Part I - Basic Principles of Evangelism
The Greek word for fellowship in 1 John 1:1-2 indicates that the revelation of Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel (evangel or “Good News”) are to be thought of as activity wherein partners share something for a mutual purpose. The Apostle John had been given a special responsibility from the Lord Jesus to proclaim Him, initiate the spread of the Gospel to throughout the world (Mark 16:15), make disciples (Matt. 28:16-20), and call out a people for His Name (Matt. 28:19; Acts 15:14; 1 Peter 2:9, 10). With this exegesis in mind, we can determine seven basic principles for our witness.
The messenger – the soul winner – must have received the Gospel message for his own salvation. This must not be just something vaguely believed as a part of his family or Church, but as a vital matter for personal dependence upon Christ for the soul’s eternal salvation from God’s eternal judgment for his sin.
Faith in Christ’s Gospel must not be an empty part of life (1 Cor. 15:1–4). Instead, it must be a life-orienting frame of reference: “…yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13 KJV).
The messenger must prayerfully prepare himself to witness at every God–given opportunity, especially when questioned: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15 KJV).
1. Make friendly contact with an attitude of acceptance.
2. Turn the conversation to easily discussed religious affairs.
3. Discuss what traits would qualify a leader to be a savior.
4. Observe that often religions and religious leaders are not reliable.
5. Present Jesus as the only one having accomplished what is necessary to save sinful humanity.
6. Encourage the contact to begin the life of receiving Jesus Christ as his God–given Savior with simple prayer based on Romans 10:13, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (ESV).
This is Part I of a series on Evangelism. Part II is here.