Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God

I recently read J.I. Packer’s Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God. Great book! Though the latter half seemed to drone on a bit for my liking.

But here are some highlights discussed:

  • divine sovereignty and human responsibility are both clearly affirmed as Scriptural truths
    • we can’t fully grasp/understand how they coexist
    • but we must affirm they simultaneously exists nonetheless
  • Paul’s evangelism was energized by:
    1. seeing himself as a commissioned representative of Jesus the Lord
    2. seeing his main task as teaching truth about Jesus the Lord
    3. ultimately aiming to convert his hearers
  • By extension, Paul’s evangelism underpinnings apply to all Christians
  • The Gospel Message is:
    • about God
    • about sin
      • signs of true conviction of sin:
        • awareness of wrong relationship with God
        • conviction of specific sins you have done
        • conviction of your general sinful character
    • about Christ
      • don’t present Christ’s Person apart from His saving work, or His saving work apart from His Person
    • a summons to repent and believe (simultaneously)
  • Why should we evangelize?
    • love/glorify/obey God when He tells us, for instance, to “Go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:18-20).
    • love of neighbor
      • if someone was literally in a house burning down, wouldn’t you want to help them if you could?
  • How should we evangelize?
    • use any method that faithfully represents what is said above
  • How can divine sovereignty and evangelism go together?
    • God’s sovereignty in changing someone’s heart does not alter any of the nature and duty believers have to evangelize
    • God’s sovereignty in changing someone’s heart gives us our only hope for success

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