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.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Sovereignty of God and Evangelism

Since the Fall of Man into sin as recorded in Genesis 3, natural Man is dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1), alienated and hostile toward God (Colossians 1:21), utterly unrighteous (Romans 3:10ff), and unable to come to God (John 6:44, 65). Due to the truths related in the last sentence [known together by such nicknames as "Total depravity" or "Radical corruption"], the only way that we may be saved from sin- and thus saved from God's wrath against sin- is if the Holy Spirit does a supernatural work on our hearts, making us spiritually alive (Ephesians 2:5), delivering us from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13), granting us righteousness through faith- which faith is also a gift from God (Romans 3:21-22; Ephesians 2:8-9)- and drawing us irresistibly to Jesus (John 6:44, 65). The Holy Spirit does this work in our lives based on the fact that Jesus Christ has, by His death on the Cross, already paid the penalty of God's wrath against our sin [please see Hebrews 9:11-10:18 and Hebrews 10:14]. Once saved, we are "kept by the Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 1) so that having come to Jesus, it is certain that He will "raise [us] up at the last day" (John 6:44), and that once God begins a good work in us, we can be confident that He will "perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). Taken together, these truths [along with the doctrine of "Unconditional election"] teach us that salvation is, as the great preacher Charles Spurgeon said, "all of grace."

Now, many people charge that a consistent proclamation of the truths above will give people an excuse not to witness. They say that if we insist that salvation is God's work from start to finish, that people will use this as an excuse to slack off in their zeal to spread the gospel. And they're right. The truth is most Christians- regardless of their understanding of the Bible verses mentioned above- don't evangelize. Why is it that most Christians fail in their duty to proclaim the Good News of who Jesus is and what He has done? In answering this question, it is important first to identify a lack of evangelism as sin so that we understand that this is something for which we must repent. This sin can be rooted in a weak faith, which leads us to anxiety rather than thankful dependence upon God (Philippians 4:6). We may also sin by not being diligent in having our minds renewed so that we are transformed into what God would have us to be (Romans 12:2). You may- reflecting on the truths in the first paragraph of this post- become convinced that some of the evangelistic methods you have previously learned were bogus, but if so you must become diligent in finding out what true, biblical evangelism should look like. 



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