I am continuing my introduction series of the five-fold ministry. As I have established before, the five ministry gifts in Ephesians 4 are established to equip the Church for ministry and maturity. Today we will look at the ministry of the evangelist.
As we take a look at these following characteristics of evangelism, keep two things in mind:
1) All Christians are called and commissioned by Jesus to know and practice evangelism. (Matthew 28:18-20)
2) The work of the evangelist’s ministry is to do evangelism and train others to do evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
The Characteristics of Evangelism
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” -Isaiah 52:7 (NKJV)
A) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet… This contains a two-fold revelation. First, the beautiful one on the mountains is Jesus. He literally fulfilled this prophecy when he walked the hills of Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:12-7:29). Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the most beautiful testimony in the cannon of human history. Second, when we preach His gospel we partake in the beauty of Christ. This is willing partnership in His love, power, and nobility. (Psalm 110:3).
B) Who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings… Peacemakers are called sons of God (Matthew 5:9). Peace and glad tidings pertains to the spirit of adoption. Here is the simplicity of evangelism. All we must do is be faithful to tell people of Christ’s love and the Father’s longing to adopt them. All mankind is subject to the curse of sin, but God is merciful to adopt us into new life according to His finished work at the cross. If it is God’s goodness that leads to repentance, let us then tell others of God’s goodness (Romans 2:4).
C) Who proclaims salvation… The work of evangelism is not complete without proclaiming salvation. If we go the length of telling people of God’s goodness, of the faithfulness of Christ, and of the everlasting life available to those who become sons and daughters of God by the precious blood of Jesus, we must finish the work. Today is the day of salvation, meaning today is the day that a dying human, precious in the sight of God, can find new life in Christ. What I mean is, make it personal. Every saved soul is a new friend of God, a new son or daughter, and a beautiful reborn life! People are not saying yes to a distant God. They are saying yes to the indwelling Christ, who knows every intimate detail of their life.
D) Who says to Zion… The work of evangelism is not complete without intercessory prayer. Declaring to Zion, “Your God reigns!” is both praise and intercession. Jesus’ throne will sit in Zion when He establishes His physical rule over the nations of the earth. We thank God in advance for His faithfulness to fulfill His word. Intercessory prayer, very briefly, is ‘prayer that agrees with God’s word, and calls forth His heavenly agenda to be fulfilled on earth.’ Therefore, the common goal of evangelical prayer is to stand in unity with God’s plan to restore all things by establishing His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Finally, we should not view saved individuals as the ‘end goal’ of evangelism. In reality, salvation is a small but vital part of the greater journey in evangelism. Genuine salvation leads people to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. This can only be accomplished through discipleship and unity of the faith.
Grace and blessings,
-J. S. Marek