In our efforts to lead people to Christ we understand the importance of the Word of God (Ro 10:17) and that the gospel is the power of God to salvation (Ro 1:16).
It also helps to complement the Word with a demonstration of certain qualities (signposts) where people can see the truth of the gospel in action therefore they are more likely to believe in Jesus Christ.
When demonstrated by Christians in a local church, these 'signposts' can serve to let the nonbeliever know that there is a God who loves them and that those who are members of Christ’s church can lead them to Christ.
Some of these signposts are Unity, Love, Hope and Good Works.
Unity: By unity the Members of Christ’s Church shows that God loves the world (Jn. 3:16) and that He sent Christ who produces the unity witnessed by the world (Eph. 2:13-16). Paul condemns division and those who cause it (1Cor. 1:10; Ro. 16:17-18) and taught attitudes essential to preserving unity (Eph. 4:1-3; Ph. 2:2-4). Christians should be sure that they do nothing to destroy the 'signpost' of unity.
Love: Love for one another shows that we have been loved by Christ, whose love we seek to emulate (Jn. 13:34) and that we are truly His disciples (Jn. 13:35). Again the Apostle Paul encouraged churches to increase in love (1Th. 4:9-10) and to consider love as the "bond of perfection" (Col. 3:14).
Hope: Hope can cause people to ask us questions (1Pe. 3:15) and it provides us an opportunity to share the reason for our hope (1Pe 3:15). Our hope is made sure by the resurrection of Jesus (1Pe 1:3-4).
Good Works: Good works can lead men to glorify our Father in heaven (Mt. 5:16).
They can cause people to consider the motivation behind them and open people up to the gospel message which inspires them (1Pe 3:1-2) we should be ready for every good work (Tit. 3:1) and be careful to maintain them (Tit 3:8,14).
With such "Signposts", we can see how people can be led to Christ...
Our unity can convince people of God's love for them in sending Christ.
Our love can direct them to seek out true disciples of Christ.
Our hope can prompt them to ask questions as to the reason for our faith.
Our good works can encourage them to glorify God by their own obedience to the gospel.
This in no way takes away from the power of the gospel to save souls, but the Lord intended for His church to be a city set on a hill which by demonstrating certain qualities as a group would draw people to Him.
Are we doing our part to display unity, love, hope and good works?
Dewey Stidham, Jr.