Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ruth’s Mission & the Mission of Her Greatest Son

“For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16

Ruth sings an overture to the incarnation, tracing out the melody line Jesus will grow into the symphony of His mission:

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” John 1:14

“…he is not ashamed to call them brothers…Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things….” Hebrews 2:9, 14

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Ephesians 1:3

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What is an Evangelistic Sermon?

Still plugging through Packer’s Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God and have appreciated J.I.’s thoughts on what constitutes evangelistic preaching:

“It is a mistake to suppose that evangelistic sermons are a special brand of sermons, having their own peculiar style and conventions; evangelistic sermons are just scriptural sermons, the sort of sermons that a man cannot help preaching if he is preaching the Bible biblically.  Proper sermons seek to expound and apply what is in the Bible.  But what is in the Bible is just the whole counsel of God for man’s salvation; all Scripture bears witness, in one way or another, to Christ, and all Biblical themes relate to Him.  All proper sermons, therefore, will of necessity declare Christ in some fashion, and so be more or less directly evangelistic.  Some sermons, of course, will aim more narrowly and exclusively at converting sinners than do others.  But you cannot present the Lord Jesus Christ as the Bible presents Him, as God’s answer to every problem in the sinner’s relationship with Himself, and not be in effect evangelistic all the time.”  (Chapter 3)

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Don’t Throw the Truth (or Chicken) at the Lost

I’ve been rereading J.I. Packer’s Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God today and appreciated his understanding of Paul’s evangelistic impulse as the extension of his love for his neighbor.  Speaking for myself, I would much rather throw truth at my neighbor and expect him to catch it barehanded.  But, as Packer explains, Paul wasn’t like that:

“Paul sought to save men; and because he sought to save them, he was not content merely to throw truth at them; but he went out of his way to get alongside them, and to start thinking with them from where they were, and to speak to them in terms that they could understand, and above all to avoid everything that would prejudice them against the Gospel, and so put stumbling-blocks in their path.  In his zeal to maintain truth he never lost sight of the needs and claims of people.  His aim and object in all his handling of the Gospel, even in the heat of the polemics which contrary views evoked, was never less than to win souls, by converting those whom he saw as his neighbors to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Chapter 3).

I want to be changed into the kind of man who is more zealous to pursue relationships with those with whom I disagree for the Gospel’s sake than I am jealous to defend my own freedom.  I’m not there.  But I want to be.

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