In Romans 11:13, the Apostle Paul inserts a short but pointed phrase which has the power both to convict and to inspire. He wrote simply: “I magnify my ministry.”
It seems that such a personal and dynamic statement may be better understood when it is exemplified than when it is exposited. But it has captured my imagination, and I thought that I would share a few thoughts on the subject—for my own sake, as well as those who read them.
In the context, Paul is talking about amplifying and projecting his ministry “to the Gentiles” (v. 13) in order to “provoke to jealousy” (v. 14) the Jewish people—in the sense of stirring their interest in the gospel of their very own Messiah. In essence, he wants his “countrymen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:3) to be motivated to ask, almost defensively, “Why are you Gentiles talking about such things which, by nature, belong to us as God’s chosen people?” This, he hoped, would drive them toward the message of salvation in Christ alone.
Still, I find myself fascinated by this phrase. What did Paul specifically do to enhance and advance his ministry in this way, and what can we learn from him? How can we apply this concept to our spheres of service?
I do not claim that my thoughts here are exhaustive or conclusive—I only hope that they are encouraging, enlightening and instructive.
When we share the gospel, we need to be clear on what we’re asking sinners to do in response to what Christ has done. The Biblical response to the gospel is to repent and believe (Mr. 1:15; Acts 20:21). Sometimes, the Scriptures emphasize the need to repent (see Luke 24:46-47, Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30, 36:20). Other times, only faith is mentioned (Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9; Ro. 3:28, 5:1; Gal. 2:16). In reality, repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin, occurring simultaneously at the point of someone’s conversion to Christ.
Sadly, much of what is called evangelism today lacks gospel clarity. Repentance and faith are often missing or muddied in many of our evangelistic endeavors. Over the years, a number of popular phrases, terms, and shorthand expressions have either watered down or replaced the Biblical response to the gospel. When this happens,
“the gospel often remains untaught, and unbiblical words water down the poignant true meaning of sin, death, and hell, or confuse those who are genuinely seeking truth” (J. Mack Styles, Evangelism, pg. 28).
In this article, I would like to evaluate common phrases we use in our evangelism and then briefly look at the Biblical call to repent and believe the gospel.
By Jordan Standridge. Reposted from The Cripplegate.
As time passes, I become more and more convinced that faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God.
No amount of evidence can convince someone about the truth of the Gospel. It is the Word of God, itself, that has the power to save and transform souls.
Because of this conviction, I love walking through Scripture with people whenever they permit me the time. And there are three passages in particular that I am usually drawn to, depending on the type of questions I receive throughout the conversation. So, here are my top three passages to study with unbelievers.
This one is especially helpful for people who don’t think their sin is that bad. This is a go-to passage for several reasons. It comes from the Savior’s mouth, Himself. It is designed to show much how deep man’s depravity truly is. And it ultimately places God as the standard that we should reach to, and, by doing so, shatters false religion in pieces.