Summary: Three books have meant so much to me when it comes to the topic of evangelism and how I can best do this. One is by Joseph Aldrich, “Life-Style Evangelism.” He talks about crossing traditional boundaries to reach an unbelieving world. Another book is by R
Opening Statement: After about 10 total years in ministry, I have learned that my spiritual gift-mix seems to include skills in teaching, training, equipping, encouraging, discipling, and leadership development among those who are already in the faith. However, I have found that being in ministry requires you to do things outside of your primary area of giftedness. One area that doesn’t come easy for me is personal evangelism. I have met people who can make eye contact with someone and before you know it, they’ve led a person to Christ. I have never been able to do that. I’ve never led anyone to Christ on an airplane or a Greyhound or a hitch-hiker on the road that I happened to pick up. And if the Lord ever wanted to use me that way, I would hope that I would be a candidate for that. But evangelism just doesn’t work that way for me. Evangelism seems to work best in the course of my daily life. I have been privileged to lead some to Christ, but it’s usually after some kind of relationship has been developed. Three books have meant so much to me when it comes to the topic of evangelism and how I can best do this. One is by Joseph Aldrich, “Life-Style Evangelism.” He talks about crossing traditional boundaries to reach an unbelieving world. Another book is by Rebecca Manley Pippert, “Out of the Salt-Shaker and into the World.” She suggests that we make evangelism a natural way of life. And the final book is the Gospel of John. John had a great strategy. He picked out seven signs or miracles (excluding the resurrection) that Jesus performed and used them to illustrate for the reader Jesus’ power, character, and sincere compassion for human need. So the signs point to the Savior. We’ll talk about Him momentarily.
Title: Each One Reach One – The Core Value of Evangelism
Opening: Not everyone will be an evangelist. But everyone is called to do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim.4:5). Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. “Timothy, you may not feel inclined this way. But do the work of an evangelist.” What does an evangelist do? An evangelist seeks to clearly present the gospel, especially to the unbelieving.
Key Word: There are two ASPECTS to this sermon today. I want to breakdown the main emphases of this book and then I want to jump to the very end of the book where John gives his statement of purpose for writing this work.
Background: With this in mind, there are three significant background points that really comprise the key to this entire gospel. Remember, a gospel is a story that involves characters, settings, plots, and statements that when taken together, reveal God’s truth to us, especially about Jesus.
1. The Deity of Jesus. Jesus is God. G. Campbell Morgan says this about the value of this book: “It presents the Person Who is the exegesis of God…In the Gospel of John, we look at Jesus but at the same moment we see God.” If you have wondered about what God is like, take a long look at Jesus and you will have your answer. John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (1:1).”
2. The Significance of Christ’s Seven Miracles and Seven Statements. John liked the number seven (7), perhaps because it symbolized completion, and he used seven signs or miracles that Christ performed to demonstrate that He is worthy of our belief and trust. John also recorded seven “I Am…” statements that Christ said. In some cases, these “I Am…” statements were linked to one of his miracles. Out of all the miracles that Jesus performed and out of all the things Jesus said, John chose seven key elements in each of these areas to bring people to a point of belief and conviction about the Savior. The “I Am…” statements would have particular significance to the first-century Jewish listener. God had revealed Himself to Moses with a resounding “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). Now, Jesus was using the same words to describe Himself.
3. The Emphasis on Two Key Words “Believe” and “Life”. The reason John shared this story with us is that he wanted to spark believing faith in his readers. This would result in Life Eternal. The key word in the Gospel of John is “believe (pisteuo)”, which occurs ninety-eight (98) times. It is frequently used in the present tense and participial forms (“you are believing” as opposed to “you have believed”). Apparently, John wanted to emphasize the continuing of belief, rather than just a one-time act of belief. John wanted to stress the importance of active vital trust in Jesus. What are we being asked to believe? That Jesus is the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world and gives life to those who follow Him. This results in another theme in John - Life (note the capital “L”). This term is found 36 times in John’s Gospel. Jesus is the Life and He has come to help us know how to be fully alive in Him.