Say you are planning to cook a chicken pasta dish tonight for dinner. In the process of cooking the meal, you forget to add the chicken. When everything is said and done, you will probably have a good pasta dinner, but you will not have the meal you set out to prepare. While our pasta dish will taste fine without the chicken, leaving out an ingredient in our evangelism might not turn out so well.
What are the ingredients to proper evangelism?
There are four main things we need to include in our message:
- A call to repent and believe
Let’s look at these one at a time:
God is the Creator. As our Maker, He is also our Ruler. As our Maker and Ruler, He has absolute claim on our lives. We are not only to look to Him for guidance, but we are to also submit to Him and obey His commands.
Sin tells us that we have rejected God as our Creator and Ruler. In place of His rule, we seek our own.
Sin entered the world at the Fall mankind when Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s rule. As the head of the human race, all who come after them are also plunged into a world of sin and inherit a sinful nature. The result is separation from God. Since He is holy, He cannot have a relationship with an unholy people.
Sin is offensive to God. Not until we understand how offensive sin is to a holy God, and how utterly sinful we are, will we see our need for salvation.
Therein lies the problem of the human race, most people do not believe they are sinful because they measure sin by particular actions. It is easy to see that a murderer is sinful, but a good upstanding citizen, who doesn’t even have a parking ticket; why they are not sinful? The Bible tells us otherwise. In Romans, Paul says, “None is righteous, no, not one; (Rom. 3:10), which means even good people are sinners, whose sin separates them from God.
Sin not only explains why we can’t have a relationship with God, but it also explains why the world is the way it is. Disease, sickness, death, corruption, and all kinds of evil exist because of sin.
Christ is the Savior of mankind. In order to understand fully Christ’s saving action, we need to know about both His Person and Work. The reason for both is because His cross work was only possible because of His life.
Person: Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who lived a perfect life. Never transgressing one of God’s laws, which allowed Him to be the perfect sacrifice for mankind.
Work: Jesus offered Himself up as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. In our place He hung. As He did our sins were nailed to the cross with Christ. The Perfect One became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
On the cross, Jesus suffered the wrath and punishment of God. Wrath and punishment that we deserve because of our sinful nature. Since He took our place, He made a way for mankind to be reconciled to God.
Jesus not only died on the cross for our sins, He also raised from the grave after 3 days defeating death. After 40 more days, He ascended into heaven where He know sits on His throne as the King over all. One day He will return to defeat Satan, judge those who did not believe in Him, sentencing them to eternal damnation, renew all things, and rule the world.
All those who believe these things about Jesus will be saved.
A Call to Repent and Believe
While repenting and believing is not a part of the gospel story, it is a necessary ingredient to evangelism because evangelism aims at conversion. So we must call people to repent and believe.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you believe God is our Creator, or do you believe we were created through an evolutionary process?
- How do you determine who is and who is not a sinner?
- Why is it necessary for us to know about both Jesus’ person and work?
Post adapted from: Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by J.I. Packer, 66-81