Doing the work of an evangelist in the midst of our pastoral preaching
I. The duty and privilege established
2 Tim. 4:5
R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), pp. 856-857.
II. The duty and privilege fulfilled
Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1967), p. 229.
A. Seek to dispel ignorance or indifference concerning the law.
1. Its universal authority
a. Without this sense the unconverted are indifferent to their state and condition
Rom. 7:8, 9
b. Without this sense the unconverted are indifferent to the divine
c. Without this sense the unconverted sin blatantly and with a high hand, which increasingly corrupts all of society.
James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1991), pp. 352-353.
2. Its pervasive spirituality
a. Without this sense the unconverted remain self-righteous.
b. Without this sense the unconverted have no felt need of deliverance from bondage to sin.
3. Its inflexible strictness
a. Without this sense the unconverted will have fond dreams that somehow things will be relaxed a bit for them in the Day of Judgment.
b. Without this sense the unconverted will have no real conviction that God will relentlessly track them down as offending sinners until he casts them into hell.
c. Without this sense the unconverted will have no understanding of the cross of Christ.
James W. Alexander, Thoughts on Preaching, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), pp. 200-201.
J. C Ryle, Christian Leaders of the 18th Century, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2002), p. 248.
William Henry Green, Conflict & Triumph, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999), pp. 158-159.
.B. Seek to overcome ignorance or indifference with respect to the gospel.
1. Its essential doctrinal content
a. The Gospel is a message of good news composed of propositional statements which focus upon the divine activity in the procuring of salvation for sinners in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
i. When it is contemplated in forensic terms, it is called getting right with God.
Rom. 1:16, 17
ii. When it is contemplated in personal terms, it is called reconciliation with God.
2 Cor. 5:19-21
iii. When it is contemplated in its central blessing, it focuses on the forgiveness of sins.
b. The gospel is centered in the doing and dying of a unique person.
1 Cor. 2:1, 2
1 Cor. 1:18
1 Cor. 15:1-8
2. Its fundamental evangelical demands
a. The biblical basis for this terminology
Mk. 1:15, 16
2 Thess. 1:8
b. The demands summarized in Acts 20:21, 24.
1 Jn. 3:23
i. under repentance
ii. under faith
c. Without this knowledge people will not know what to do; nor will they understand the nature and necessity of evangelical faith and repentance.
3. Its unrestricted earnest and sincere personal overtures
2 Cor. 5:11, 20
Charles H. Spurgeon, “On Conversion As Our Aim,” in Lectures to My Students, Book II, (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 2008), pp. 418-419.
Charles H. Spurgeon, “On Conversion As Our Aim,” in Lectures to My Students, Book II, (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 2008), pp. 423-424.
Jn. 4:10, 13-14
Gardiner Spring, The Power of the Pulpit, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1986), pp. 88-89.
.C. Seek to overcome ignorance and self-deception concerning the moral and ethical transformation produced by a true work of grace in the soul.
1 Cor. 6:9-11
2 Pet. 1:10
2 Cor. 13:5
.III. Practical suggestions concerning this duty
A. The cultivation of motivation
1. Reflect on the brevity of life.
2. Reflect on the doctrine of hell.
3. Reflect on the worth of the soul.
4. Reflect on the privilege of being a holder of the keys.
5. Read works calculated to stir you up.
B. The cultivation of ability
1. Expose yourself to good models.
2. Work at the task.
3. Welcome criticism.
C. The cultivation of sensitivity to judicious opportunity
1. God’s dealing in church life
2. God’s dealing in society
3. God’s dealing with you in your reading of the Word