Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Evangelistic Encounters: Clarification

In writing the posts under the "evangelistic encounters" category, I am very concerned that I in no way portray myself to be the main character or protagonist in these posts. I want to make it very clear that any time Brian and I are out in the community around our church [Kosmosdale Baptist] speaking to people about the Good News of Jesus Christ, Brian generally tends to do more of the talking. More importantly, neither Brian nor I are depending upon the intelligence or emotional persuasiveness of our own presentation of the Gospel (see I Cor. 2:1-5), but we are entirely dependent upon the Holy Spirit to convict people of their sin before God, of the righteousness that God requires (which righteousness only Christ can provide), and of the judgment that we all must face (see Jn. 16:8-11). We are entirely dependent upon God's grace to grant spiritual life to people who are dead in their trespasses and sins against Him (see. Eph. 2:1-9).

Along with these core convictions concerning the sovereignty of God in salvation and the necessity of a special work of His grace if people are to be saved from their sins against God (and saved from the penalty of their sins, which is eternal Hell), Brian and I also recognize that God has chosen to manifest His grace through the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. This Good News (or "Gospel"), as perfectly revealed in the Holy Bible, acts as a vehicle for the Holy Spirit, working faith into the hearts of unbelievers to whom this message is proclaimed (see Rom. 10:14-17; II Tim. 3:14-17).

As we have sought to be more faithful in Gospel proclamation, the Lord has given Brian and me grace so that we have become more adept at working together to communicate this Good News (though we still have much to learn). Typically, when we meet people out in the community, I will introduce Brian and myself as members of Kosmosdale Baptist Church who are concerned with telling people about the church and (more importantly) about the Lord Jesus Christ. Then I will try to get the conversation started. At some point, Brian (usually) will state the basic facts of both sin and the Gospel and will speak of the proper response to the Gospel; namely, repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. I will try to ask questions to gauge the understanding of the person to whom we are speaking and then Brian and I will continue interacting with the person, answering questions, clarifying different issues, and trying to elucidate the urgency of the situation for someone who has not trusted in Christ.

You can see from the above statements that during any particular evangelistic conversation, I speak (at most) only about 1/3 of the time.

Yet in these "evangelistic encounters" posts, I have and will continue to give more direct quotes from myself than from either Brian or anyone with whom we might converse. This is not because I think what I say is more important, but simply because I wish to be very careful not to misrepresent anything someone else might say. Whereas I could easily misquote someone else, I am less likely to misquote myself, and even if I do I will know that I am communicating the basic intention of what I meant to say.

Please pray for Brian and me as we continue to seek faithfulness to God in telling others the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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