#WCSK Episode 2.8: Evangelism & Discipleship

#WCSK Episode 2.8: Evangelism & Discipleship

 

#WCSK Evangelism & Discipleship Gospel Good News Great Commission

 

Introduction

What is evangelism? Evangelism means proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel refers to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, including all the things Jesus taught us during His earthly ministry. 

Evangelism does not proclaim ethical living, politics, or neighborliness. Evangelism exclusively declares a unique message that instructs and teaches others about the gospel. The word gospel is derived from the Greek word euanggelion, which means “good message.” So evangelism simply refers to telling others about the “good message” or the “good news.”

The gospel is good news because it informs others about the facts concerning their salvation; it is the vehicle by which God empowers some to respond to Him in faith; and it expresses the promise of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. 

Basically, if John Q. Public does not hear the gospel, he goes about his everyday life knowing nothing about sin, knowing nothing about Jesus, and knowing nothing about an eternal life with God in heaven. The gospel not only makes him aware of all of these things but also reveals the way to be reconciled with God (Jesus). After all, how can John Q. Public believe in Him of whom he has never heard?[1]

What is discipleship? In the introduction to the eBook What Christians Should Know Volume I, I wrote the following:

“WCSK aims to begin the process of transforming believers in Christ into disciples of Christ as they walk that path. Matheteuo, the Greek word for disciple, is very interesting because it simultaneously implies an inner role as a pupil and an outward role as a teacher. By implication, to teach well, you must first have an ironclad grasp on the subject matter.”

Discipleship, then, means more than just believing God. It means following Jesus

Believing simply refers to an awareness of and acknowledgement that something is true, but there can still be a large gap between believing that value and owning that value. For instance, I could read the Ten Commandments[2] and believe that coveting is wrong, but I can still yearn to have when I see a new Jaguar zip by me on the highway. When I become a disciple and follow Jesus, all of my decisions and actions are based on His values. Because of who I am (being), what I believe, and what I value, my behaviors and actions (doing) are characteristic of Christ.

Now let’s make sure we understand a crucial concept. Discipleship means much, much more than taking a discipleship course. It means more than attending a church seminar. It means more than reading an online Bible study program called What Christians Should Know. Discipleship means taking the red letters in the Bible with the utmost seriousness. Discipleship means having your way of life threatened.[3] Discipleship means giving up the things you value the most in this life to follow Jesus.[4] Discipleship means when Jesus calls, you leave everything and follow Him.[5] Christ told us what discipleship means: You have to deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow The Lord. This is an idea so important it is recorded in three separate locations in the New Testament.[6]

The Great Commission

The reason evangelism and discipleship are covered in the same lesson is simple: The gospel isn’t something intended to be proclaimed to people who are then left alone. Evangelism is…

Prayer Lord's Prayer ACTS God's Will How to Pray Communion Lord's Supper Passover Predestination Election Salvation Guilt Sin Reprobation Repentance Psalm 51 David Broken Heart Evangelism Discipleship Good News Gospel Great Comission

Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal

 

[1] See Romans 10:14.

[2] Exodus 20:1–17

[3] For example, see Acts 14:19 and II Corinthians 11:25.

[4] See Matthew 19:16–30; Mark 10:17–27; Luke 18:18–27.

[5] Luke 5:1–11

[6] Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23

[7] For an example, see Acts 2, 10:34–38.

[8] It is also important to note that Jesus declared this commandment atop a mountain (Matthew 28:16) in front of His chosen disciples. This commandment opened up a new chapter in the story of redemption and defined the conditions of a relationship between Christ and His followers. Similarly, in the Old Testament, God delivered the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1–17) from atop Mount Sinai in front of His chosen people. These commandments opened up a new chapter in the story of redemption and defined the conditions of a relationship between God and His chosen people.

[9] Of course, in the present day the church is the communal body of believers in Christ.

[10] Acts 2:14–21; c.f. Joel 2:28.

[11] John 13:35

[12] See Matthew 3:1; Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18–19; Romans 10:14; I Corinthians 1:17, 1:23.

[13] The fancy word that refers to the proclamation of these elements is kerygma. Generally speaking, when you read a sermon in the New Testament, these elements are preached.

[14] Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10–11


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