Four Factors in Evangelism (Part 1)

Jesus’ final instructions to His disciples after His resurrection, before returning to His Father in heaven, was to go and make more disciples, “teaching them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded,” (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18).

With this same authority, Jesus still commands us to tell others the Good News and make disciples for His kingdom. This is His Great Commission.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."      Luke 19:10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”                     Luke 19:10

Leslie Flynn, author of 19 Gifts of the Spirit, defines evangelism as the following:

The gift of proclaiming the Good News of salvation effectively so that people respond to the claims of Christ in conversion and in discipleship.”

Four Factors in Evangelism
  1. Proclamation . . . . In addition to Christian witness through works, evangelism requires words: explanation of how a sinner becomes right with God; Christ’s historical, redemptive death and resurrection. The gift communicates the gospel with power so people are brought into the experience of salvation with knowledge of spiritual life and death. Hearers may or may not be emotionally moved, but the intellect must not be bypassed. How we proclaim is extremely important. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
  2. Good News . . . . The word gospel comes from the Greek words, well and announcement, which means “good announcement” or “Good News”.
  3. Effectively Resulting in Conversion . . . . Campus Crusade for Christ defines witnessing success as: “sharing Christ in the power of the Spirit and leaving the results to Him.” Only God can bring spiritual understanding and conversion. There will not be a response every time we witness, but the hearer should understand that a decision must be made: Accept or reject Christ.
  4. Discipleship . . . . Dedicated evangelists and organizations have systematic follow-up plans to help new converts grow in their faith and connect with the local church.

Evangelism is not reserved just for the pastor or professional. Campus Crusade estimates it takes 1,000 laymen and six pastors one year to win one convert to Christ. Philip, the only person called an evangelist in the Bible, was a deacon. And interestingly, the early church grew in numbers by a lay movement (Acts 8).

Teaching and Evangelism are Closely Related

Evangelism is referred to teaching several places in Acts. Hearers wanted to know much about Jesus before putting their faith in Him, (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich.). Church historians observe that evangelistic surges throughout the centuries result from sound theological advances.

Even if we do not possess the gift of evangelism, we are told to do the work of an evangelist (Mark 1:17). Some people are more effective in personal evangelism. Others may be most effective in group evangelism—such as Billy Graham—or cross cultural evangelism.

What is your experience with evangelism? Have you shared the Good News with anyone lately? Who shared the Good News with you? How has that impacted you?

*Next few posts: The message and methods in evangelism . . . . Have a great week!

 

The Holy Spirit’s Filling—Part 2

Is it possible to be a Christian, yet be unwise, unproductive, and asleep spiritually? c20d7b4da71b4a62ab8144883dd5c38dThe Apostle Paul thought so when he penned the following:

This is why it said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”   Ephesians 5:14-17

What Is The Lord’s Will?

Paul continues: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery [wickedness]. Instead be filled with the Spirit.”  – vs. 18

A synonym for filling is control. Paul is contrasting the negative influence/control of alcohol to the positive influence/control of the Holy Spirit.

Four Observations About The Spirit’s Filling           

(Source: Tony Evans, The Promise)

  1. God’s CommandInterestingly, there is no biblical command to be baptized by the Spirit or indwelt by the Spirit. Those are automatic blessings when we come to Christ through faith. But we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This relates to our daily experience of His influence. Our sincerity alone is not enough.
  2. For Every BelieverEphesians 5:18 is plural in the Greek text. Although the Spirit’s filling isn’t automatic, every believer is commanded to submit to the Spirit’s control.
  3. God Does It – This command is passive: We are to “be filled,” not fill ourselves. We are the object of the action—filling of the Holy Spirit. If our soul is full of something other than the Holy Spirit, our life will be very unfulfilling. God has no provision for filling, satisfying, and giving us His power other than the filling of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Keep It UpThis plural, passive command is also in the present tense. In Greek, this means to be a continuous process. Another translation could be rendered: “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” Why? Sin, people, and circumstances take our attention away from God. But unlike a car emptied of fuel, the depletion of the Spirit’s filling doesn’t mean He has left us (Hebrews 13:5). Rather, depletion of His filling means our loss of experience and enjoyment of His full benefits.

Can you think of a time when you were spiritually asleep, drifting through life? What woke you up?

I’m learning a lot from this study and hope you are too. Next week I will explore the process of being filled and share an inspiring testimony from a brother blogger. So stay tuned!

Be blessed. Be filled . . . Rather, be filled and you will be blessed! 🙂

If you haven’t watched Billy Graham’s recent message, I encourage you to view it. His consistent, faithful witness is admirable.