039 – Evangelism – Spiritual Disciplines Series

You don't have to be Billy Graham to be an evangelist


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“All Christians are not expected to use the same methods of evangelism, but all Christians are expected to evangelize,” says the author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Donald Whitney.

It’s true, we are all expected to be ministers, witnesses, evangelists for the cause of Christ. How can you mention evangelism with a photo of Billy Graham. We aren’t all expected to be Billy Graham, but we must discipline ourselves to evangelize when and where we can.

Today’s podcast will help you understand the discipline needed for biblical evangelism. Whitney says, “the main reason many of us don’t witness for Christ in ways that would be effective and relatively fear-free is simply because we don’t discipline ourselves to do it.”

In today’s podcast episode I will continue the book review series of Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney. As a result of overwhelming response to my 2014 reader survey, I want to focus on the challenges of personal spiritual growth. Literally, 100% of those that participated in my readers survey selected personal spiritual growth as a challenge in their life. With that, I’m diving into a very influential book that offers practical application.

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney has been powerfully impactful on my personal spiritual growth. I’m convinced it will help you as well. I encourage you to get a copy, read it, and begin to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).


Book Notes:

How can the Gospel really be good news if some never hear it?

  • Introduction
    • “Only the sheer rapture of being lost in the worship of God is as exhilarating and intoxicating as telling someone about Jesus Christ”
    • “Nothing so excites me as a conversation about Christ with someone who does not know Him”
    • “Nothing causes an eye-dropping, foot-shuffling anxiety more quickly among a group of Christians like myself than talking about our responsibility to evangelize”
    • “Godliness requires that we discipline ourselves in the practice of evangelism”
    • “The main reason many of us don’t witness for Christ in ways that would be effective and relatively fear-free is simply because we don’t discipline ourselves to do it”
  • Evangelism is expected
    • “All Christians are not expected to use the same method of evangelism, but all Christians are expected to evangelize”
    • Anyone who faithfully relates the essential elements of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ is evangelizing”
    • Jesus’ commands
      • Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46-47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8
    • “Some Christians believe that evangelism is a gift and the responsibility of only those with that gift”
      • Ephesians 4:11
    • “Every evangelist is called to be a witness, but only a few witnesses are called to the vocational ministry of an evangelist”
    • 1 Peter 2:9
      • But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God; that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
    • “God expects each of us to “declare the praises” of Jesus Christ”
  • Evangelism is empowered
    • “If it is so obvious to almost all Christians that we are to evangelize, how come almost all Christians seem to disobey that command so often?”
    • “Sometimes we are unable to speak of Christ because we are afraid that people will think we are strange and will reject us.”
    • “In some cases the method of witnessing we’re asked to use causes our evangelophobia”
    • “Most people tremble at the thought of going door to door to share the gospel”
    • “In talking with someone about Christ, Heaven and hell are at stake”
    • “Many Christians feel too unprepared for this kind of challenge”
    • “What is successful evangelism?”
      • “Sharing the gospel is successful evangelism”
      • “Conversions are fruit that God alone can give”
    • “All biblical evangelism is successful evangelism, regardless of results”
    • “The power of evangelism is the Holy Spirit”
      • Acts 1:8
        • But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, an in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
    • “In ways and methods compatible with your personality, temperament, spiritual gift, opportunities, ect., you do have the power to share the gospel with people”
    • “The most powerful ongoing Christian witness has always been the speaking of God’s Word by one who is living God’s Word”
    • “Because of the nature of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures, evangelism is empowered”
  • Evangelism is a discipline
    • “Evangelism is a Discipline in that we must discipline ourselves to get into the context of evangelism, that is, we must not just wait for witnessing opportunities to happen”
    • “Surely if we have understood the gospel well enough ourselves to be converted, we should know it well enough to tell someone else how to be converted”
    • “In whatever contact the Lord places us to live our lives, God calls us to find ways to fulfill the Great Commission in that context”
    • “Isn’t the main reason we don’t witness because we don’t discipline ourselves to do it?”
    • Colossians 4:5-6
      • Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone
    • “No matter how well we live the gospel, sooner or later we must communicate the content of the gospel before a person can become a disciple of Jesus”
  • More application
    • “Since evangelism is expected, will you obey the Lord and witness?”
    • “Since evangelism is empowered, will you believe God can use your words in the salvation of others?”
    • “Since evangelism is a Discipline, will you plan for it?”

 

Links to resources mentioned in today’s podcasts:

Disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life

 

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