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

Filling

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

Reading

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."

Praying

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?

Believing

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

Proclaiming

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

Explaining

Acts 17:16-34- Paul on Mars Hill

Defending

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.

1 Comments:

At 8/25/2005 04:51:00 PM , Blogger centuri0n said...

Hey Marie --

I'm not just some geek who shills books at your local ecumenical "christian" bookstore: I own the place.

I'm not sure that's better, but it's at least factually correct. :-)

 

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