Evangelism Equip Recap
Last week Renewal Church hosted an Evangelism Equip night looking at how we are called to be Ambassadors of Christ who take the gospel to our friends, neighbors, and family members.
It was a time of great encouragement and instruction from Dr. Tim McKnight and Sean Alford. Here are a some takeaways from the night.
We are Ambassadors for Christ
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV
God has made us alive because of the saving work of Jesus Christ, and He has given us a great commission as ambassadors of His glory. Because we are ambassadors for Christ we must remember that we represent a higher authority and that our message, the gospel, comes from that authority. We do not act on our own will, but by the will of God.
We need to have an Acts 1:8 Strategy
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (ESV)
Our position as ambassadors must come into play with God’s strategy for the proclamation of the gospel to the nations. Our role in that strategy is not to be a judge, jury, or reporter, but our role is to be a witness to the amazing work of Jesus Christ.
The work we proclaim is that in the beginning all things were created by God, and they were created good. Man and woman, all of creation was good and in perfect relationship with God and each other. However, man rebelled against God falling into sin and death which corrupted all of creation and fully separated man from God. Because of man’s sin all of humanity and creation is under a curse, but God in His mercy and grace loved us through the live, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Jesus and repents of their sins would receive forgiveness of sins and newness of life in Christ. Christ has brought this offer of reconciliation through His work on the cross, and He is bringing a day of consummation where all things will be remade new and perfect, where all believers will be with God for eternity in the new heaves and new earth.
Do we know our neighbors?
The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that we are to loving witnesses to our neighbors, and our neighbors are our family members, friends, acquaintances, and anyone we encounter during our daily lives.
Our loving witness needs to start with our knowledge of our neighbors. Do we know them, their names, their stories, their spiritual conditions? How are we to love them well as ambassadors for Christ if we do not know our neighbors?
Are we using bridges to communicate the gospel?
Are we thinking about how could we communicate the gospel to a neighbor? Do we just walk up to someone and ask “Did you know that Jesus Christ died for your sins?”, or could we use common knowledge, activities, and relationships to build bridges into a conversation?
Pastor Tim mentions several potential bridges where we could engage others with the gospel: The Church Bridge, Personal Experience Bridge, Current Issues Bridge, Sports Bridge, Prayer Bridge, and Relationship Bridge. All of these bridges create a connection with us and our neighbor where we can transition our conversation to the gospel.
We need to pray that God would work
“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:3-4 (ESV)
We need to pray that the God who saves would do a mighty work in the lives of our friends and family members, for our neighbors. We also need to pray that God would do a good work in our own lives and grant us patience to wait on Him, graciousness to love others well, and courage to ask the hard questions of a person’s faith as well as to tell of the goodness of God.
We need to ask and listen more than we preach and speak
Utilizing the bridges to get to a gospel conversation is all built on asking good questions. The more we ask and listen, the more we will know our neighbor and know how to love them with the truth of the gospel.
There is no foolproof gospel presentation, so that takes away the fear of knowing the perfect things to say. By asking questions we will get to a person’s fears, joys, and hopes. We will also show that that we truly care about them and build a relationship where they may be more receptive to hearing the gospel from us.
We need to trust in the Lord
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 (ESV)
We are only ambassadors for Christ. We cannot bring anyone to salvation, but we are ambassadors to a might God who does save, who does make the dead sinful men and women alive together with Christ. Praise God for His grace and mercy and trust in Him in all of our evangelistic endeavors.
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