Faithful in Evangelism
The faithful shepherd should be a faithful evangelist.
IT is the church’s commission. Matthew 28:19
Every member of the church is commanded by God to preach repentance for forgiveness of sin.
It is the command of Christ.
The genuine disciple of Christ follows Christ by spreading the net of the gospel.
It is the example of the apostles.
The apostles’ example is one of verbal proclamation of the gospel.
Acts is full of this proclamation.
The apostles were not at all confused about the mission of the church.
It is the Scripture’s charge.
Paul told Timothy, preach the word.
Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
The love of Jesus fuel’s Paul’s evangelism.
Verse 14, the love of Christ compels us.
The beauty of the love of Christ sacrificed on the cross drives us toward evangelism.
Paul lists key theological realities of the gospel as the passage unfolds.
5 facets of gospel truth that magnify the brilliance of Christ’s love…
- The gospel is fundamentally a matter of penal substitution.
One died for all.
One died on behalf of all, in place of all.
This is penal, substitutionary atonement.
This is woven through the fabric of God’s word from the beginning to the end.
John 10:11, the shepherd lays down is life for the sheep.
Galatians 3:13, he became a curse for us.
1 Corinthians 5:7, he is our Passover lamb.
Leviticus 16, Jesus is the scapegoat, bearing sin and banished from the presence of God,
Isaiah 53, he is the suffering servant who is wounded on our behalf.
While we were helpless, unable to get out of our spiritual death, Jesus died for us.
Christ’s death is an effectual substitution.
He effects, brings about, exactly what his death was intended to accomplish.
In a real sense, the saved people of God died with or in Jesus on the cross.
The wrath of God can never again break over those who already died in Christ.
The elect of God will be saved.
They are those whom the Father has given to the Son.
The atonement was not a generalized sacrifice.
No, the death of Christ was a personal sacrifice.
Jesus took names to the cross.
He did not die for nobody in particular.
That gospel will drive you.
The love of Christ is not a general, potential love, but a personal, actual love.
- Transformation (sanctification)
Jesus does not only change our status before God.
He transforms our minds and our affections and our wills so that we willingly lay down our lives to live for him.
HE turns God-haters into delightfully willing slaves of God.
Jesus justifies us so that he can also sanctify us.
Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 5:25-27
Jesus is no half-savior.
HE will not fail to sanctify his bride.
He will not fail to cleanse us, not only from the guilt of lawlessness, but of the practice of lawlessness.
We must never preach a gospel apart from repentance and lordship.
There is no laying hold of justifying righteousness without also having sanctifying righteousness.
We preach no half gospel.
WE are a new creation in Christ.
We must be born again to have any hope.
2 Corinthians 4:4; Jeremiah 17:9; Ezekiel 36
Sin has pervaded our entire nature.
Our souls must be made alive in order to be saved.
In Christ, the grace of God is precisely what we need.
Verse 16, we know Christ no longer by the flesh.
WE no longer evaluate him by the standards of the flesh.
The essence of spiritual death is spiritual blindness to the glory of Christ.
Sinful man is repulsed by what is actually most glorious and delightful.
Sinful man loves darkness and hates light.
But God shines the light of life into the darkened heart.
This is just as when God set “let there be…” in creation.
He let there be light and life in our dead heart.
Then we can see sin as what it is.
WE can see Christ for who he is.
Then, with God-opened eyes, we turn from sin and cling to Christ in faith.
The first breath of the newborn soul is what we call saving faith in Christ.
Do not preach behavior modification.
God reconciled us to himself through Christ.
Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21; Romans 8:7
Those in the flesh cannot please God.
WE can do nothing to make up for how we have alienated ourselves from God.
While we were fully in rebellion against God, the Lord, the offended party, moved to reconcile us to himself.
Romans 5:10, we were reconciled while we were enemies.
Christ died, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, so that he might bring us to God.
It is special for a judge to enter into a personal friendship and relationship with the criminal that he forgave.
God does not just drop the charges against us.
He gives us access to himself as Father.
The cross of Christ overcomes the alienation between us and God.
The cross reconciles us to the God who makes heaven heaven.
Restored fellowship with God is the ultimate prize.
Reconciliation gets us him.
Verses 19 and 21
The doctrine of imputation is here.
God does not count our sins to our account.
How can a perfect God not count our sins to our account?
He cannot ignore sins and pretend that his own holiness ought not be honored.
He must be consistent with his own holiness and justice.
He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
God can righteously not impute our sins to our account because he imputed them to Christ’s account.
God punished our sin in him.
Psalm 103:10, he has not dealt with us according to our sins.
Not only are our sins forgiven and our debt paid, we are also credited with the perfect righteousness that God requires for our fellowship with him.
God legally and justly treats us as if we had lived Christ’s life of perfection.
Romans 5:19, One man’s obedience constitutes us as righteous.
Jesus did not only die for our sins.
HE lived to provide our righteousness.
When you trust in Jesus, you lay hold of both benefits.
His death and his life are ours.
This is a blessed gospel
This is a great exchange.
My filthy garment is laid on him as his clean garment is wrapped around me.
God made himself the sin of men, and men are made the righteousness of God.
What is the consequence of this theology?
The consequence is not merely to get the doctrine right.
If we fail to proclaim this, we are hypocrites.
Woe be unto us if we do not preach the gospel.
God reconciled us and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
We are ambassadors for God.
God sends us out to speak the words of his reconciliation.
We are charged with the verbal proclamation of the gospel.
If you are reconciled, you will speak the word of reconciliation.
IF you believe, you will speak.
Do you plead with sinners to be reconciled to God?
This is not a cold, impersonal thing.