Evangelism Through the Eyes of Christ
Taught by Michael Davis
What is our calling and purpose with regard to the unbelieving world around us? If we got a chance to listen to Jesus praying for his church, what would we hear him asking the Father for? In fact we’ve been given that chance. On the night before he was crucified, Jesus prayed for us, that the Father would send us into the world, just as he was sent into the world (John 17). How do we go about living out this prayer Jesus has for us? How are we sent into the world in the way he was?
What do you think of when you hear the word “Evangelism”? What feelings arise in your heart? As believers we all have some sense of calling and even eagerness to share our faith, but perhaps this desire is coupled with feelings of fear, frustration, or even guilt? Unfortunately, it is often churches that place these feelings of guilt on believers. The Lord never motives his people to his service through guilt, but rather he draws us with his unfailing love and graciously invites us in to be apart of his redemptive work. That’s right, it’s HIS work…that HE is doing. There is an invitation here to be set free from the frustration and burden of thinking it’s up to us to convert anyone. I can remember as a child getting to join my Dad (who is an electrician) on side work he would sometimes do (like wire a house, or install light poles in a neighborhood). If it had been up to me to do this work, to say the least, it would have been a disaster, but I remember really thinking it was something that I got to help my Dad do this work. He was doing it and allowed me to be a part of it. The Spirit of Christ does the work of transforming hearts and he lets us be a part of it!
Still fear often crops up in our hearts. We think, “I really want to share my faith in Christ with people I know, but I’m afraid I will ruin the relationship. What will the person think of me if I try to tell them about Jesus?” We do find ourselves in what is becoming an increasingly post-Christian Western society, while at the same time living in a region of “cultural Christianity” where many people go to church. There are certainly many barriers to sharing our faith in Christ, but often times the greatest barrier of all is our own hearts.
The calling we all have as disciples of Christ is to make more disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), but we have not been left to ourselves to do this work. As mentioned already, it is in fact the Spirit of Christ who is doing the work. We are simply cooperating with him. To cooperate with the Spirit of Christ it is important that we grow in our understanding of how Christ actually engaged with an unbelieving world. If you think about it, Jesus (God incarnate) is indeed the greatest evangelist whoever walked the earth.
As we learn from Jesus and become more captivated by his love for us and his commitment to his mission of seeking and saving the lost, the hurting, the broken, the self-centered, the despised; we will be more equipped for sharing our faith. This study is not meant to be theoretical, but to encourage us to put into practice what we are learning together. We will discuss together practical and simple ways to incorporate outreach into our daily lives, and identify ways that perhaps we are already doing it without even knowing it! This class isn’t about a method, or memorizing formulas for gospel presentation. Rather its about engaging with the gospel itself and biblical principles that shape how we share it. As the gospel has it’s way in our hearts it will also work it’s way out of our hearts and into the lives of others. When we see our own need for the gospel and how Jesus restores our dignity as image-bearers of God himself, we will in turn see others in the same light as those who bear the image of God and can be loved and engaged in light of that reality. Won’t you come with us on this journey of cooperating with the greatest evangelist of all times, Jesus Christ.
Covenant Theology: A Survey
Taught by Joel Ellis and Joe Gunter
Why do a survey of Biblical covenants, and what are they after all?
Many faithful Christians have heard the term many times, but really do not have a real understanding of what the biblical covenants are, or what they mean to us today. Since the Civil War, the study of the covenants, or more properly the study of the Bible in a Covenant framework has decreased and been replaced with other methods and frameworks that have grown in popularity.
Viewing the story and message of the Bible through the lens of a covenant framework is a basic historical Reformed Theology principle. In fact the Westminster Confession incorporates many statements regarding the bible covenants. But due to the shift of attention, many Christians who are Reformed in their theology do not have the foundation of the covenants supporting it.
Here at Christ Church, we are familiar with the term because we are constantly hearing references to the covenant family that is our church. We hear references to the children of the covenant. What does it all mean?
Over the next 9 classes, we want to survey the Bible covenants. We will discuss:
- The definition of a covenant
- Terminology of covenants and how they differ from other concepts like wills
- What are the covenant seals used in the Bible, and what do they signify
- The principal covenants of the Bible and how they provide the foundation for the relationship we have with God
- The Major Covenants
- The Covenant of Works
- The Covenant of Grace
- Further developing expressions of the one Covenant of Grace
- The Covenant with Noah
- The Covenant with Abraham
- The Covenant with Moses
- The Covenant with David
- Some comparisons with other Bible view frameworks (if time allows)
- What the Bible covenants mean to us today
This class will be a “survey” that will introduce the students to the covenant framework of scripture. The goal will be to make the material understandable and spiritually enriching for everyone. We hope you will join us starting July 30th.