Wednesday, May 02, 2012

“Sequential Evangelism and Witnessing”

Insights #05, May 5, 2012
Second Quarter 2012 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Sequential Evangelism and Witnessing"
For the week of April 29-May 5, 2012


Sequential Evangelism and Witnessing 
            The incarnation, life, and death of Jesus on the cross, as well as His role as our High Priest, is the foundation and essence of all witnessing. Emphasize His resurrection as the overwhelming evidence of His creative/redemptive power to save. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ [the cross], for it is the [creative] power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes," said Paul; and: "I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 2:2. See also 1 Cor. 1:18, 24; Romans 6:9-11; Hebrews 9:16-22). Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4).

            "Hanging upon the cross Christ was the gospel.…This is our message [our witness], our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men's minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God….He whose eyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness. He will believe in all the Word of God, which is so gloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ" (Manuscript 49, 1898). "The cross of Calvary challenges, and will finally vanquish every earthly and hellish power. In the cross all influence centers, and from it all influence goes forth. It is the great center of attraction; for on it Christ gave up His life for the human race. This sacrifice was offered for the purpose of restoring man to his original perfection. Yea, more, it was offered to give him an entire transformation of character, making him more than a conqueror" (Ellen G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1113)

            When we witness to others, it is not what we profess with our lips, but the sequence of examples they see in our lives, examples that show forth the love of God, and draw them alongside of us at the foot of the cross. "Christ declares, 'I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me' [John 12:32]. If the cross does not find an influence in its favor, it creates an influence. Through generation succeeding generation, the truth for this time is revealed as present truth. Christ on the cross was the medium whereby mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other. This is the means that is to move the world"(Ellen G. White, Manuscript 56, 1899).

            Felt Needs. Every person comes to Christ because of some felt need. But how can we minister to people and their needs, if we have not personally come all the way to the foot of the cross? Are you "compelled by the love of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:14)? Has the message, given to us in1888, melted your heart in complete surrender?  Does His love make you enthusiastic in using "Christ's method alone…in reaching the people"?  His method was to mingle "among men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow me'" (Ellen G. White, Christian Service, p. 119). 

            Milk is for babies, i.e., new believers, non-believers, and carnal Christians (1 Cor. 3:1-3; Rom. 7:14). "For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:13, 14).

            Sequentially speaking (at least for babies), a solid food diet before a milk regime creates digestive problems.  Evangelistically, if we teach the law, doctrines, and prophecies, apart from the milk of the word (repentance from dead works, righteousness by faith in God, resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment, Hebrews 6:1-3), our teaching will be as "dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain" (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, March 11, 1890). Are we still baby Christians, or have we matured into disciple-making Christians?

            Preparing a Harvest. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). The natural desire of the fully surrendered heart, is to tell others what Christ has done for you. As others see the cross of Christ burning within you, they too will want to glory in it. This is our witness! This is the only way we can partake in soul winning with Christ.

"In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
.                                                      Therefore- 
"Since I, who was undone and lost,
Have pardon through His name and Word;
Forbid it, then, that I should boast, 
Save in the cross of Christ, my Lord."
Where'er I go, I'll tell the story 
Of the cross, of the cross, 
In nothing else my soul shall glory, 

Save the cross, save the cross. 
And this my constant theme shall be, 
Through time and in eternity, 
That Jesus tasted death for me 
On the cross, on the cross.

Author Unknown;
from E. J. Waggoner, The Glad Tidings, p.144
-Lloyd Knecht

Raul Diaz