Evangelism Principles from Jesus

This past Sunday Dan Jarvis, lead pastor of Weymouth Community Church, preached a sermon from John 4 about evangelism. As he was preaching through the passage a few evangelism principles stood out to me. These principles come straight from how Jesus shared the Gospel with the Samaritan lady at the well. If you are not familiar with what is going on in John 4, I would encourage you to read it before you read the principles I am about to share. So, let’s get to it! Here are three evangelism principles we can learn and apply from Jesus in John 4.

Intentionally go where no one else will go. In John 4:3 the Bible tells us that Jesus was leaving Judea and was heading to Galilee. Between these two places was Samaria. The Jews and Samaritans did not like each other and most Jews would totally avoid Samaria if they were headed to Galilee. But not Jesus! Jesus intentionally went straight through Samaria. Jesus knew there were people in that area that needed Him and He was not about to avoid them just because most Jewish people do. When it comes to evangelism, we often do not think about going to the places that need it most. We stay away from the inner city, the projects, other races of people, and even unreached tribes in other countries. Jesus intentionally went where others did not. We should do the same. It’s easy to evangelize people like us or people we are “comfortable with,” but there are cultures, places, and people who need it just as much. Will you intentionally go where others do not for the sake of the Gospel?

Break cultural norms. There was this cultural norm that Jewish people do not talk to Samaritan people. Jesus was not about to abide by that stupidity. He already broke one cultural norm by going into Samaria, now He was going to break another by talking to a Samaritan woman. If we want to evangelize like Jesus, at times we might have to break cultural norms. These cultural norms can be within the church. You might come from a church that is very “high standard” and would not be to happy with you bringing a drunk or a drug user to church with you. But you might have to break that stupid (yes, not allowing those kind of people in church is stupid!) cultural norm by bring that person to church. Or maybe people in your church, or the Christians around you, are not ok with going into certain places to evangelize. Jesus did not let that stop Him, don’t let it stop you!

Use something relevant to connect and share the Gospel. In verses 10-15 of John 4, Jesus uses water to explain the gift of salvation (the “living water”) to this lady. Why did He use water? He was at a well! Wherever you are, use something the person will understand when you share the Gospel. Stay away from the Christian words only Christians understand. Don’t use illustrations and examples that only you understand. Use something they will understand and present the Gospel through means they will understand. Be creative when you share the good news of Jesus!

Two books I would recommend on the subject of evangelism are Share Jesus Without Fear by William Fay and Evangelism Handbook by Alvin Reid.

Where I Stand on The Doctrine of Salvation

For my Bible Doctrine 2 module with Dr. White, we are having to type a ten page doctrinal statement. The following is the Soteriology (salvation) section from my doctrinal statement. Enjoy!

The Doctrine of Soteriology

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

I believe in the pure, whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. The clearest and best description of the full Gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. In this passage gives us the full Gospel: Christ died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. The Gospel is no more or less than what was given to us in this passage.

Salvation By Faith Alone

Salvation is the total work of God in bringing people from condemnation to justification, from death to eternal life, from alienation to filiations (Ryrie 319). To obtain this salvation, there is only one requirement. Ephesians 2:8, 9 tells us that it is by grace that we are saved through faith. Faith was the necessary condition for salvation in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament (Ryrie 321). Salvation is by faith alone (Romans 5:1-2) and not of works (Romans 11:6; 6:23; Ephesians 2:9). Some Catholics and other denominations believe that there are additional requirements for salvation other than faith. Such additional requirements may be baptism, sacraments, etc. but faith is the only requirement for salvation. I do not hold to the Lordship Salvation view with surrender and repentance. I also do not hold to the baptism as part of salvation like the Catholics.

Salvation Is A Free Gift

As discussed in “Salvation by Faith” section, salvation cannot be earned or worked for, but is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 5:1-2; 11:6).  In regards to Ephesians 2:8, 9, Reformed Theology and Dispensational Theology disagrees on the order of events and what the “gift” actually is. The Reformed view says that regeneration come before the special call to salvation due to the fact man is total depraved and cannot do anything good. The Dispensational view says that the special call comes before regeneration. I hold to the Dispensational view on this issue and also on their meaning of the “gift.” Reformed Theology says that the “gift” is faith that God gives so we can be saved. Dispensational Theology, and my view, is that the “gift” is the total package of salvation we get freely.

Results of Christ’s Death for Believers

The death of Christ means everything to us as believers, but because of His death there are a few things He was for us and has done for us through His death. First, Christ was our substitution. Substitution means that Christ suffered as a substitute for us, instead of us, resulting in the advantage to us paying for our sins (Ryrie 329).  Basically, this means that Christ died on the cross for our sins in our place (Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 2:22; Luke 11:11; John 1:16; Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; Hebrews 12:16; 1 Peter 3:9). The crucial for this verse for Christ being our substitute is Mark 10:45 (Ryrie 331). Second, we are redeemed by Christ’s death. Redemption means liberation because of a payment made (Ryrie 334). Since Christ was our payment for sin that we owed, we are liberated from that payment (1 Corinthians 1:30; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 2 Peter 2:1). Thirdly, we have become reconciled to God. Reconciliation means a change of relationship from hostility to harmony and peace between two parties (Ryrie 336; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20). Before salvation we were enemies of God (Romans 5:10), but after salvation and being reconciled with God we are now children of God (Romans 9:8) and are a part of His family which is a act of God called adoption (Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). Lastly, Christ was our propitiation, which means the turning away of wrath by an offering (Ryrie 339). By Christ offering Himself upon the cross for us, He turned the wrath of God from us (1 John 2:2; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17) It is that by which God covers, overlooks, and pardons the penitent and believing sinner because of Christ’s death (Evans 72). In addition to these, I believe because of Christ’s death we are justified (“declared righteous”) (Romans 5:1), regenerated (“born again”) (John 3:3; Matthew 9:28; Titus 3:5), and given the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

The Atonement

Lewis Sperry Chafer says the word atonement is the term, which men have seized to express the entire work of Christ upon the cross (Chafer 127). There are various views on that have been propagated throughout church history (Ryrie 355). The view that I believe is Scriptural and fits the best concerning Christ’s work is the Penal Substitution view. This view says that Christ the sinless one took on Himself the penalty that should have been borne by man and others (Ryrie 356). I believe in unlimited atonement, which holds to Christ died for the sins of all human beings (Geisler 347). The Scripture if full of support for the unlimited atonement, but has no support for the limited atonement that is maintained by the Calvinists (Geisler 347). The verses that teach limited atonement are: Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 22:14; 23:37; John 1:29; 3:16-17; 12:47; Romans 5:6; 18-19; 2 Corinthians 5:14-19; 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 6; 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 2:1; 3:9; 1 John 2:2. Even though Christ died for all, salvation is exclusive. Thus, I hold to exclusivism which means that only one religion is true and what is opposed to it in other religions are false (Geisler 412). Our Lord makes this very clear (John 14:6; 10:9).

Eternal Security of the Believer

I believe in the eternal security of the believer (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24). Eternal security is the work of God that guarantees that the gift of salvation, once received, is forever and cannot be lost (Ryrie 379). This doctrine of security is one of the five points of Calvinistic system (“perseverance of the saints”), but it is more distinguished by the fact that it is set forth in the New Testament in the most absolute terms (Chafer 267).

Sources Used for this Doctrinal Statement:

Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. Basic Theology: a Popular Systemic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth. Chicago, Ill.: Moody, 1999. Print.

Evans, William, and S. Maxwell Coder. The Great Doctrines of the Bible. Chicago: Moody, 1974. Print.

Chafer, Lewis S. Systematic Theology: an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Vol. 3. Binghamton: Vail-Ballou, 1971. Print. Soteriology.

Geisler, Norman L. Systematic Theology: Volume Three : Sin, Salvation. Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House, 2004. Print.