Evangelism is one way in which we can fulfill Christ’s call to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8).
In biblical categories, witnessing involves making visible what is otherwise invisible. The reality to which we bear witness is the invisible kingdom of God, and in witnessing we strive to make the Lord’s reign visibly manifest. Among the many ways we can bear witness to Jesus is through loving our fellow believers.
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name;make known among the nations what He has done”(Psalm 105:1), New International Version
Throughout the Old Testament, God sets Himself above all other gods. He creates a nation with the intent that its people will make His name known among the nations and share the great works He has done.
These great works culminate in the reconciliation of the Cross and in His defeat of death in the Resurrection. I can imagine no greater motivation to make His name known.
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and the one who is wise saves lives”(Proverbs 11:30), NIV
When this Proverb was written, the idea of “saving lives” had more to do with delivering them from evil paths which lead to death. In light of the gospel story, it takes on a whole new significance. When considered within the context of Christ’s work, the fruit of the righteous is quite literally a tree of life and the work of saving lives!
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?
And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”(Isaiah 6:8), NIV
God never coerces us to serve Him, but He continually offers us a choice. The sixth chapter of Isaiah tells of the prophet having a vision of the Lord in His throne room. This sobering vision helped propel him to volunteer to share the Lord’s message.
We, too, are motivated in direct proportion to our experience with God. If we struggle to find the inspiration to share the good news, perhaps it’s time to pray for a deeper revelation of God’s glory and holiness.
“In that day you will say:‘Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name;make known among the nations what He has done,and proclaim that His name is exalted”(Isaiah 12:4), NIV
Much of the Book of Isaiah operates as a twofold prophecy. It has immediate import as a prophecy about Judah, but also points at the coming Messiah who will deliver Israel—and subsequently all humanity.
Here Isaiah speaks of an evangelism that works in both timelines. Judah will be able to proclaim what the Lord has done to deliver the nation from its sin, and God’s future people will be able to exalt God’s name for what he’s done for mankind.
“And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 38:23), NIV
God reiterates to Ezekiel the Old Testament theme that He desires for Israel and the prophets to be the vessel that communicates God’s awesomeness. It’s always been God’s desire that He would have a people through whom the rest of the world would be blessed as they made His virtues known.
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