Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Biblical Authority and Evangelism

A biblical study of evangelism will force the student to walk away believing two mains truths that are taught in the Bible.  First, salvation belongs to the Lord.  He is the only one who can save fallen humanity.  Unless God acts, none could or would be saved.  Despite man’s sin in Genesis 3, it was God who promised to send someone to crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15).  This is often called the first gospel.  It is clear from Genesis to the New Testament that God is about establishing a Redeemer from His chosen people, Israel.  Jesus is that chosen one (Acts 10:38).  Jesus is the promised one of Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1; 53.  Jesus is the one that has come to redeem us from the curse of sin (Matthew 1:21).  He has also come to destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8).  Yet it is the Lord who acts to save.  Our utter sinfulness is clear but thankfully God intervenes by His grace (Ephesians 2:4).

The second truth the student of the Bible encounters is that salvation is contingent upon believing in the Lord Jesus.  This requires faith in the Lord Jesus (John 3:16-18; 5:24; 20:31) and this comes by hearing of Jesus through the gospel that is preached (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:14-17; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  Faith comes only by hearing the true gospel.  Faith is a supernatural work of the Spirit and the Holy Spirit works through the preaching of the supernatural revelation that He has given us in the Bible.

This means that the Bible is the unique authority for the Church to use when evangelizing the lost.  Jesus compared the Word preached to seed in Mark 4:14.  In Mark 4:26-29 Jesus compares the fruit of the seed to how a farmer sows seed and then the harvest comes.  It is clear that the farmer cannot produce the harvest but he merely does his job and the seed brings forth the harvest.  Same is true of the Church.  Our job is to go out and preach the gospel and the Lord causes the growth (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).  Paul wrote in Colossians 2:19 that God is the one who causes His body to grow.  In Acts 2:47 that the Lord added to their number (the church) those who were being saved.  The duty of the Church is simple: preach the gospel to the people.  The Lord’s work is to take the gospel and He saves sinners.

The beauty of this is the sinful, fallen men and women are saved by grace and they in turn take the gospel to others who need the truth of God.  As people hear the gospel, they also behold the complete transformation that the gospel brings (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The entire person is effected by the gospel.  The Bible calls this many terms such as being “born again” (John 3:3), the “new birth” (Titus 3:5-7), “justified” (Romans 5:1), “adoption” (Romans 8:15).  Yet the point is that the entire person is transformed by salvation through Christ Jesus.  The new person is to take the gospel that transformed them to the lost (2 Corinthians 5:11-15).

And how can we see radical transformation of others?  By the preaching of the gospel from the Word of God.  The Bible is our authority to preach that Jesus saves from sin.  The Bible is our authority to tell others that they can be rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son (Colossians 1:13).  We can preach that Jesus will forgive us of our sins (Colossians 1:14) and that Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).  We can preach that Jesus is able to turn away the wrath of God through faith in His holy name (Romans 5:8-9).  We are able to preach that we have eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus (1 John 5:13).  We are able to preach that Jesus hears our prayers and He answers them by His own will (Matthew 7:7-11; John 14:13-14; 1 John 5:14-15).  We are able to preach that God has demonstrated His own love toward us in His Son (Romans 5:1-11).  We are able to preach that works do not save but God saves us by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

When sharing the gospel with the lost, fill your witnessing with the Word of God.  It doesn’t matter if you are talking with an atheist, a cultists, a false convert, a religious person, etc.  The Word of God is able to convict and transform the sinner (Hebrews 4:12-13).  2 Timothy 3:16 is often quoted for disciples of Jesus to know that our Bible is given to us by the inspiration of the Spirit but we need to see that the Bible is also given to us for specific purposes.  Notice the text in the NIV:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Notice the purposes for the God-breathed Word: teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.  We do all this when we preach the gospel to the lost.  That is why we must use the Bible during evangelism.  We must warn sinners about the wrath to come (Matthew 3:7-8).  We must warn them of the judgment they will face when they die (Hebrews 9:27).  We must warn them of sin (Romans 6:23).  We must call them to repentance (Luke 13:5; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30-31).  We must point out the goodness of God to bring them to repentance (Romans 2:4).  We must call them to faith in the Lord Jesus (John 6:37).

So instead of giving people your testimony, your feelings, your thoughts, etc., give them the Word of God.  The Word of God will do its work just as Jesus promised in Mark 4:27-28.  Isaiah 55:11 is a precious promise to those of us preaching the gospel to the lost.  Let us trust in the power of God to bring forth fruit from our evangelism in His own time.

Let us also pray for the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/22/2014 at 2:22 PM

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  1. Sometimes we distinguish between evangelism and discipleship, but the great commission in Mt. 28:19-20 is about going to all the nations and making disciples, which means baptizing them into the name (the presence and power) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded (as in his teachings throughout Matthew). And that presence and power of the risen Jesus will be with these disciples until the end of the (evil) age.


    05/23/2014 at 11:13 AM

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