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Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

Avoiding New Fads

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Introduction

The worldly, fashion-mad nature of humankind has changed little through the centuries. Luke provides an interesting description of the philosophers whom Paul encountered at Mars Hill in ancient Athens: “Now all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear something new” (Acts 17:21).[1] The word new  in this passage comes from the root word kainos, which means “that which is unaccustomed or unused, not new in time, but new as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old.”[2] This definition tells us that those Athenians were always looking for something different, new-fangled, novel, modern—some new gadget or fresh gimmick. In short, they were fad-mad!

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My Aims as a Gospel Preacher

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Brief Articles page.]

            It is always helpful to have a roadmap when traveling, whether on literal roadways or on the journey of life. With this in mind, I present the following as the “map” I aim to follow in my life and work as a Gospel preacher:

  1. I aim to be true to God’s Word, regardless of the consequences: “Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you” (Mat. 5:11–12).
  2. I aim to seek the approval of God and His Son above that of all others: “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
  3. I aim to gain as much knowledge and understanding of God’s Word as my abilities will allow: “…Give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching…  Be diligent in these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy progress may be manifest unto all” (1 Tim. 4:13–15).
  4. I aim to impart to as many as I can, by every honorable means, my knowledge and understanding of God’s Word: “And the things which thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
  5. I aim to say something worth listening to when I stand up to preach: “Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2).
  6. I aim to remember that I have a family and that I have responsibilities as a husband and a father as well as a Gospel preacher: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it;… And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 5:25; 6:4).
  7. I aim to provide a worthy example for all ages, especially the young, to follow: “…Be thou an ensample to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
  8. I aim to deal fairly and equally with every person: “I charge thee in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality” (1 Tim. 5:21).
  9. I aim to refrain from being vengeful toward those who disagree with me or treat me wrongfully: “Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord” (Rom. 12:19).
  10. I aim to learn the difference between the more important and the less important and do the most important things first: “But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mat. 6:33).

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The Gospel of Christ Is Unchanged and Unchanging

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Manuscripts page.]

Introduction

The cry for change was the main theme of William Jefferson Clinton and a press bi­ased toward him in the last presidential campaign. This cry was what swept him into office more than any other single thing. In order to bring about the changes it sought, a liberal news media was willing to overlook both his lack of qualifications and character. Change-at-whatever-price seemed to be the demon that drove them. They accomplished their aim and we now have a man (and woman) in the Whitehouse who are a dis­grace to our nation and who bode disaster for it.

The cry for change in the Lord’s church has been heard with increasing frequency and intensity in recent years. Those calling for changes in the church, like their political counterparts, seem determined to effect it at whatever price it may exact on the body of Christ. This cry is heard in various books that our brethren have written (e.g., The Church in Transition, by Jim Woodroof, The Cruci­form Church, by Leonard Allen). It is heard in various journals (e.g., Image, Wine­skins, Christian Chronicle). It is heard in speeches made at lecture­ships, conferences, and workshops (e.g., Nashville “Jubilee,” Tulsa Soul-winning Workshop, “unity” forums, various university campuses, et al.). Articles and even workshops are now appearing more frequently on how to accomplish change and how to be “change agents” in local congregations.

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Ingredients of Evangelism

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Brief Articles page.]

No subject is more vital to sincere saints than evangelism. Jesus made it our first responsibility when He issued the Great Commission (Mat. 28:18–19; Mark 16:15–16; Luke 24:47). It is God’s means of saving the lost. It is the lifeblood of the church. Evangelism lurks around every “corner” of the Gospel. Consider some facts about evangelism:

·  The what of evangelism: Deliver the Gospel. Evangelism is actually a Greek word, euangelizo. It means to proclaim glad tidings, to deliver a message that brings joy. The noun form of this word (euangelion), is the New Testament word for “gospel,” good news. Thus God chose a word for His message of salvation that practically demands its proclamation. God’s Truth about salvation in Christ is encouraging, thrilling, and thus wonderful news to right-thinking people—a message which every person should know and from which he can profit both in time and eternity. The message must be only the Gospel Truth, for it alone is God’s saving power (Rom. 1:16). Men have originated their counterfeit “gospels,” but there is only one God-given, saving Gospel (Gal. 1:6–9).

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1 Timothy 3:8–16—Deacons and Behavior in the Church

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Manuscripts page.]

Introduction

Several words are used in the Greek New Testament, which are translated by the English word servant.1 Three major types of servitude may be distinguished among these terms. One of these is the concept of one who is hired and works for the pay (hired servant, from misthios [Luke 15:17, 19], hireling, from misthotos [John 10:12–13], et al.). A second term, doulos, connotes the concept of a bondservant or slave. This term is used literally to denote a slave (Col. 4:1, et al.), but it Is also often used metaphorically of Christians in their service to God or Christ (Rom. 1: 1; Phi. 2:7, et al.). The third type of service is that which is rendered free of charge, willingly, indicated by the word diakonos.2 This word is most often rendered minister in the English versions,3 but in two passages it is rendered deacon (Phi. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8, 12), the subject of this study.

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