Thursday, 16 December 2010

What we stress in evangelism

I've recently finished a sermon series on the work of the Holy Spirit, and it has given a renewed focus to the way I am conducting our current evangelistic course.

What was so striking, is that the Holy Spirit seems to engage in four particular things when bringing someone to faith:
1) Testifying to who Jesus is (Jn 15v26)
2) Convicting of sin and righteousness and judgement (Jn 16v8)
3) Shining into our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Cor 4v4-6)
4) Using the call to repentance itself as the means of moving people to faith (1 Pet 1v23)

In our course I have therefore majored on these four things: Reasons for our conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the seriousness of sin and the coming judgement, the glory of God's wisdom, justice and love seen in Jesus and his work, and urging people not to delay but to turn to him.

The stress on God's glory in Christ was the one I hadn't thought too much about before. But it is striking in Paul's thought. Evangelism is about declaring, clarifying and persuading people of this - that they would see who Christ truly is. There is a sense then that this glory - ie. the excellence of Jesus' character, teaching and acts, that is the greatest ground for faith.

We'll see how the Lord uses all this.