Our Evangelism Should Be Exegetically Sound -- By: Robert N. Wilkin

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 27:53 (Autumn 2014)
Article: Our Evangelism Should Be Exegetically Sound
Author: Robert N. Wilkin

Our Evangelism Should Be Exegetically Sound1

Robert N. Wilkin

Associate Editor
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society

Corinth, TX

I. Introduction

Evangelism is typically taught in Bible colleges and seminaries by people in the Pastoral Ministries Department, and not by exegetes. While there is nothing wrong with that per se, whoever teaches about evangelism should handle the Word of God correctly.

Unfortunately, many Evangelicals today who teach evangelism do not study the NT to see what it teaches about the subject. The resulting presentations, while containing Bible verses, are not really derived from Scripture and hence often are not exegetically sound.

We should utilize sound exegesis in establishing our own evangelistic presentations. It is my contention that we should base our evangelism on the evangelistic ministry of the Lord Jesus as found in John’s Gospel, the only evangelistic book in Scripture (John 20:30-31). If we develop our presentations there by means of sound exegesis, we will have evangelistic presentations that are clear and exegetically sound.

In this article, we will also consider key passages in the Synoptics (e.g., Matt 7:21-23; Luke 8:11-15; 13:1-5) and in the epistles (e.g., Rom 10:9-10; Jas 2:14-17), that are sometimes said to teach that commitment, confessing Christ, or perseverance in good works are conditions of the new birth or of “final

salvation.”2 We will see that there is good reason to question those interpretations.

A word is in order about the words evangelism and evangelistic. In this article, I am using those terms as synonyms for the saving message. This is the message that must be believed for a person to be regenerated. However, in my opinion, the words actually have a broader meaning than that in the NT. They refer to sharing the entire good news about Jesus, including both sanctification and justification truth, both how to be born again, and how to follow Christ via baptism and discipleship. But here I will use the terms as they are commonly used in Evangelicalism to refer to sharing the saving message only.

II. Why Exegesis Is Needed In Evangelism

According to 2 Tim 3:16-17, all Scripture is pro...

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