Evangelism is the Proclamation of the Gospel
As a young convert to the evangelical faith, I was a persistent (and at times an annoying) witness for Christ. I was not ashamed to testify for the Lord's grace in my life inside the college campus I was at.
Looking back, however, I realize that what I thought to be as evangelism was really a personal testimony of my conversion. It was not gospel proclamation but giving an account of how God changed me from being an unbeliever to a believer of Him and Christ.
There is a difference between evangelism and giving a personal testimony of how one came to a saving faith in the Lord. Evangelism focuses on the person of Christ and His finish work of redemption in His death and resurrection.
Personal testimony, however, highlights what happens to the person before and after he came to know the Lord Jesus.
Evangelism is the proclamation of the good news of salvation by grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone.
The aim of evangelism is to announce the gracious saving act of God in the person and work of Jesus Christ in redeeming undeserving sinners.
So evangelism is really the announcement of the gospel. As one contemporary Christian pastor-theologian and author puts it, “The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news.’ Where there is good news, usually there is also bad news, so what's the bad news?"
The same author answers his question by saying, "The bad news is that we are guilty of sinning against a holy God, and therefore we are under condemnation. The Bible teaches that 'all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Rom. 3:23). It teaches further that 'the wages of sin is death' (Rom. 6:23a), meaning spiritual death in the present life and eternal separation from God and His glory in the life to come (2 Thess. 1:9-10)."
He then adds, "Here's more bad news: There is nothing we can do to escape God's judgement. There is no good deed we can perform, no penance we can endure, no pilgrimage we can complete that will make us right with God."
This is terrifying! But the narrative did not stop there. Thank God! "There is good news, however," says the same author. "Jesus called it the ‘gospel of the kingdom’ (Matt. 24:14)... God's kingdom is simply God's rule. It is his royal authority, which he exercises through Jesus, his chosen King. Therefore, when Jesus told people the good news of the kingdom, he was announcing that he had come to reign as King.
"Jesus entrusted this royal message to his church. Our mission is to take the good news of the kingdom and to spread it all over the world. Once Jesus died and rose again, the good news got even better. The good news of the gospel is salvation from sin through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor. 15:4)."
Here's the good news that we ought to underscore in evangelism: "Jesus died on the cross to pay for the penalty for sin. Once he was raised from the dead, the free gift of eternal life was his to give away. Now everyone who believes in Jesus receives the forgiveness of sins. Through faith in Christ, we are no longer under condemnation; God's blessings belong to us forever."
"This is the gospel we proclaim," he concludes. "Our mission is to tell the whole world about salvation through the crucified and risen Christ” (Philip Graham Ryken “City on a Hill,” 132-133).
Posted with permission from Ptr Vic Bernales, Pastor, Davao Covenant Reformed Church
Original from a Facebook post here.