May 14

So, about ½ a year before Jesus is to go to the cross, He’s beginning to ramp up His confrontational ministry with the religious leaders. He only has a short time before He dies, so He is ensuring that the deeper, spiritual things he teaches promote the clear Gospel of faith in Him alone. Those not interested in spiritual things have either left Him or are fighting Him (even wanting to kill Him).

  • John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Jesus did not come to win the whole world. That was never His intention. His intention was to make the way for our salvation while investing in some trainees who would replicate His ministry. When Jesus left the earth a miraculous promise was fulfilled in that He gave us the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). His promise that we will do greater works than He did is complex (the Greek wording, the scope, the context with relation to John 5:20, etc. do not provide a simple answer as to what those works are). I won’t bore you with those details, but needless to say, the fruitof these works is that more people will be evangelized and brought into the Kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit within the church than what Jesus accomplished alone. Jesus didn’t come to evangelize the world, but by His Great Commission He has sent us out to do just that.

Now, there are lies from Satan which he uses to discourage the proclamation of the Gospel. Below are just a few:

  1. One I’ve heard in the past was that the Great Commission was given only to the Disciples and that it’s not a direct instruction for us. Therefore, we do not need to do any evangelizing.
  2. Another is what’s known as Hyper-Calvinism which correctly believes in the Doctrines of Grace, but then teaches we are notto evangelize. A Hyper-Calvinist is one who:
    1. Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear, OR
    2. Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR
    3. Denies that the gospel makes any “offer” of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect (or denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal), OR
    4. Denies that there is such a thing as “common grace,” OR
    5. Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect. (From Tim Challies, quoting Phil Johnson).
  3. Others believe it’s the duty of the pastor and the church meetings to spread the Gospel. That can be answered easily as “Yes and No”. If you’re a member of a church, guess what? It’s your duty! And, the pastor is not the church’s professional evangelist. He needs to lead by example, but it’s still everyone’s job and responsibility.
  4. And of course, Satan uses fear and feelings of inferiority to convince people that they are not capable to share the Gospel on their own (despite the fact that we have God the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us).

Just like what we discussed yesterday, the Empowered Leadership focus of our church means you are empowered (by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit) to study His Word. Guess what? You are also empowered to preach His glorious Gospel to the lost.

  • Acts 8:4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.

At this time in Acts, Saul was going around tearing churches apart, chasing down Christians, and imprisoning them—even desiring to slaughter more than just Stephen:

  • Acts 9:1-2 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Yet, Acts 8 says that the people who scattered (hint, that means normal, everyday believers) kept proclaiming the Good News!

  1. For Thankful Thursday, think about why you are thankful that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to permanently indwell believers, something which Old Testament believers never experienced: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. How does having the Holy Spirit within you make you thankful with regards to evangelizing the lost? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Thank God today for the truth and power of His Word that exposes Satan’s lies and attempts to dissuade your active role in evangelism.
  4. Lastly, thank God today that even though Jesus saw the torture He would go through 6 months from our passage in John 7, that He still went to the cross to take your sin and mine, to provide redemption for us.

Another book on easily interpreting Scripture to consider is Knowable Word: Helping Ordinary People Learn to Study the Bibleby Peter Krol (https://cruciformpress.com/product/knowable-word/).

 

There is a Redeemer  Song by Melody and Keith Green

1 There is a Redeemer,

Jesus, God’s own Son,

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,

Holy One,

 

2 Jesus my Redeemer,

Name above all names,

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,

Oh, for sinners slain.

 

[CHORUS]

Thank you oh my Father,

For giving us Your Son,

And leaving Your Spirit,

‘til the work on earth is done.

 

3 When I stand in glory,

I will see his face,

And there I’ll serve my King forever,

In that holy place.

 

[CHORUS]

Thank you oh my Father,

For giving us Your Son,

And leaving Your Spirit,

‘til the work on earth is done.