Who saves people? Easy answer, God. How does God save people? The Spirit gives life! (2 Cor. 3:6) and He uses His word. “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures” (James 1:18) and “you have been born again not of seed which is perishable bur imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). So, how does a person become a believer? By both the Spirit and the Word. So we sit back and let the Spirit work? Well, yes! But we have a role to play too.
We are ambassadors for Christ sake, He makes an appeal through us (2 Cor. 5:20). So what is the appeal? The Gospel,
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18).
We proclaim a message! Students of Scripture will however observe 2 Corinthians 5:18 is one way Paul summarizes the Gospel.
Mark begins in 1:1,
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
When does Mark stop giving the Gospel? 1:2? 1:7? 2:7? 3:7? 16:8? Any attempt to say Mark has stopped giving the Gospel before 16:8 seems contrary to the purpose of Mark. So what? What does this have to do with ANYTHING? Simple,
The Gospel is detailed, but also simply Jesus Christ!
If Mark published his Gospel today, I wonder if bloggers and amazon reviewers would critique him for not clearly giving the four spiritual laws or not emphasizing the Law enough?
The Gospel is more than just four points and yet one sentence can summarize the Gospel. So what do we as evangelists do? What is the ONE way to evangelize? Simple. Use Scripture! Yeah, but you have to use the Law otherwise it won’t work. Really? When I hear people assert the NEED for the Law in evangelsim I have one thought, “You have not thought about the relationship between your bibliology and soteriology” (doctrine of Bible and doctrine of salvation).
Psalm 19 teaches us how God reveals himself. Verses 1-6 teach creation testifies about God. People know God exists because creation points us to Him! (This is why people want to believe in evolution, it gives him or her a rational reason to reject God). Psalm 19:1, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Verses 7-14 declares the Scriptures save people. Look at what the Scripture do.
- The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.
- The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
- The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
- The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
- The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
- The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
Here are six different phrases used to describe God’s Word and what it causes. Is the law a part of this? Yes. But so is ALL Scripture. “All” in my sentence here is meant to mean, ALL Scripture–all 66 books of the Bible. Can someone use the law to teach doctrine in evangelism? Sure. Is someone relegated to only use the Law? No. Can someone use Colossians or John without referencing the Law? YES!
2 Timothy 3:14-15,
You (Timothy), continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 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.
What lead Timothy to salvation? THE LAW? 4 points? chick tract? A pithy / cute Gospel presentation? NO!!! The sacred writings. Does this include the law? Yes, but does it mean the law has to be in the Gospel presentation? NO!!!!
The answer is SIMPLE. When evangelizing someone, use Scripture! Preachers are told, “preach the Word.” Notice again, Paul didn’t say, “preach the Word, but be sure you reference the Law too.” No, simple, “preach the Word.” Why? Because God’s Word will not return void! So preaching 2 Thessalonians is sufficient? YES! You mean God can use 2 Thessalonians (or Philemon) to bring a person to salvation? YES! Why? Because the Word of God will not return void! God uses all His Word to convict, correct, reproof, and train for righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).
A person can sit down and read Psalm 85 AND come to know the Lord. It is possible. Why? Because the Holy Spirit uses His Word to open eyes and cause men to be born again! BUT said person has to know about Jesus Christ, right? YES! And as the person continues to read, plugs into a church, and learn, if the person is really saved do you think he or she would deny Christ? Would the Spirit blind the person He just caused to be born again to the truth about the Triune God? Scripture is sufficient to bring a man to Christ. So what about evangelism?
Simple, when you interact with someone, use Scripture. I would even encourage you to pick one section of Scripture and stick solely with that one section. It gets confusing in conversations to fly around the Bible and point out 3,484 different verses to prove your point. The listener can become confused too. Pick Ephesians 2:1-10 (or some other verse) and emphasize what it says. Center the conversation on one paragraph and leave the person with the ability to know what you talked about, go home, read it again, and study it. (Of course, in line with my last evangelism post, leave your contact information too). Isaiah 55:11,
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.