B.A.S.I.C NEWSLETTER #169
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #169
I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’
May 31, 2010
On May 23rd this year we celebrated the first New Testament Pentecost and its spiritual explosion that has gone down through the years with the ever widening circle of Gospel proclamation. In celebration of this great work of the Spirit we consider our part in being evangelists – proclaimers of the Good News of Christ.”
In Celebration of Pentecost on May 23rd consider this study on “Doing the Work of an Evangelist”
Do the work of an evangelist
In the New Testament the word ‘evangelist’ is used several times indicating that in NT times using the freedom God gave His church, the church had an office of ‘evangelist’. The work of an evangelist is seen in the very meaning of the word, which is ‘proclaimer of the Gospel’.
- In Acts 21:8 Philip is called ‘the evangelist’. He was one of the seven chosen in Jerusalem to assist the apostles. But he did not limit his work to that. The Lord had him down in Samaria reaping a spiritual harvest. We see him proclaiming the Gospel to the Ethiopian.
- In Eph. 4:11 an evangelist is listed with other offices in the church at that time of: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers.
- Timothy, who had been assigned by Paul to work in the Ephesian area, was encouraged, “As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.” II Tim. 4:11
In this study we consider how we aught to be doing the work of proclaiming the Good News, evangelizing. We consider how first of all we are the Spirit’s instruments. This does not diminish though in any way our efforts at evangelization. Secondly, we remember how in our efforts we have to always keep Christ in sight as the focus and example for us. Thirdly, we view points to ponder and pray over on evangelizing.
We are the Spirit’s Instruments.
God works through us in our communicating the Gospel to the world round about us. As we look at Paul’s efforts we note that though he is God’s instrument, he does all within his power to carry out this effort of evangelizing.
Paul’s writings breath the air of Good News preaching.
- In I Cor. 9:19-23 Paul points out how he would do all things that he could if by any means he might win, gain, save the more. He writes showing that he depends on God, but does all as if it depended on himself.
- In II Cor. 6:3f. he points out how, “We put no obstacle in any one’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry…” We can impede for a time God’s will of salvation for individuals. It can be through carelessness on our part. But in the end it is the devil behind it to prevent the message of grace being given and received. The devil can use us as his instruments also.
- II Cor. 5:11 points up how we are to persuade men. It is with the message of God’s love. In v. 14 the Gospel is centered on, “One has died for all.” Our motives and our actions should bespeak this love of God for man.
- In II Cor. 10:5f. we with our speech “destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ” In Paul’s explanation here he is point out how thoroughly we carry on our evangelizing. It is not a mere couple statements, but a thorough explanation expanding as we need to to present the Gospel.
Just a casual look at some of Paul’s actions show that he meant what he wrote.
- In Acts 13:43 after the synagogue meeting the people were “urged…to continue in the grace of God.” And back in the synagogue again Paul and Barnabas “spoke out boldly” v. 46. This shows on the first missionary journey how it would be throughout the journeys. Intensive effort would be made in proclaiming Jesus.
- In Acts 17:1-4 we read that at Thessalonica Paul went into the synagogue again and again to speak the Good News of Christ as the fulfillment of God’s promises. Notice the words used to describe Paul’s activity: argued, explained, proved, proclaimed. In any way possible he would speak the Word.
- Later in Acts 17:16-34 we see how wherever Paul went in Athens he made it his task to proclaim Jesus, whether in synagogue, or market place daily, or on Mar’s Hill. It was done with the religious and with the irreligious, to the ordinary and to the influential.
- In Acts 19::8-10 we learn that over and over again at Ephesus and the surrounding region Paul proclaimed the Christ. First for a period of three months is mentioned. And then two years are referred to indicating how this has to just keep on going, this proclaiming of Jesus. Paul used his words in: speaking boldly, arguing, pleading.
This all points up how evangelization should be to anyone and everyone, anytime and always, anywhere and everywhere. Our words are to be geared to the different hearers. And our words are to be from the heart.
We should earnestly contend for the faith. Jude 3 As we do we wrestle against our own flesh which is at times tries to get us to be indifferent and lazy and at other times fearful. We have to remember our exalted position though. We are a kingdom and priests unto our God. Rev. 1:6, 5:10 As such we cannot but speak of what we have learned from the Word. Our aggressiveness is seen also in our willingness to proclaim the whole counsel of God. Acts 20:27 We do not necessarily do this all at once. We do do it over time and consistently. It is a through and not superficial thing. And it is ongoing. As each of us has received gifts we are to employ them to serve in proclaiming His Word. We remember our Lord Himself in His earthly work, how He had to be working the works of Him who sent Him, while it is day. Jn. 9:4 So we too work before the night comes when the work will end focusing always on Him.
A Passage Explained = Mark 11:23
Mk. 11:23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not coubt in his heart,but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”
Jesus is teaching His disciples to pray without doubting and here uses a figure of speech, hyperbole to stress this. This is an exaggeration for an effect. Think of when He told them it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. A camel cannot go through the eye of a needle. This is the figure of speech again of an exaggeration for an effect. Jesus wants His followers to pray trusting completely in God. When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane He said, “Not my will be done, but Thine.” This we have to always attach at least in our mind to our prayers. If something is according to God’s will, it will be done. In James 4:13-15 we are taught again that it must be according to God’s will, not ours, “…If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.”