Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Equipping for Evangelism

This past Saturday, we has a session on evangelism at church. Here are my notes.

Heb 11- I won't post the whole thing here, but you can read it online here

Heb 12
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;

We all grow weary
- people who visit the church clothes closet leave you bad addresses
- someone requests they want to speak about the Gospel, and you rearrange your schedule only to have them not show up
- a woman comes to the church saying she's hungry, and you fix a meal, only to have her leave before it's done
- you spend six weeks witnessing to a person through a Bible study, and they respond like it's no big deal
- getting the cold shoulder when they hear you're there to speak the Gospel

Weariness can cause us to sin

- Moses struck the rock to get water, disobeying God
- Sarah laughed at God
- Abraham slept with Hagar, wanting a son

Yet we are sustained by believing God's Word
- Abraham didn't know where he was going when he heeded God's call
- Noah built an ark
- Moses led the people out of Egypt and refused to be called the son of Pharoah's daughter
- Joseph gave orders concerning his bones

- we often have a disbelief in the supernatural
- we often think that rejection should keep us from sharing the Gospel
- we often believe that expended energy must result in immediate results

- we must be willing to live for the unseen
- we must invest time in lost peoples' lives
- we must look to Jesus as the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and this will cause us to persevere
- we have not yet suffered to the point of shedding blood- Jesus is our prime example- also consider those who have been physically persecuted for the faith, like John Huss

How to be an effective evangelist

Evangelism isn't winning people to Christ. It's faithfully proclaiming the Gospel.

We need:

1. Power


Eph 5:18- "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit."

Acts 4:31- "And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness."

To be filled with the Spirit means to believe the Word of God is truer than anything. It's shown by our readiness to speak the Gospel, our thankfulness toward God, encouraging and admonishing those in the Body, husbands loving their wives and wives submitting to husbands, children obeying their parents, and servants obeying their masters


Col 3:16- "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."


Acts 4
23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, "'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed'--
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

Don't grieve the Spirit

Eph 4:30- "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

When you grieve the Spirit, you return to the Gospel. Remember that Jesus paid it all at Calvary, and that you are justified by faith alone. This gives us confidence!

Gal 3
2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?


Gal 3:5- "So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?"

Heb 11:6- "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."

2. People

- family and friends
- witnessing to acquaintances or even strangers

Everyone reacts to the Gospel. Because of this, there is no real easy way to start a conversation about the Gospel. We must pray for the Word to go out with power and for doors to be opened, as the unregenerate fight against God with his or her entire being.

Romans 8
6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

3. Proclamation


2 Cor. 2
15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life And who is adequate for these things?
17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

Matthew 13:1-23- parable of the sower


Acts 17:16-34- Paul on Mars Hill


1 Peter 3:15- "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;"

Everyone knows there is a God, and they know there is right and wrong

Rom 1:18-32
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Rom 2
14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Notes from another sermon in my pastor's series from the book of Proverbs (he will tell you that this is one of the handful of topical sermons he's ever preached- hey, not ALL topical sermons are bad!)

Proverbs 8
1 Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2 On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4 "To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5 "O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
6 "Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
7 "For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 "All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9 "They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10 "Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11 "For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

We get to know Jesus by listening to His Word and then speaking the Word to each other.

Eph 4
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Who should we listen to?

-not ourselves

Prov 12:15- "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel."

Prov 16:25- "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."

- listen to God's Word

Prov 15:31- "He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise."

- listen to each other in a community of truth

Prov 15:22- "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed."

Prov 18:1- "He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom."

- listen to a listener

Prov 18:13- "He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him."

Prov 18:2- "A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind."

Prov 15:28- "The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things."

- listen to a straight-shooter

Prov 26:28- "A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin."

Prov 15:32- "He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding."

Prov 12:1- "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid."

Psa 141:5- "Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; It is oil upon the head; Do not let my head refuse it."

- the Gospel makes people who listen like this

by nature our hearts are wicked and deceitful

Jeremiah 17:9- "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?"

the Father commands us to listen to Jesus

Mark 9:7- "Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, 'This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!'"

Jesus tells us to repent and believe

Mark 1
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'"

we know we are partakers of Christ if find we continually listen to Him

Heb 3
12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Fear of the Lord

Here are some notes I took during a sermon at church earlier this month. I hope they are as helpful to you as they are to me.

Proverbs 2
1 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.

What is the fear of the Lord?

Fear of the Lord is that which trembles at who God is and thrills to do what God asks.

For an example of this, see Heb 11:7- "By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."

It's not adequate to just simply define it- it must be understood and entered in to (Prov 2:5)

Four things to do:

1. receive God's wisdom (Prov 2:1)

Listen to the Word of God. This is not just done through reading Scripture but also through sitting under the preached Word. Listen to the Word diligently- try to aviod any distractions. Get good sleep so you'll be attentive on Sunday mornings. Pray that the Word will be preached with power and that your heart would receive it. Also, we are to speak the Word to one another, admonishing, encouraging, teaching.

2 Tim 3
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known, the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2. treasure wisdom (Prov 2:1)

Psa 119

Prov 6
20 My son, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
21 Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk about, they will guide you;
When you sleep, they will watch over you;
And when you awake, they will talk to you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life

Memorization of Scripture:

- increases your faith

Prov 22
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

- fight against sin

Psa 119
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

- a personal counselor

Psa 119:24- "Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors"

- you'll sing

Col 3:16- "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

3. call out for insight (2:3)


1 Kings 3
6 Then Solomon said, "You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 "Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
8 "Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.
9 "So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
10 It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice,
12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you."

James 1:5- "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

4. seek it like silver (2:4)

Don't just seek it, but seek it as something beautiful.

Psalm 19
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

Christ has all wisdom and knowledge, and He is supremely beautiful.

Col. 2
1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,
2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Col. 2:9- "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form"

Heb. 1
3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.