that day.” ( 1:39 ) Now fellowship always comes before fishing and worship always comes before witnessing. You see Andrew and John spent all afternoon and all night communing with the Saviour. After doing that, the very next morning, they were so full of the Lord Jesus they had to tell somebody about Him. You see, the more time you fellowship with Christ, the better you know Him, the better you know Him, the more excited you will be about Him, and the more excited you are about Christ, the more you’ll want to tell others about Him. My …. what about your quiet time ? Do you have one ? How real is it ? How well do you know Christ ? Is this the reason why so many of us talk so little about the Lord Jesus ? Is it not hard to get excited about someone you don’t know very well ? Dawson Trotman the founder of The Navigators said, “ Soul-winners are not soul-winners because of what they know, but who they know and how much they want others to know Him.” My …. if you are not excited about soul-winning, is it because you are not excited about the Saviour ? Surely it impossible to have a quality quiet time, day by day spending time with Christ, praising Christ, worshipping Christ, loving Christ, learning about Christ, and not be about the business of bringing others to the Saviour ? (1)
(2) ANDREW: AN EXERCISE TO FOSTER
You see, now that they had spent time with Christ, these disciples were so full of Christ that they had to go and tell someone about Christ. Historians tell us that in the early fiery days of Methodism the intelligentsia would not hire a Methodist cook because she would seek to convert the housemaid, the kitchen maid, and all other “ downstairs personnel.” It used to be that a Communist student on a College campus was given a list of 20 people that he had to try to win to Communism. Some years ago a layman in Boston went boldly into a hotel, walked up to a woman and said,
“ Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ ?” Later on she told her husband about it. Her husband said, “ Why didn’t you tell him to go and mind his own business.”
She said, “ My dear, if you had seen the expression on his face, and heard the earnestness with which he spoke, you would have thought it was his business.”
John Calvin says “ Woe to our indolence if we do not after being fully enlightened endeavour to make others partakers of the same grace.” An old Puritan used to speak of having a “ concern,” a meaningful expression. Andrew had a concern, a burden, an exercise to win others for Christ. I want you to notice that there was
(a)A SPONTANEITY ABOUT THIS EXERCISE:
No sooner did he find Christ, than Andrew was about the task of finding another for Christ. ( 1:41-42 ) He was not told to do so, he was not taught to do so, so might think he was not tactful in so doing but he did it. The evangelist Gypsy Smith once led a young man to Christ after one of his meetings. The next evening he saw him again in the inquiry room with his eyes shining and his face smiling. “ Why,” said the evangelist “ I thought you received Jesus as your Saviour last night,” “ So I did,” replied the youngster
“ but I’ve brought my mother tonight.” The young man was there the following evening and when asked what brought him on that occasion he replied, “ This time I have brought my grandfather.”So three generations in a family came to Christ in three nights because of the spontaneous witnessing of one person who had just been saved. (a)
(b)A STRATEGY ABOUT THIS EXERCISE:
Do you see what ( 1:41 ) says ? “ He first findeth,” It was not an accidental crossing of the paths for Andrew and Peter for finding implies seeking. Andrew went to seek him out and share the good news. Is this not God’s strategy ? What ? That finders should become seekers. Do you recall that in the Garden of Eden after Adam had sinned the Bible says that he was hiding from God and we’re told that in the cool of the day that
God went seeking for Adam. That “ God called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou ?” ( Gen 3:9 ) They were playing hide and seek. Adam was hiding and God was seeking.But is our attitude not so different today ? Our attitude is, “ We will make the building comfortable, we will pay the preacher, we will advertise the meeting and if the lost want to get saved they can come.”My …. if you had a son and he was lost, he was out in the forest and could not find his way home, what would you do ? Would you just sit at home, read the paper, drink coffee, watch the television and say to yourself,“ He knows where his home is. He has everything he needs in his bedroom, if he wants to come home he will find it.”
Would that be your attitude ? Of course not. You would call the police, you would get your friends and you would comb that forest, you would do your utmost to find that boy. My …. is this not the attitude we should have toward the lost ? Yet for so many of usit’s finders keepers.For our loved ones and the world at large can go to hell for all we care. Has the gospel become imprisoned in your life ? Nothing spread. Nothing goes out. My .... when last did you seek out a soul and pray for them and witness to them ? When last did you seek for someone and bring them to this place to hear the gospel ? (a) (b) But notice there was,
(c)A SIMPLICITY ABOUT THIS EXERCISE:
For it was one on one. Sometimes Christians can be so concerned about getting great results that they do not attempt to get small results. But Andrew went after one person. Interestingly enough he won the person who later preached on the day of Pentecost and three thousand were saved. One of the most amazing stories of personal evangelism is that of “ Praying Hyde.” John Nelson Hyde was a missionary in India. Three years before he died he prayed that he might lead one person to Christ each day that year. By the end of the year he reported that 400 people had been converted, baptized and a joined to a church. The following year he prayed that he might lead to people to Christ each day. By the end of that year 800 were reported as having been saved, baptized and joined to a church.
The year afterwards he prayed for 4 souls each day. On those rare occasions where 4 people did not trust Christ during a day, the number was made up on a subsequent day so that 1600 conversions were reported that year.D.L.Moody however many meetings he conducted made it his habit to speak to at least one person personally each day about the Saviour. What about us ? Do we engage folk on a one on one basis ? Do we see the value of individual souls ? (1) (2)
(3) ANDREW: AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW
You know, some won’t play in the band unless they can beat the big drum. James and John had that tendency. So did Peter. But not Andrew. He did not seek to be the centre of attention. He did not seem to resent those who laboured in the limelight. He was pleased to do what he could with the gifts and calling God had bestowed on him, and he allowed the others do likewise. Now when it came to dealing with people Andrew fully appreciated the value of a single soul. Almost every time we see Andrew in the Gospels he comes out of the Biblical woodwork to lead someone to Christ. No wonder he got the name “ The Introducer,” for that’s what he was always doing. Always introducing someone to the Lord Jesus Christ. The first time it was his big brother, the second time it was a little lad, and the last time it was a couple of Greeks. My …. you may not be able to teach in the Sunday School, sing in the choir, preach from the pulpit, serve on the leadership, but like Andrew you can introduce others to the Saviour.
If you cannot preach like Peter
If you cannot pray like Paul
You can tell the love of Jesus#
You can say He died for all
(a) Andrew, the Personal Evangelist: The Family Circle:
Look if you will at ( 1:42 ) “ And he brought him to Jesus,”have you ever had that experience ? Have you ever formed a human link between the sinner and the Saviour ? Now,
Andrew Witnessed in a Difficult Place:
I mean home isn’t the easiest place to tell others about Christ. It’s a difficult place. Some of you parents have lost family members. It’s not easy. Why ? Because they know us better than anyone else. They know our faults and our failures. Yet the Lord says, “ Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee.” ( Mk 5:19 ) Have you begun with your family circle ?
Andrew Witnessed to a Difficult Person:
I mean Simon Peter was not the easiest person in the world to witness to. This man had a language problem. He knew how to curse. In fact he was known to be violent. Even after he was saved the Lord had to work on him pretty hard to knock some of those rough spots off him. Yet here is Andrew going home to tell old rough, tough, Simon Peter about the Saviour. Now I have had people come to me and say “ Preacher, you go talk to my family about the Lord, I cannot speak to my own family.” My …. you can if you really care whether your family goes to hell or not. I wonder how many of you have an unsaved mother ? Maybe a father who is lost ? I wonder how many of you have a son, a daughter that’s not saved ? God wants us to start at home. “ Go home to thy friends.” What a work you did, Andrew, you led your own brother to Christ. And Simon Peter stood and preached and moved thousands for Christ. Yes, but Andrew moved Simon Peter, he led someone to Christ in the family circle. (a) But look at