True Evangelism Comes From Spiritual Growth.
Reading Romans 15:13-21
13) Our Spiritual growth is in Christ. In Christ we grow and in Christ we live, in Christ we die and in Christ, we have eternal life. The true evangelism is in Christ. The scripture say "through the power of the Holy Ghost"; not by might or power of man, but by that same divine power which first began the good work, and must fulfill it; which at first implanted the grace of hope, and must perform the work of that, as of faith. It is by the Spirit of God that a man is born again, from above not from below. It is the Spirit of God that ploughs the sinners hard heart, so the word of God can be penetrated. There is power in the Spirit of God as it can bring the sinner from the darkness to the light of Christ. Now this same spirit lives in us and makes us grow in our sanctification.
14) The believer will grow in spiritual knowledge. The believer will seek God. Then we see from verse 15-21 evangelism. The heart of evangelism is seeking God. The Puritans taught much on seeking God. Men like Thomas Hooker, Richard Sibbes, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards and the others taught that seeking God was the center in reformed evangelism.
Romans 3:10-11 says,
Ro As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Romans 15:15, we see Paul is reminding the Christian, of the grace that is given by God that the gospel needs to go to the Gentiles, to the ends of the earth. Also first we need to understand that ministry of the Holy Spirit is to awaken dead sinner. Only the word of God can awaken the sinner, once you are awakened you will realize immediately the danger of your condition, that if you die, you will end up in hell. John Gerstner said, "The first stage of evangelism, genuine evangelism, of spiritual corpses is to make them intellectually and emotionally aware that they are in great danger and have that built into their deepest conviction." There is a great fear of death, because the sinner has greatly sinned against God. Jonathan Edwards said, Persons are first awakened with a sense of their miserable condition by nature, the danger they are in of perishing eternally, and that it is of great importance to them that they speedily escape and get into a better state.
In true evangelism when you preach the gospel, God will give a new heart and a new spirit and the sinner is converted to a saint. He is a new creature in God and he will live a reform life. If you read the Puritan literature you will see, the true Christian will seek God, like a deer panting after water. There will be a reformation in his lifestyle, the person who had a habit of lying will stop lying, the person who had a bad temper will have patience, the person who was lazy will serve the Lord fervently, the person who was into sexual immorality will see the dangers of it and repent. The person who loved gossiping will control the tongue. The great theologian and puritan writer Jonathan Edwards said, Persons who are under awakenings, and would seek a true hope of salvation, should in the first place see, that they thoroughly renounce every wicked practice. They should search their ways, and consider what is wrong in them; what duties they have omitted, which ought to have been done; and what practices they have allowed, which ought to be forsaken; and should immediately reform, retaining no one way of sin, denying all ungodliness, omitting nothing which is required; and should see that they persevere in it, that it be not merely a temporary, short-lived restraint, but an everlasting renunciation.
Everybody here is called to evangelize, before we evangelize to others, we need to see our own self do not practice sin but hate sin. We need to meditate our own sins in the light of Gods presence. We need to go back and think how grossly we have sinned against God, meditate of your secret sins in the beauty of Gods holiness.
David is a good example; he sinned against the Lord by committing adultery with Bathsheba, then killing her husband, and then marrying her. He thought everything was ok, but Nathan the prophet rebuked him straight to the face, then David was awakened of his sin. Did Nathan tell David, repeat this prayer after me and all your sins will be forgiven? No!
See the agony and the pain in Davids soul when he realized of his sins.
Ps 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
Ps 38:8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
Then it will bring much conviction, and tears, much agony
and pain. One of the problems of the church today is that they are caught up so
much into worldliness they do not even realize they are sinning against God.
There is no true pain of your sins, there is no agony and tears of conviction.
This is what happened to
Today we see in the church the Pastors and the congregations they are all corrupted. Sin is not preached, instead it is entertainment, jokes, humor that is mixed with the word of God, the preaching is man centered, the glory goes to man, there is no humility, the word holy is foreign to the church today. When Israelites sinned against God, by conforming their ways to neighboring nations, they did not even realize they back slide. They are not even ashamed of their sin. (Jer 3:3)
Jer How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;
Jonathan Edwards said, "Earnestly to seek humiliation. To that end they should labour to be convinced of sin. They should be much engaged in searching their own hearts, and keeping a watchful eye upon them. They should not rest in their own efforts, but earnestly seek to God to give them a right sight of themselves, and a right conviction of sin, and show them that they have deserved God's everlasting wrath...Seek that you may be brought to lie at God's feet in a sense of your own exceeding sinfulness. Seek earnestly that you may have such a sight of yourself; what an exceedingly sinful creature you are, what a wicked heart you have, and how dreadfully you have provoked God to anger; that you may see that God would be most just if he should never have mercy upon you. Labour, that all quarreling about God's dispensations towards sinners may be wholly subdued; that your heart may be abased and brought down to the dust before God; that you may see yourself in the hands of God; and that you can challenge nothing of God, but that God and his throne are blameless in the eternal damnation of sinners, and would be in your damnation. Seek that you may be brought off from all high opinion of your own worth, all trust in your own righteousness, and to see that all you do in religion is so polluted and defiled, that it is utterly unworthy of God's acceptance; and that you commit sin enough in your best duties to condemn you for ever.
The true Christian live not by sight on our feelings or emotions but by faith. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). The word of God becomes truly alive in our heart.
Christian is like a tree planted and it is rooted in Christ. And that tree will bear much fruits for the kingdom of God.
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Pr 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
As you grow in Christ, the devil will come and attack you, in Christian growth you will experience that you are in a spiritual warfare. You will feel your flesh and spirit in a war. You will feel the power of the devil, when you think you can handle temptations by yourself the next thing you know is you are defeated by the enemy. You will realize you have sinned against God in your pride. The true Christian as he grows he will also mourn of his sins and grow into more maturity in Christ. Then he has a desire to preach the gospel, serve God not in pride but in humility. He understands sin very good, now he understands the grace of God. The good news from the bad news. The command of the gospel is to preach it to all creatures, to all nations. The heart of the gospel is you must repent from sin and believe.
The church has a crucial role in evangelism. The church is not just a congregation of individual believers. It is also the body of Christ through whom the good news of salvation reaches the world. We need to realize there are millions of people in the church today who have heard a false gospel. They think they are saved, but in reality not, as there is no true repentance. There is a great harvest field. Nicodemus thought that he was saved, but he was not. Many religious people like Nicodemus believe that they are saved, but they are not.
People do not realize they are sinful, unworthy people, they do not adorn the glorious majesty, power, and grace of God, they see the glory of God only in great musical instruments, mega churches and not humbly begging of God. They do not renounce their evil ways, putting away their abominations before Gods eyes. We have a harvest field in our back yard.
Do you have a burden for the lost? The growing Christian will get a burden as he will imitate his Master and the Lord, and follow him. The question comes in I am so busy and I have no time for the lost people. Six days you are to work, what about the Lords Day? The day that you can serve the Lord. Can you at least sacrifice time to pass out tracks on the Lords Day? What is your first priority? The first priority is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength. But how many believe but it is not real to them. See the following scripture.
Lu 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
This was a great excuse, it looks a perfect one, but yet the Lord said, Let the dead bury their dead. But thou preach the gospel.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
We have a lot of work to do. If your neighbors house on fire in the night and you know they are asleep, will you not do anything about it? In the same way there are many people around you, do you carry a tract to give? You talk to many unsaved people; have you at least given them a tract, witnessed to them? You are learning here every Sunday what are you doing in what you have learned.
Charles Spurgeon said, Surely it is an intolerable disgrace to anyone to profess to be a Christian, and have no concern about the souls of others, while they are perishing by millions.