Our Life with God, Lesson 14: Evangelism, Part 2

Infant Baptism2 (610x352)Evangelism takes place within our everyday vocations.  Through Word and Sacrament, the pastor evangelizes as He brings Jesus to others and the life Jesus gives.  This is the pastor “discipling” others, as Jesus gives His pastors to do.

The layperson also evangelizes in his everyday vocations.  He does this by letting his light shine on others in the world, living the Christian life.  He also proclaims Jesus, telling others who Jesus is, what He does, and what that means.  This proclamation involves being able to give a reason for the hope a Christian has: The resurrection of the body and life eternal.  This mean he needs to know the content of the faith and be able to articulate it well.  All this is to be done with gentleness and respect.


Lesson 13, Being Discipled and Evangelism


Correcting Some Misconceptions about Evangelism: Romans 10

Because many see salvation (conversion or “getting saved”) as a one-time event, many misunderstand the reason for going to church.  Church only becomes about worshipping and praising God, not “getting saved.”  Salvation, however, is a past, present, and future event.

  • PAST: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is a gift of God, not from works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • PRESENT: For the Word of the cross [the preached Word] is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
  • FUTURE: Since we have now been declared righteous by His blood [that is, saved], we will be saved through Him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9)

Because many see salvation as only a one-time event in the past, passages that speak to the Christian’s future salvation then get applied to the non-Christian, distorting evangelism.

Contrasting Jews (they) with Christians (you), Paul spoke about salvation in Romans 9: “So then, it [God saving someone] does not depend on human desire or effort, but on God, who shows mercy.”

Read Romans 10:1-3

  • For whom does Paul desire salvation? (Who are the “they”?)


  • Why are they not saved?


Read Romans 10:8

  • Who is the “you” in this verse?


  • What is the “word”?


  • Where does a Christian receive this “word” that is preached?


Read Romans 10:9-10

  • Based on the context, where does someone confess and believe and who is doing that?


  • When will the future salvation being referred to take place?


Romans 10:9-10 applies to the Christian who hears the word of Christ during the worship service.  During the service, he believes (by hearing the preached Word of Christ anew) and confesses (speaks of who Christ is, which is a creed).  By such, he is pointed to the fulfillment of his salvation and believes and confesses what is to come.

These verses reveal what is to take place during the worship service—not how a layperson evangelizes a non-Christian.  The “you” in this verse is not a non-Christian outside the worship service but the Christian in the worship service.


Correcting Some Misconceptions about Evangelism: Revelation 3

Read Revelation 3:14-19

  • What is going on with the Laodecian Christians?


  • Is this a call for the Christians there to repent?


Read Revelation 3:20

  • Although using metaphorical imagery, what does this repenting for the Christian involve?


This verse is not how a layperson evangelizes a non-Christian but a call for the Christian to repent, so Jesus is the center of his life, not on the fringes.


Christian Evangelism Leads to Baptism

The verses above are often misunderstood, which then can support the idea that Christian evangelism leads to the “sinner’s prayer” (when someone asks Jesus into his heart as his “personal Lord and Savior,” becoming the one-time event of salvation for the person).  If evangelism involves the “sinner’s prayer,” should we not see examples of this in the New Testament?  So, let’s see what we find.

Read Acts 2:22-39

  • After the non-believing crowd during Pentecost hear of Christ, where are they directed?


  • Do we find evidence of the “sinner’s prayer”?


Read Acts 8:4-5, 12

  • “When they [non-Christians] believed,” what happened next?


  • Do we find evidence of the “sinner’s prayer”?


Read Acts 8:26-38

  • Discuss: Why would the Ethiopian know about baptism, which led him to ask for it?


  • According to this passage, what does evangelism lead to?


  • Do we find evidence of the “sinner’s prayer”?


The other conversion accounts in Acts are much the same with baptism being involved but no sinner’s prayer.  Christian evangelism leads to baptism.


Why the Church and not an Individual Relationship?

Baptism saves (John 3:3,5, 1 Peter 3:21, Titus 3:5,) bringing someone into God’s family (Colossians 2:11-15, Galatians 3: 27-29).  One is not brought into a singularity with Christ (individual relationship) but into God’s family, where Jesus becomes our brother (Hebrews 2:11-15).

Baptism involves the Church and the pastor, whom God has called to baptize (Matthew 28:19-20).  Our life with God begins by being brought into His Church and continues by being “discipled” until one dies.

The Bible never uses the closet equivalent word for “relationship” to describe who we are in Christ—the Greek word, syngeneia.  It uses syngeneia in three places to describe earthly, family relatives: Luke 1:61; Acts 7:3, and 14, not who we are in Christ.

What the Bible does use is the word for a community relationship, a communion, a fellowship: koinonia.  So, although one does individually believe, this belief brings the “I” into a “we,” a communion.  This communion is the Church, which Jesus established.

  • Acts 2:42: They [the first Christians] devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship [koinonia], to the breaking of bread [Communion] and to the prayers.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9: God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship [koinonia] with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • 1 John 1:7: If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship [koinonia] with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Notice even this walking in the light and Jesus cleansing us from all sin are communal events, not individual events: If we…  cleanses us.

This communion grows from the communion that exists within the triune nature of God.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:14: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion [koinonia] of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Christian evangelism leads to baptism and baptism brings one into a community, the Church of Christ.  Christian evangelism does not bring someone to a life apart from the Church, for life apart from the Church is not Christian.


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