I collect Christmas cards. If there's something really outstanding about them, I'll file them away. One had this great message: "If our greatest need was information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need was technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need was money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need was pleasure, God would have sent an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness. And so God sent a Savior."
Some people say things like, "I believe Jesus was just a good teacher" or "I believe Jesus was a miracle worker" or "Jesus was the ultimate example of love and acceptance." They're right, in part. But that's not why He came to earth.
John the Baptist nailed it when he said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). That's why He came! And of himself, John said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness ... " (John 1:23).
The reason I cite these verses is to answer this: What's the right way for us to represent Jesus Christ before an unbelieving world? I think we should follow the example of John the Baptist:
Be aware. That is, know who you are ... and who you're not. John said, "I'm not the Messiah. I'm a voice" (see John 1:19-23). And just as he said, "I'm not the Messiah," remember: You're not either! When troubled people come to you, you might think, "I've got to be the answer for this person. I've got to fix this person." No, you don't. You're not the Messiah, but you know Him. You're not the answer, but you can take people to the One who has the answers. Know the calling and the gifts God has given to you.
Be vocal. To be a witness for Christ, you have to open your mouth and tell people the gospel. It's great to live the Christian life and be a good example, and I hope we all are. But just being an exemplary, changed person without telling people how you got that way doesn't help them. You have to tell them, "The reason is because Jesus Christ changed my life." The Word (Jesus) needs the voice (yours). The message requires the messenger.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:15 says that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. That's what made him so bold, and so faithful to his calling to be "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." He was filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and we must be also.
Be a signpost. We are to point people to Jesus. That's what John did when they tried to make it all about him and his ministry. He said, "It's all about Jesus. I'm a nobody. He's the Somebody." We should echo that sentiment.
It's not about us. It's all about Him, the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. Tell people, "Jesus Christ can wash away your sin and give you a brand-new, guilt-free, fresh-start life." That's what He wants to do. And that's what we should proclaim, with our lives and our voices.