Is Peter the Rock of Matt. 16? (Audio)

Matt. 16:16-19 is a hotly contested passage amongst Catholics and Protestants. Catholics see it as the installment of Peter as the first Pope. Protestants see it as God praising the revelation Peter gets, and not conferring any special status on Peter.

I see it as a bit in the middle of these 2 camps:

Audio of “Is Peter the Rock of Matt. 16?” (13 min)

Audio Transcript (Auto-Generated via Microsoft Slack)

0:00Okay, so I wanted to address something here.

0:03was asked this question about in Matthew 16 when jesus talks to Peter and he says, And this is amusing, the King James version because it separates the the you singular.

0:19So, you know, it’s talking about just Peter Thou when it says that or ye which is like you all, it’s the you plural.

0:26So anyway, if that makes sense, I wanna read this in context, it’s Matthew 16, Jesus.

0:32And we see this, jesus says, but whom say ye that I am?

0:37And Simon Peter verse 16 of Matthew 16.

0:40And Simon Peter answered and said, thou art the christ, the son of the Living God.

0:44And verse 17, and Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee.

0:53But my father, which is in Heaven verse 18 and I say unto thee that thou art peter and upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against him, and I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.

1:09And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

1:15So the question is, how much is it talking about Peter Catholics will use this to say, see, Peter’s the Pope, this is jesus confirming him as the Pope.

1:23And to that, I would just add that just a few verses later jesus says to Peter, get behind me, satan, I don’t mean to make that trivial, but if he’s the Pope, he’s a pretty pretty flimsy place to put my trust, let’s put it that way.

1:39because he here he’s blessed as one who God reveals something to.

1:43But then right after this, he’s cursed is one who is following after satan.

1:48So I hope that our hope is not in Peter as a pope.

1:52Let’s put it that way.

1:53but instead, I do think Peter does have a revelation here.

2:00It’s clear that Peter specifically is the one who speaks this and gets this revelation.

2:05And then, and then there’s a play on Peter’s name, verse, let’s see 18.

2:18well, 17 and 18 I think are both a play on name.

2:20So first in 17 blessed art you art thou Simon bar, Jonah.

2:26So it’s Son of bar means son of Jonah, I guess john or joe I don’t remember the whole thing.

2:34But Simon, son of you know, your earthly father for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father, which is in heaven.

2:44So you are Simon your your son of this father.

2:48But it was actually God in heaven who revealed this to you.

2:52It wasn’t any earthly father who revealed to you, but my father in heaven revealed this to you.

2:56So this is a revelation sent by God in heaven verse 17.

2:59And then verse 18,, you are Peter and upon this rock, I will build my church.

3:10Okay, so the question is, what is the rock?

3:14Peter means it means stone or a part of a bigger rock.

3:22So they’re in the greek, there’s a little separate thing, here is Petros.

3:27and then Petra is the rock verse 18 that that you are Peter, Petros, small small rock.

3:34And upon this rock, Petra big rock boulder, I will build my church now.

3:44the question is, what is this rock?

3:45So the Catholics would say, see, Peter is the one who is building the church on.

3:49And I think but then then the protestant response is usually no, no, the revelation that Peter gets, that’s what he builds the church on its by the revelation.

4:02So basically it’s the God revealing who he is by revelation is what it’s built on and versus the person of Peter is what it’s being built on.

4:13And but then before we jump into that verse 19 and I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.

4:22Now, that’s two Peter.

4:23Specifically, the is there it’s only you and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, whatsoever thou shall loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven.

4:31So, again, this is used to say, see Peter’s Pope first Pope, the Catholics would say this, see he has all this power.

4:38I think a better read is is this, I do think Peter is considered kind of how do you say it’s like amongst the apostles, he is a leader of the apostles.

4:54We one way you can tell this is there’s four different times that all of the names of the apostles are mentioned like all 12.

5:01And and there’s interesting things you can read in the why?

5:05Because the order of the names is different in each arrangement and the interesting things why it’s arranged one way or another.

5:14I won’t go into that.



5:16Carson I think does a great job on this.

5:17But one thing that he points out and others have said this to D.


5:25Carson points out is that in all the list of the names judas, Iscariot has always listed the last name and Peter is always the first name listed.

5:36So I do think you know you don’t want to put too much weight on that, but at the same time it’s part of scripture.

5:41It’s something to consider that Peter is mentioned first and I do think that is a pattern.

5:46even more what I think and I think what 19 might be getting too is if you think about when the revelation of christ came to, let’s start with the jews first acts to when it came to the jews, who was the mouthpiece of God to speak to them and acts at Pentecost, it says pretty Peter Rose up and preached.

6:06So he if you think of what a key is a key is something that unlocks the door right?

6:11A key passes the revelation on.

6:13If you will.

6:14Peter was the one to pass that revelation on in verse, in acts two of at Pentecost.

6:20Well then you think what about gentiles?

6:22How did the gentiles come in?

6:23Will you read in acts 10 that about Cornelius household and who did God send to pass that revelation to the gentiles, Peter again.

6:33So peter is passing the key so to speak, which I think that’s what 19 is getting too.

6:40He’s he is a leader amongst the apostles and he is passing the key of the revelation to the jews and to the gentiles.

6:48So he does have a place to play here now like I said he is an unstable rock.

6:54The catholic rendering of this is faulty, very faulty to make peter the human the rock, it’s all this rock and this is a solid rock.

7:05No jesus is the rock first Corinthians 10 4 I am the rock Matthew seven my words jesus said my words are the rock.

7:14Anything else eligible in is the sand and like I said later in Matthew 16 peter is called, satan get behind me, satan so peter is not meant to be the rock, you put your weight and support on.

7:26so and what part I do think back to 18 part of the rock that God is giving is I do think it’s revelation.

7:38It’s clearly not Peter himself, but it’s revelation that Peter holds, but I also think Peter’s name is rock.

7:47And so there’s a certain maybe play on that to to say you are part of how I’m, how I’m going to pass on my revelation to the jews and the gentiles.

7:57So as a leader among the apostles, as a, as a conduit to bring the mouthpiece in X two and X 10 to the jews and gentiles.

8:06You are a kind of a part of this greater rock, but the the ultimate rock is jesus and his word and then it’s revelation that’s given to Peter.

8:19And then Peter is the conduit of that, but he’s not always good.

8:22Like I said later in Matthew 16, he’s a flimsy rock.

8:25If he’s you don’t put your weight on him, but you say God is using these faulty people.

8:29Peter is is chief here mentioned because he’s the one who has the revelation of God who is talking Christ is talking to about this and he was given the keys to pass on in a special way that he’s chosen in a special way.

8:41You can’t get past that.

8:44but again, this this does not mean some infallible way, this does not mean some Peter is, you put your weight in him more than jesus in the word or or he’s equal to jesus in the word and his false get behind me, satan he says and Galatians two is another one where paul rebukes peter for his wrongdoing and he was right to do so.

9:09And then paul actually, Galatians one, he says if I or an angel speak something different than the Gospel and God’s word, let us be accursed.

9:16Then in Galatians two, he’s like look at even peter, he’s gonna be a curse, I’m gonna call him out for this because he’s speaking contrary to the Gospel, he’s acting contrary to the gospel.

9:26So peter is not the benchmark if you will, he’s not the ultimate rock.

9:30But so I guess all to say, I do think, I guess I think it’s a little blurred.

9:36It’s not that it’s totally it’s only talking about the revelation of the rock being the revelation of christ that Peter has, that’s part of it, I do think.

9:45but I also don’t think the category, it’s only talking about Peter.

9:50and he and he’s a special, it’s a special person.

9:55that also is part of it in the sense that Peter is a select chosen person, he’s selected among the apostles.

10:03So he’s he’s again the first one to usher in this revelation, he’s the first one listed in the names of the apostles.

10:10So he’s select in that sense, but it’s only to the degree, he’s only good to the degree that he has the true revelation of christ.

10:18He’s only good to the degree that he’s following the true jesus.

10:20He’s only good to the degree that he’s following the bible and that’s where the Catholics missing.

10:27Oh, I might add one last quick thing here.

10:30you see in Matthew 16 verse 19, it talks about Peter, it mentions whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, I think.

10:48So then you could say, Oh does Peter have some special authority of binding and loosing again?

10:53That would be the Catholic way the pope can has this special, like whatever he says goes, well not so fast because just two chapters later in Matthew 18, he’s talking about if someone sins against you and it says bring him to the whole church and the whole church.

11:09This is a whole group, local church is it says you know, if they decide no, there needs to be disciplined, then it says verse 18 very, this king James again verily, I say unto you whatsoever, you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

11:31Again, I say to you that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of of my father, which is in Heaven for where two or three are gathered together in my name, There am I in the midst of them.

11:43So now it’s not talking about Peter in particular was talking about two or three gathered in the Lord’s name.

11:50And I think that’s important because it’s consistent because it’s under the Lord to be under the Lord’s name means you’re under his authority.

11:58So it’s not just two or three agreeing on any what something just like it’s not just Peter just saying any what something or the pope, whatever he wants, he just says he binds and loses, he’s got that power.

12:09No no no no no no no.

12:11It’s it’s as you’re in agreement with the Lord’s name as your under his authority where there’s two or three agreeing under his authority under his word and revelation then That’s the kind of power you have.

12:25So again, Peter as representative as an example, he’s a leader amongst the apostles and but this is conferred to all the apostles both later in Matthew 18 the same kind of thing is said at the end of John to all the apostles.

12:42and so again this is not a peter specific pope specific kind of thing but it is the authority that the church itself has as she is under the Lord’s authority.

12:54The scripture, the revelation of Christ

Prophecy: Wonder & Warning (with Audio)

Audio of “Prophecy: Wonder & Warning” (2 hr)

What is Prophecy?

  • 1 Cor 14:29-31: prophecy = “revelation”
  • Exod 7:1-2: God — prophet — people
  • See also: Num 23:16; 1 Sam. 3; Jer 20:9; Ezekiel 13:1-2
  • Jer 23:9-40: external word that surpasses internal thoughts and feelings

How Do You Prophesy?

  • Acts 2:4: “were filled” “Spirit gave” “began to speak” (see also 1 Cor 12:10-11; 14:32)
  • 1 Cor 14:1, 13: “desire…pray”
  • Rom 12:6: “in proportion to our faith”

Scripture & Prophecy

  • 2 Pet 1:19-21: “prophecy of Scripture” (see also Rev 22:18)
  • Acts 15:13-17: “with this the words of the prophets agree” (cf. Acts 10:9-16)
  • Matt. 3:17-4:4: “It is written”
  • See also: Acts 13:1 (“prophets and teachers”)

Testing Prophecy

  • 1 Cor 14:29-36: “speak…others weigh…”
  • 1 Thes 5:19-21: “do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good”
  • Acts 17:11: “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures DAILY to see if these things were so”
  • 1 John 4:1-2; Rev 19:10: testifies of the true Jesus (cf. 2 Cor 11:4)
  • See also: Heb. 4:12; Rev 2:2, 20

Receiving Prophecy

  • Test prophecies (see above)
  • Prophecies fulfill as you walk with the Lord
    • Jeremiah 18:5-10; Jonah 3:10: May be conditional on other factors
    • Genesis 15:4-16:4: Don’t try to fulfill yourself
    • Jeremiah 23:20: “In the last days you will clearly understand it”
  • 1 Cor. 12-14: Prophecies are part of a larger rubric of knowing and following Christ.
    • Matt. 7:22: They don’t ensure you know Christ.
    • 1 Thes. 5:19-21: Don’t give too much or too little weight to prophetic utterance
    • See Discern Truth for wider array of how God leads us


  • Deut 13:1-5 – look to God’s authoritative word and ways over signs and wonders
  • Deut 18:21-22; Ezekiel 33:33 – should have some supernatural attestation

Wonders of Prophecy

When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.

Ezekiel 33:33

Prophecy Effects

  • 1 Cor 14:3, 24-25: sample effects of prophecy

Select Prophecies in the Bible

  • Num. 24:2-9: “When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message: ‘The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor…How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, Israel! Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river…Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted…They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them.
  • Isaiah 44:26-28: “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners…who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’”
  • Ezekiel 13:1-2: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: “Hear the word of the Lord!”‘”
  • Haggai 1:13: “Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.”
  • Zechariah 11:4-6: “This is what the Lord my God says: ‘Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, “Praise the Lord, I am rich!” Their own shepherds do not spare them. For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.’
  • Acts 11:28: “Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)”
  • Rev. 2:18-29: “These are the words of the Son of God…I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The Discipline of the Lord (Audio)

Audio of “The Discipline of the Lord” (8 min)

Auto-Generated Transcript (from Microsoft Slack)


0:01So First thing I look at is hebrews chapter 12 when we’re talking about the discipline of the Lord And it starts and it says look at those around you in the cloud of witnesses.

0:13And that was in hebrews 11.

0:15You got the faith.

0:15Chapter people talk about and all those and a lot of them were learning and they were learning through suffering.

0:19So those around you.

0:21Then look at Jesus Verse two, looking to Jesus, the founder of perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.

0:28So Jesus also went through suffering.

0:31Of course his was atoned for our sins.

0:35But there is an aspect of jesus suffering that also trained him because if I’m gonna cross references and Hebrews chapter five, it says verse seven in the days of his flesh, jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to him.

0:52It was able to save him from death and he was hurt because of his reverence, although he was the son, he learned obedience through what he suffered to catch up there.

1:00So the Cross has many dimensions.

1:03This is what I’ve said all the time.

1:04Like all the different sacrifices in the bible, all point to the one sacrifice of jesus.

1:07So there’s all these different dimensions of the Lord’s sacrifice in one dimension is he was trained in obedience through what he suffered.

1:16Now take that I mean, that’s a tough maybe theological thing to consider jesus is fully God, yet had to be trained as a man, including trained by his suffering, including even the Cross itself.

1:25So that in Hebrews 12 it comes and it actually says, it uses the language of the Cross.

1:29If you look, if you skip down in Hebrews 12 3, consider him Jesus who endured from sinners, such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary and faint hearted and your struggle against sin.

1:40You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

1:43And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

1:47And this is my son.

1:47Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor be weary when reproved by him.

1:52For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and he chastises every son whom he receives, so chassis or scourges the sons he receives.

2:00, that’s the word that is used.

2:03The only other time in the entire new testament, that word is used.

2:06The greek word is the word scourge in some translations and that’s what’s used for jesus on the cross.

2:11So it’s a very, even the word is a very direct connection to jesus on the cross.

2:15But it already said it earlier is talking about his suffering on the cross.

2:18But then he now applies it to what you go through as sons.

2:21Now, he says, you should be actually much more scared if you don’t go through that kind of suffering because then you’re not your bastard son is what the king James version says, you’re an illegitimate son, you’re not a true son of God, but if you are, you’ll go through that and there were route were disciplined.

2:37The root word of disciple matches discipline.

2:41It’s, it’s maybe the closest word you can think of.

2:43Even in the english, you can hear how they sound so similar, it’s closely connected, so it’s discipline in the sense of we think of discipline as you’ve done something wrong, that is part of it, You’ve done something wrong and your discipline now for what you’ve done, reactive, but there’s also proactive discipline.

3:00I want discipline you here, so you don’t do that, jesus did nothing wrong yet.

3:05It says he learned through his suffering obedience, So that’s a discipline on proactive kind of disciplines that we can also have.

3:12And then the rest of hebrews 12 goes on, and it talks about that very thing.

3:16It says, if he loves you, you’re gonna be under discipline.

3:20an example that I told you earlier, but I could say it was that, that Shane, I don’t know if you heard this example, but it was someone was talking about chickens being transported out of everything on a truck and they’re in these cages and he said, I saw them and I’m just thinking, man, these chickens probably thinking if only we could rip the cage free Frida, we could be free, we can be free and they’re being caged, but it was to transport them, where there’s gonna be true freedom later, you know?

3:47And so that’s like this life he used as an illustration of jesus with Peter, where Peter, jesus said, satan asked that he could sift you like wheat and I’m gonna allow it for a little bit that you’re gonna be refined through this, you’re gonna be made better through this, you’re gonna help your brethren through this time of sifting like wheat.

4:02And again, that’s not fun.

4:04but you go through that and it’s we think life would be so much better.

4:08We can serve the Lord in so many other ways if we weren’t confined by by discipline of the Lord.

4:12But he says, no, that’s not the way.

4:14So then the question is, what kind of discipline is he using?

4:16Well, hebrews 12.

4:17The immediate context is persecution.

4:21That’s part of the discipline uses.

4:23But then you go to you have we don’t need to go there.

4:26But in first Corinthians 11, it talks about communion and that was where they were getting sick and some were dying.

4:33And that was called discipline of the Lord.

4:35And he says, this is a good thing because it’s saving you from the ultimate judgment to come.

4:40Even sickness and death among you is considered a good spanking compared to dealing with God face to face for eternal judgment.

4:49So you have sickness, you have death, this is all training you in the ways of the Lord and another one, I’ll just references I think it’s Job 31 or 32 where it talks about L.



5:02So it’s after all the friends and job we’re talking and discussing and you know trying to figure out and they all every one of them is rebuked in the end job and the three friends.

5:12But then there is 1/4 L.


5:15Who who comes along and he speaks and he’s never rebuked.

5:19In fact you see what the words he says.

5:21He speaks things in such a way that it goes it has this like crescendo of from L.


5:27Who is speaking all these things.

5:27And then God starts speaking in a booming voice and comes in a worldwide and says the exact same thing in a different way.

5:32So some have even thought is God speaking right through L.


5:35Who that someone of the influence I get.

5:37Or at least Ella who is speaking in a way that’s representing accurately got what God is saying.

5:42So all that prep is to say.

5:44You can read now Ella who with fresh eyes and you read Job 31 32 or 32.

5:48And and he talks about well okay real quick I just want to reference it.

5:53If we go to job 32 Ready for Job speaks his final appeal okay Job 32 L.


6:06Who he rebukes the jobs three friends.

6:08He talks about all these things and he says oh it’s okay.

6:10So 14 for God speaks in one way and David in a dream and a vision of the night when deep sleep falls at man.

6:21So that’s part of how God speaks.

6:23But then look at verse 19.

6:24Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed with continual strife in his bones.

6:28So that his life loathes bread and his appetite, the choices food been there, right, you don’t want to eat anything, you’re just sick.

6:36His flesh is so wasted away.

6:37That cannot be seen in his bones that were not seen.

6:39Stick out.

6:40His soul draws near to the pit and his life to those who bring death.

6:44then it talks about an angel, there’ll be for him, an angel, a mediator.

6:47And it goes on and says, why are these things happening?

6:50Look at verse 29 behold God does all these things twice three times with a man to bring back his soul from the pit that he may be lighted with the light of life.

6:58So those were again more that sickness directly mentioned and its preparatory that you wouldn’t go to the pit.

7:06What’s better getting sick and this imagine your whole life being sick, but your soul being saved or your whole life being healthy and your soul being an eternal damnation.

7:15So he’s saying this is a much better way to be and job himself was an example of that.

7:19He was sick.

7:20He got sickness and suffering and not because he had done something wrong again.

7:24Sometimes it is because you did something wrong.

7:26I think we should take note of that.

7:27There are times like there is discipline of the Lord that comes directly reaction to what you’ve done.

7:32But sometimes it is, in preparation is sometimes training you, it’s all training you, let’s put it that way, whether you did or you didn’t, as in job as in jesus, it’s training you for better or for more obedience for more, of his ways, if that makes sense.

Leviticus Considerations

The sacrifice spoils after 3 days.

I’m struck and amazed that Lev 7:18 and 19:5-8 tell us a sacrifice becomes tainted if left out 3 days. Consider now Jesus’ sacrifice. He paid the full 3 days, but was resurrected right at the time that showed the sacrifice didn’t become tainted.

It’s all so clearly one author!!

Additional Thoughts on the Tithe: Feasting

I believe that in the New Covenant, all Christians–our life, stuff, time, everything–correspond to the Old Testament tithe. That is, we are the “firstfruits” (James 1:18) given to the Lord, just as the tithe was the firstfruits given to the Lord in the Old Testament. Similarly, we are the Lord’s portion/remnant within the entire world (Matt. 22:14).

For more on this, see:

With that said, it’s interesting to see what all the tithe was meant for in the Old Testament.

For instance, the tithe (which was a tenth of the firstfruits of what was harvested) was used for:

  • giving to the poor and needy (Deut. 14:28-29)
  • giving to ministers of the Lord (the Levites) (Deut. 14:27)

And in the New Testament, the church regularly gave to the poor and needy (1 Tim. 5:16) and supported the ministers of the gospel (1 Tim. 5:17-18).

But we also read that the tithe was used for:

  • feasting in honor of the Lord: “to buy whatever you like…anything you wish,” (Deut. 14:26)

What a precious command! It reminds me of God’s command to “rejoice”. This is an amazing honor that God says part of our giving to Him is celebrating in feasts with each other.

That seems to correspond to the “love feasts” (Jude 1) they had in the Bible, and the importance held up for sharing meals together as a church (1 Cor. 5).

God is not a stingy miser with what He gives. Yes, He wants us to help the poor and needy. He also wants his kingdom to grow by having feasts with each other. May we give it all to the Lord, since it’s all been His all along!

See also

The Nature of God

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is,” (Hebrews 11:6).  To please God we must have faith in who He is.  To have faith in who He is we must know what the Scripture reveals about God’s Person.


  • Deuteronomy 29:29 – Two categories of “things”: (1) God’s secret things, (2) Revealed things, so that we can obey God.
  • God will give us enough light for us to be able to follow Him, but will keep some things secret from us.  A fixation on things that God is not willing to reveal will only lead to darkness and frustration.  Rather, let us be thankful for any light He is willing to give, and walk in what He has revealed.

There is Only One God

  • Deuteronomy 4:35,39; 6:4-5; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6-8; 45:5-6,21-22; 46:8-11; Mark 12:28-34; Romans 3:30; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19
  • See these verses cited here

God Exists in Three Persons – Trinity – “Tri-Unity” – “Three-In-Oneness”

  • Examples: Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; Jude 20-21
  • God the Father is fully God – Genesis 1:1; John 17:1; Romans 1:18-21; 1 Corinthians 8:6
  • Jesus, the Son of God, is fully God – Isaiah 9:6 (a prophecy of Christ, calling Him “Mighty God”); John 1:1-4; 8:48-59; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8-10; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1
  • Holy Spirit is fully God – Psalm 139:7-8; cf. John 3:5-7 with 1 John 3:9; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16  

Relationship of Trinity

  • Distinct Personalities:
    • Though all Persons of the Trinity are fully God, they are also clearly distinct:
    • God the Father is distinct from God the Son – John 1:1-2; 3:16-17; 17:3-5; Hebrews 1:1-2
    • God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other – Mark 1:9-11; John 14:26; 15:26
  • Roles:
    • Spirit’s role is subordinate to the Son – John 16:13-15; 1 Corinthians 12:3
    • Holy Spirit’s Job: Glorify the Son.
    • Son’s role is subordinate to the Father – Mark 13:32; John 14:28; 17:1; 1 Corinthians 15:28
    • Son’s Job: Glorify the Father.
    • “There are no differences in deity, attributes, or essential nature between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Each person is fully God and has all the attributes of God.  The only distinctions between the members of the Trinity are in the ways they relate to each other and to the rest of creation…[the Trinity is] equal in being but subordinate in role,” (Grudem 250-251)                   

Tell The Truth, 3rd Ed. – My Notes

I highly recommend Will Metzger’s Tell The Truth, 3rd Ed. to understand the gospel and how we can communicate it effectively. My only critique is that he doesn’t show all the biblical examples of leaning on the Spirit’s power to communicate the gospel. But this is good instruction for words that are helpful to share, and general wisdom on this.

Here are my notes of the book:

TELL THE TRUTH, 4th Ed. – notes

  1. Preface: What is the Biblical Model for Evangelism?
    • Grace is magnified when you see yourself as undeserving
      1. sin must be emphasized more for grace to be marvelled at
      2. grace teaching leads to deeper worship and evangelism initiation/zeal
    • though God can use minimal amounts of truth to quicken a soul, it is our privilege to enter into the depths of the whole gospel
  2. Introduction: The Doctrine Is the Drama
    • “doctrine” seen negatively today (especially in context of postmodernism)
    • loving service isn’t equivalent to “gospel” (though they should go hand-in-hand)
    • “Christians will care about all suffering now, especially eternally suffering.”
    • the gospel is a word message announcing good news (Acts 16:9-10, 14, 31; Ro. 1:16-17; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21, 23; 2:4; 15:14; 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11)
    • 1 Tim; 2 Tim; Tit. – show right doctrine and godly life are married
    • evangelicals should be united in truth over evangelistic efforts — if united only in evangelistic efforts, it will produce a weaker Christianity
      1. John 17:23 – the church’s unity brings evangelism
    • one-on-one evangelism is best way to evangelize
      1. Jesus constantly converses with people He is providentially led to
      2. early church “gossipped the gospel” (Acts 8:1, 4)
      3. open your mouth, God will fill it with words
    • Key: focus on God as creator-redeemer


  1. Chap. 1: Evangelism as Planting and Watering
    • well-meaning Christians dilute the gospel into bandage/medicine for surface wounds/selfish wishes.  Deeper need of reconciliation with their Maker on His terms of unconditional surrender is omitted.
    • airplane of witness = lives (wing) + lips (wing)
      1. when God has revealed Himself, it’s been through His word
      2. Jesus also asked Samaritan if thirsty, and gave her water
      3. our job: be faithful in lives and lips; God’s job: regeneration (1 Cor. 3:5-9)
    • witnessing can include personal testimonies, but must include message of reconciliation (2 Co. 5:19)
      1. ask yourself, “did they learn more about Christ or me?”
      2. N.T. doesn’t show apostles establishing truth claims based on inner change
    • counting converts is not proof that true evangelism happened, but we should strive for converts
    • Evaluate your evangelism: “What truth was taught?”
    • true evangelism = bold, conscience-directed speech
    • Ex. Acts 26:16-19
      1. sees himself as servant and witness
      2. goal: conversion…how? through repentance and its fruit
      3. used Scripture to reveal cross
      4. speaks to Agrippa’s conscience
    • Evangelism principles:
      1. object: glorify God…by Holy Spirit, not us
      2. Holy Spirit works through Scriptures
      3. motivation: zeal for God, love of others
      4. constant heresy danger: false zeal, unbiblical methods
    • “we don’t force open any doors, just walk through the ones He opens!”
    • ask new believers, “What’s it like?”…compare to 1 John 
  2. Chap 2: Genuine Conversion
    • no such thing as a “half Christian”
    • all Christians have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9, 11, 13-15; Eph. 1:13), acknowledge Jesus’ lordship (Acts 22:10; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Jn. 5:1-5), and turn away from sin (Rom. 6:1-14; 1 jn 3:3-10)
    • Jesus was cautious at times, even in how He dealt with “seekers” – Nicodemus, Rich young ruler
    • If H.S. is convicting someone’s heart so that they are genuinely seeking…
      1. counsel them to action (don’t just talk to them)
      2. urge them to cast themselves on God’s mercy
      3. use Bible to impress them with God’s counsel (not your wisdom)
      4. Be genuine – represent Lord and help seeker:
        1. encourage them
        2. warn the hesitant and stubborn…have them ask God for faith
        3. emphasize the sin for relapse
        4. encourage not to neglect Christian meetings (Rom. 10:17)
        5. point them to personal savior for personal sin (Jer. 29:13)
        6. stress urgent, earnest seeking (deut. 4:29)
        7. challenge them to admit the sin they cling to
        8. show them how to pray (see Ps. 51)
    • true salvation secures forgiveness of rebels AND their obedience (Heb. 5:9)
    • Mt. 13:1-23 – two of the four soils begin to grow, but do not mature
    • Acts 8:9-24 – Simon the sorcerer
    • Mt. 2:1-18 – Herod (he said he “wanted to worship” Christ)
    • Jn. 2:23-25; 8:31-59 – they believed but were not followers
    • Heb. 6:4-9 – turned away from faith
    • Mt. 7:21-23 – “Lord, Lord…didn’t we…?”
    • confront in love – show beatitudes, 1 John, Ps. 51, and have them ask God to show them where they stand with Him
      1. 1 jn. 2:3-5 – sign of saving faith is keeping Jesus’ teaching
    • faith has in it this element of valuing, embracing, prizing, relishing of Christ (Matt. 13:44)
    • Ask: Who has God brought into your life?
    • warning: if you have forceful personality and can talk people into most anything, beware of manipulation
    • enthusiasm is good, but is easier to generate than continued obedience (look for the latter)
    • true reason for becoming a Christian: being in right relationship with God
    • Scripture does appeal to the will – Josh. 24:15; Is. 55:1; Mt. 11:28; acts 16:31 – we should plead, command, invite, beg
    • true conversion has H.S. changing whole person: mind, will, emotions/heart – we want rom 6:17
    • we should ask 2 questions of people who make profession of faith:
      1. What has Christ done for you? (do they understand the gospel?)
      2. What has Christ done in you? (is there a changed life?)
  3. Chapter 3: The Gospel Reduced
    • today: people preach minimum truth to maximum people
      1. told to trust gospel as a simple plan
    • in Bible and church history: preach MAXIMUM truth to max. people
      1. 1 Cor. 2:2 is only tip of the iceberg – shows emphasis, not extent
      2. Acts – they were persuading and laboring in evangelism
      3. Paul’s evangelism = teaching
    • Biblical evangelism: 1) whole gospel, 2) message-centered, 3) God-centered
    • modern evangelism: 1) truncated gospel, 2) method-centered, 3) me-centered 
    • see Man-Centered or God-Centered charts
    • distorted prevalent view: God is obligated to save
    • Evaluation questions:
      1. what did hearer hear concerning nature of God in gospel presentation?
      2. were gospel truths elaborated so that meaningful response is possible?
      3. did Scriptures pierce conscience or reinforce sinful desires?
      4. do they think they can decide for Christ w/own abilities when convenient?
      5. would a person realize God is just to deliver them to hell? (desire to avoid hell can be symptom of me-centered evangelism)
      6. what truth was taught?
  4. Chapter 4: The Gospel Recovered
    • 5 pillars of gospel truth:
      1. Who is God? A: Owner, Father, Judge – GOD
        1. Acts 13:16-42 – in synagogue, could assume biblical worldview
        2. Acts 17:22-34 (cf. 14:11-18) – this is model we should follow today
        3. appeal to Matt. 5:48; Rom. 2:15; Rev. 4:11; etc. regarding God
        4. God is loving and just – both
      2. God-centered living – GOD’S LAW
        1. Need to use law and love to pierce conscience
          1. many don’t think they need a savior
        2. Exod. 20 (w/ Jas 2:10); Mark 10:17-27; 12:30-31; Luke 18:18-30; Phil. 3:4-11; Ro. 7:7-13; Jas. 2:8-13; etc. regarding God-centered living
      3. self-centered living – OUR SIN
        1. if you redefine God you cut away the seriousness of sins
        2. man = noble and ignoble simultaneously
        3. people need to realize sin is in their nature…need radical solution
        4. picture: sin is like cut flower…quickly dies
        5. Rom. 1:25 – people replace God
          1. if person is “do gooder” – Phil. 3; Luke 15 (older son)
        6. John 4 – needed new heart
        7. Rom. 3:20
        8. misdiagnosis = medical (and spiritual) malpractice – people need to accurately understand who they are (A: sinner)
        9. must treat them as person, don’t use this as formula
        10. Gen. 2-3; Rom. 1:18-23 – man = sin
          1. expose sins; admire strengths (cf. Rom. 2:4 – not to make us self-sufficient)
        11. true conviction of sin will produce:
          1. awareness of wrong relationship with God
          2. guilt for particular wrongs
          3. sense of helplessness to do right
        12. illustration 1: diseased tree – bad fruit
        13. illustration 2: someone loses journal of all action/thought in last 24 hours – how do they feel?
        14. Ps. 51; 2 Cor. 7:10 – true conviction of sin looks this way
      4. Jesus – The Way back – CHRIST’S SALVATION
        1. law convicts, but doesn’t convert
        2. 1 Thes. 1:4-10 – gives conversion evidence
        3. Facing God, outside of Christ, is terrifying
          1. must show Christ’s love/life here
        4. Lk. 24:47 – repentance and grace always together
          1. Acts 26:20, 23 – repent/turn…life
        5. Jn. 3:14-16 – God’s love shown in Cross
        6. Gal. 3:1
        7. Focus on Jesus seen in gospels/Bible (Jn. 4 cf. Hosea; Jn. 9; Lk. 7:36-50; 15)
        8. F. Schaefer – “if I had 1 hour to talk to a ‘modern man’ I’d spend 45-50 min. on negative, showing problem…spend 10-15 min. on gospel.”
        9. Illustration: Christ as pencil – erases sin, writes righteous marks
        10. must know Christ as Lord and Savior
        11. there is an instinctive attitude of wanting to embrace Christ’s lordship in every truly converted person
        12. Jesus brings salvation by: (1) law-keeper, (2) sin-bearer
      5. Coming Home – OUR RESPONSE
        1. don’t give them false assurance of a “salvation”–show Is. 53:1-11; Ps. 51:1-17; Gal. 2:20, and leave them with God
          1. Rom. 8:14-16; 1 Jn. – inner witness and outer actions will testify
            1. ground them in word, fellowship, prayer
        2. Acts 20:21 – repentance and faith summarizes gospel invitation
          1. repentance w/o faith is sorrow
          2. faith w/o repentance is unfounded optimism
            1. faith = trust
        3. whole person responds to whole Christ (savior and Lord)
          1. submission continues after conversion (rom. 6; 12:1-2)
        4. Luke 15; Acts 17:32-34 – 3 choices for relationship: 1. enter, 2. reject, 3. indifferent (which amounts to rejection)
        5. faith receives salvation (but doesn’t save in itself); Christ alone saves – obedience to Christ should not be out of obligation or desire to get something, but merely because we want to (1 jn 4:19)
        6. worse form of badness = human goodness; substituting itself for Christ’s righteousness
        7. justification truths are foundation of Christian witness
        8. there should be assurance of salvation (2 cor 13:5):
          1. trust that God’s promises apply to you (rom. 4:20-24)
          2. fruit of spirit (Gal. 5; 1 jn 1)
            1. 1 Jn. – conscious of sin, obedient, freedom from habitual sin, love for other Christians, belief, overcoming world and Satan
          3. inner witness that you are God’s child (Rom. 8)
        9. Christians may have areas of carnality (1 cor. 3:1-4), but never the whole person being carnal over long periods of time
        10. false security should be destroyed out of love (mt 7:21-23)
        11. salvation: past (eph 2:8), present (1 cor 1:18), future (rom. 5:9)
    • In Acts: approach never stereotyped: theological and personal (w/core truths)
    • Unless God is speaking to people’s hearts, they won’t be interested in true gospel


  1. Chap. 5: Grace Is Only for the Powerless
    • humans are:
      1. worthy (see Adam and Eve made in God’s image)
      2. unworthy – Rom. 3:10-12, 20; 8:7; Eph. 2:1; Jn. 3 (must be born from above, not below); Lk. 15; Mk. 10:17-27; Lk. 18:13
      3. owned
    • myths that obscure grace:
      1. inalienable rights
      2. human goodness
        1. truth: God kind to all (mt. 5:45)
        2. truth: God gives restraining grace (Ge 20:1-7)
        3. truth: all sin is rebellion (Jas. 2:10)
        4. truth: God has ownership rights, though we still grieve those not saved and going to hell (Rom. 9:2)
        5. true goodness = right motive (love for God), according to right standard (God’s revealed Word), for right goal (God’s glory)
      3. free will
      4. we are like Ezekiel – preaching to dead bones and expecting them to live (only by God’s Spirit)
    • Scriptures emphasize divine sovereignty and human responsibiility with right view of the will
    • witnessing trusts the Word and Spirit to bring life
    • speak truth to and pray for sinners
    • mind, heart, will
      1. the will – God moves sinner through persuasion
      2. approach will through the mind and heart
      3. don’t appeal to natural desires – invite, persuade, and command allegiance to new leader
  2. Chap. 6: God is Grace-Full
    • Lk 15 – true repentance seen in prodigal son (Ps. 51 – we sinned against God first)
    • Phil. 3:4-6; Ro. 7:7-10; Acts 9:1-19 – Saul
      1. humbled by law (Ro. 7)
      2. Phil. 3:9 – needed alien righteousness
        1. Eph. 2:4-5, 8-9; Jn. 6:29; Ro. 8:3-4; Eze 36:25-28
    • grace is a power (1 Cor. 15:10; 2 Co. 12:9)
      1. acts 16:13-14
        1. natural birth begins with unknown initiator (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:8)
        2. 1 Pet. 1:23 – Christ (Word) tied with written Word
    • 1 Cor 6:19-20 – we’re not our own
  3. Chap. 7: Sovereign, Saving Grace
    • grace: God-honoring and humanity-humbling
    • don’t ask: Why does God not save all?”, instead, “Why does God save any?”
    • sovereignty and human responsibility — trust God, don’t try to figure out (Rom. 9-11)…1 jn 4:19 – God chose me, so I chose Him
    • Rev 22:17; ro. 10:12-13 – all are charged to submit wills to God
    • Ro. 1:18-21, 24 – we know enough of God to be culpable
    • freed will, not free will – Holy Spirit to the will is like a fire inside a hermits house…it forces him to respond to voice of God knocking at his door
    • hell is deserved…God’s honor and justice is glorified there
    • God loves because He wants to
      1. He does whatever pleases Him (Is. 46:9-10; Ps. 115:3; Rev. 4:11; Eph. 1:5, 9; Gal. 1:15 (regeneration in view here); Lk. 12:32; 2 Tim. 1:9)
    • Jesus’ crucifixion pleased God; planned by Him (Is. 53:4, 10; Acts 2:23)
    • for those ‘convinced’ of election, see 2 Pet. 3:9 — accept both truths!
      1. other mysteries: Bible as God’s word and man’s word, Jesus as God and man; etc.
    • God doesn’t want to afflict pain – Ez. 33:11; Lam 3:33; Luke 13:34
  4. Chap. 8: Worship: The Whole-Souled Response to Grace
    • greatest obstacle in evangelism = fear
      1. Prov. – “fear of man is a snare”
      2. need to fear God and seek His approval over others.  how?  true worship
      3. David was only Israelite who didn’t fear Goliath.  why?  he experienced God earlier with bears and lions attacking his sheep
      4. Jn. 4 – sam. woman didn’t fear sharing about Jesus, because of her initial experience with Him
      5. worshiping God energizes us to witness
        1. seeing that conversion is purely God’s grace makes it energizing and exciting
          1. Lk. 15 – three searches; all initiated by God…then, there is celebration!! (worship)
          2. Jn. 4:23 – God is seeking true worshipers 
    • mind, will, emotions all need to worship
      1. worship = respond to God’s presence; adore Him
        1. ex. Luke 7 – woman who was sinner is freed from sin, must pour perfumed oil on Jesus
    • we worship 1st, evangelize 2nd
    • if God rules, we must view non-believers as divine appointments
    • Acts 2:46-47 – God increased the numbers of worshippers while they worshipped (cf. Acts 16: 25-31; 13:1-3; 1 Cor. 14:24-25; Lk. 17:9-11)
    • worship makes you want to see God glorified – evangelize (Acts 17:16)
    • In book of Revelation, word describing God the most is “holy” (meaning, separate)
      1. worship focused on this
      2. pray for such worship and worshippers
      3. Ro. 11:22; Deut. 29:29 – holding firm to these is part of worship


  1. Chap. 9: Ordinary Christians Can Witness
    • “tolerance” has attacked evangelism in our culture
    • Christian response to pluralism: “We love you, but we think you are doing (or believing) what is wrong.  We say this not because we are beter, but because we think we have all been made by God for his purposes.  He has revealed how to live in a way that brings honor to him and true freedom and love to us.”
      1. exclusivity of God/Christ (Is. 45:22; Jn. 14:6) – yet inclusivity (offered to all) vs all other religions requiring works that can’t necessarily be done by some people (thus they are wrongfully exclusive)
      2. if God exsists, doesn’t he have right to say how we come to Him?
      3. if God created us, is it reasonable that he’d leave us on our own to guess what he wants?
    • Mk. 14:32-42 – the cup was Jesus’ death; what was the Father’s answer?  (1) He didn’t answer (ignoring the fervent need of the son), (2) He answered, “Yes, there are other ways to be saved, so your death is unnecessary”, (3) He says, “No, there’s no other way.”
    • being sincere does not mean you are correct (you could be sincerely wrong)
    • it is naive to say all religions are the same (many huge contradictions), though there can be many elements of truth in all religions (Rom. 1-2; Acts 17:28)
      1. ruin (depraved and lost), redemption (Christ alone is risen), regeneration – radically different than other religions
      2. studying religions is not the same as doing them
    • apologetics can be effective (Ps. 19; Rom. 1:20 – creation testifies to God)…but can’t use these as proofs
      1. most effective apologetic = admit our presuppositions and show how they make sense of both the real world and the creatures who live in it…if we love people we will desire to understand what they are thinking/ sharpness of reasoning can be ornament to witnessing if done right, but…
      2. God’s chosen instrument in conversion is His Word and Spirit, not our reasoning ability
      3. we must speak to the conscience of unbelievers (Rom. 2:14-15) – conscience is built in receptor for God’s message – acceptance of gospel is moral, not intellectural problem
        1. atheists are telling you the way they live (Jn. 3:19-20)–they love sin and don’t want to change
        2. Jesus and Peter spoke to conscience (Acts 2:37), and Paul (Acts 26; 23:1 cf. 24:16, 25; 2 cor 4:2; 5:11)
        3. only Holy Spirit can sensitize the conscience and bring conviction, but the Spirit has given us tools in the 10 commandments, Sermon on the Mount and other places that explain true righteousness…ask things like:
          1. if I were to answer all your questions about Christ well, would you be wiling to come to Him?  why not?
          2. assuming that God exists and created you, don’t you have a responsibility to Him?  have you ever thanked Him?
          3. if recorded in a notebook all your thoughts and judgments of others for the last day, and then lost it, how would you feel?
          4. how do you know what love is, and that you’re not actually running away from it?
          5. (we use these questions not to manipulate people, but show their guilt that can be repented of and forgivven in Christ)
    • evangelism is for all Christians (not just super ones) – Acts 8:1, 4; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; etc.  we all have this privilege
      1. the problem is that many people lack the desire to evangelize…they need to be shown the unmerited mercy of Christ, which softens their heart
      2. Ex. 4:11; 2 Tim. 1:8 – God’s servants had their own issues and needed to be reminded by God of what He equipped them to do (just like us)
      3. we need to realize that our gospel is unavoidably offensive to the perishing, so get over the response we get/don’t get…also, we need to look at Christ’s face not others when evangelizing
      4. our weaknesses can become the means through which God works in evangelism – Jeremiah was young and fearful (Jer 1:4-9), see 2 Cor 12:9-10 – own your weakness in a way that produces humility
        1. be ourselves in evangelism – honesty in weakness is best way to break down defenses
    • God goes before us when we evangelize, and brings boldness (Acts 4:13, 29; etc.) – boldness in prayer preceded boldness in witnessing
    • discipling is only effective if we have known Jesus as our discipler (Acts 4:20)
    • we should not wait for a feeling to evangelize (not biblical)
    • ask friends to share witnessing experiences…desire to witness is often caught from another
    • we must love others; be moved with compassion and cry out to God for htem (Mk 6:34; Rom 9:1-3)
      1. society is very mobile and fractured, which makes people more self-centered and lonely; opposed to this is God’s love (see 1 cor 13)
    • supreme motive to witness: glorify God (Rom 11:36; eph 1:12) – if we don’t have this motive we are working against (not with) God
    • 1 thes 2:1-12 – great example of evangelism
    • prayer is the supreme God-ordained method in evangelism…God alone can change a heart (gen 19:29) – sense of longing while we pray (Rom. 9:1-4)
      1. Paul says, “pray for us that the word may go forth” (2 thes 3:1, and elsewhere)
      2. Mt. 11:27 – no one can know God outside of Christ’s revelation
      3. Acts 5:32 – Christ works according to prayerful obedience; He gives his Spirit ‘to those who obey him’, so that they may procalim the gospel with boldness (Acts 4:29; eph 6:19-20)
      4. conviction of God’s sovereignty motivates great prayer
    • “winsome life joined with winsome words will win some”
  2. Chapter 10: How to Communicate Personally
    • problem of ‘dropout’ from evangelism cannot be eliminated, but shouldn’t stop trying to eliminate it
    • relationships with others are:
      1. long-term intimate (family, close friends)
      2. long-term acquaintance (co-workers, neighbors)
      3. short-term intimate (friends)
      4. short-term acquaintance (people on the bus)
    • we need to see responisibility with short-term people…all of us are responsible to step out in faith in all relationships…why did God bring them into your path?
    • spiritual classifications of people:
      1. ignorant and indifferent (largest class of unbelievers) – can present Lk 12:13-21; Jn. 4 – don’t just be gentle: surpsie and challenge them…confront and warn; they measure themselves by God’s law
      2. self-righteous – nonreligious and religious – confront with mt. 5:20; lk 18:9…show difference between external righteousness and sins of the heart (mt 23:25); their righteousness is only relative (lk. 18:9-14)
      3. synthetic christians – show nature of regeneration and evidences of saving faith (1 John; Jn. 6:60-66; lk. 14:25-33)
      4. deliberate atheists – moral problems in heart at root (jn. 3:14-20); Jesus invited Thomas to examine more closely (if they do have real questions, do this with them) – “honest answers to honest questions”
      5. the seekers – point to Christ and his promises, speak to their conscience – Isaiah 53; Ps. 51; Jn. 3
      6. also…many times we should be willing to confront and turn away those hardened by distorted teaching (like cultists) – 2 jn 7-11; 2 pet 2…if we do gain a hearing, be brief and to the point (they can take up unnecessary time otherwise)…say you are “bible-believing Christian” and emphasize grace (which is not true in any cult)…share personal experiences of free forgiveness, inner peace and joy found in Jesus’ love…don’t spend too much time alone with cult members; have mature Christian along – be ready to give them some litearture
    • don’t need more evangelistic meetings…simply need to pray and be intentional in our affinity groups
    • starting the conversation…
      1. 2 bad approaches: (1) miss and run, (2) hit and run
      2. 1 good approach: raise questions and make a point – common interestes, attitudes and values, and then personal beliefs.  questions:
        1. what is your religious background?
        2. how have your ideas about God changed since _____?
        3. are you interested in spiritual things?
        4. what do you think a real Christian is?
        5. have you ever personally trusted Christ, or are you still on the way?…how far are you?  would you like to become a real Christian?
        6. if you died and met God, what would he say?  would you go to heaven?  why?
      3. test of our evangelistic method: did we make justification clear?
      4. pp. 219-221, 223 – scenarios and ideas for conversation to gospel – see conversation chart
      5. if people aren’t interested, let them go their way (Lk. 18:18-29)
        1. God, not you, brings them into their new birth at His time
      6. don’t wait for “failures”…if people have only “good things” in life, bring up Rom. 2:4
      7. indifference is evidence of completeness of Satan’s bondage – worse scenario a person can be in…very little can be said to self-complacent
        1. pray for God to humble them…woos us in our blessings and warns us in our tragedies
        2. hope that the constancy of our care for the indifferent unbelievers will prick their consciences
      8. too long we’ve followed individualistic instead of apprenticeship model in evangelism – we should get with friends, study the gospel, pray, then evangelize where people congregate
        1. we only lose our pride (and that might be a good thing!)
      9. we share as much of the gospel as we can with as many as we can
      10. develop evangelistic way of life, not just a “program for evangelizing”
      11. we must be desperate and dependent on Holy Spirit – if Holy Spirit was taken out of your life, what would change?
    • evangelizing is completed people presenting the complete gospel to the complete person.  goal: disciples
      1. avoid premature birth and deformed children
      2. evangelism and theology desparately need each other
      3. be a friend, listener, observer, questioner, lover, proclaimer
    • “if you want to be able to present the Gospel and the truth in the only right and true way, you must be constant students of the Word of God; you must read it without ceasing…”
    • a student’s response to God-centered evangelism: “When I came, I thought you were going to teach technique and force me to witness.  All you did was open the Bible and give us a big view of the majesty of god.  Now that I see him, I want to witness.  I feel freed and confident.”
    • Ezek 37:1-10; John 11:38-44 – snapshot of evangelism
    • ask yourself:
      1. do I know the saving grace of God in my own life?  what is the evidence?
      2. am i daily drawing anew from the fountain of grace by gazing at Jesus?
      3. are there specific people for whose conversion I am praying, pleading, weeping?
      4. am I telling them the truths of the gospel? can I articulate the gospel?
      5. is my attitude, ‘Lord, I want you to use me to point others to Jesus, so I will initiate the topic with people’?
      6. how long has it been since I last explained Jesus to someone?
      7. have i ever been so entranced by the wonder of the gospel of enabling grace that my fear of rejection by others has disappeared?