By Tony Miano
The word, “Biblical,” is defined as: “Of, related to, or contained in the Bible.” For the definition of the word, “evangelism,” I turn to Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile who provides a solid and succinct definition. He defines the term this way:
According to the New Testament, evangelism is just preaching the gospel, the evangel. It is a work of communication in which Christians make themselves mouthpieces for God’s message of mercy to sinners. Anyone who faithfully delivers that message, under whatever circumstances, in a large meeting, in a small meeting, from a pulpit, or in a private conversation, is evangelizing. Since the divine message finds its climax in a plea from the Creator to a rebel world to turn and put faith in Christ, the delivering of it involves the summoning of one’s hearers to conversion.1
With the above in mind and for the purposes of this article, the definition of “Biblical evangelism” is as follows:
The communication, in either spoken (Romans 10:14-17, 1 Corinthians 9:16) or written (1 John 5:13) form, of the law of God (Exodus 20:1-17, Romans 2:12-24, 3:19-20, 1 Timothy 1:8), the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-26, 1 Corinthians 15:1-14, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 4:10), and the call to sinners to repent (Luke 13:1-5, Acts 17:29-31) and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15, Romans 10:9-10) in such a way as to be consistent with sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:9-11, Titus 2:1) contained in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
So long as the Christian makes it clear to unbelievers that they have sinned against God and will stand before Him to give an account . . .
So long as the Christian explains to unbelievers the just punishment and consequences for sin (and yes, we must talk about Hell as a place of torment, not merely eternal separation from God) . . .
So long as the Christian doesn’t merely name the name of Jesus but assures unbelievers of which Jesus he is talking about (not the Jesus of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Islam, Oprah-ism, or any other kind of “ism”) . . .
So long as the Christian conveys to unbelievers that Jesus was and is fully-God and fully-Man without sin . . .
So long as the Christian explains in terms unbelievers can understand the propitiatory, penal substitutionary and vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ through His death on the cross on behalf of those who repent and believe . . .
So long as the Christian declares to unbelievers the glorious resurrection of God the Son, Jesus Christ the Lord . . .
So long as the Christian explains the necessity of repentance and faith and salvation through the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone . . .
Then the Christian is free to convey that message how, when, and where he (or she) wants in keeping with his own God-given personality. How he convey these glorious truths to the lost person is up to him--by asking questions, by monologue, by dialogue, by preaching to the masses, by way of written material or correspondence, in a group setting, one-to-one, during an event, while buying their groceries, during their lunch break at work, over the fence dividing their yard from their neighbor’s, after a softball game, during a men’s breakfast, during a women’s retreat, after church service, while sitting on your kid’s bed, AWANA, youth group, college group, Growth Group, Faith Group, and the list goes on.
Biblical Evangelism is not defined by manmade methodologies. Rather, Biblical Evangelism is defined by Biblical, historical, and systematic theology.
- 1. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2008/02/04/evangelism-defined/