Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wisdom is Justified by all her Children

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ~
"For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all,
that I might win more of them.
To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews.
To those under the law I became as one under the law
(though not being myself under the law)
that I might win those under the law.
To those outside the law I became as one outside the law
(not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ)
that I might win those outside the law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.
I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings."

Some people say that evangelism should be about learning to relate to the world around us. Figure out their language. Communicate on their level. Use movies and current events and current lingo to explain the truth of Scripture. Paraphrase the Bible for modern readers.

1 Corinthians 14:24-25 ~
"But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters,
he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all,
the secrets of his heart are disclosed,
and so, falling on his face,
he will worship God and declare that God is really among you."

Titus 2:1-10 ~
"But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love,
and in steadfastness.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good,
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, pure, working at home,
kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled.
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works,
and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,
and sound speech that cannot be condemned,
so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything;
they are to be well-pleasing,
not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith,
so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior."

Philippians 2:14-16 ~
"Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world,
holding fast to the word of life,
so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain."

1 Peter 2:11-12 ~
"Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles
to abstain from the passions of the flesh,
which wage war against your soul.
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable,
so that when they speak against you as evildoers,
they may see your good deeds and glorify God
on the day of visitation."
Matthew 5:16 ~
"In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

2 Timothy 3:15 ~
"...and how from childhood
you have been acquainted with the sacred writings,
which are able to make you wise for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus. "

1 Peter 2:2 ~
"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk,
that by it you may grow up to salvation..."

Other people say that it is more effective, and that it highlights the work of God more to simply live holy lives and preach the very words of God (though I don't think many would expect salvation to come to an American by hearing Romans 10:13 in the Greek).

Luke 7:33-35 ~
"For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine,
and you say, ‘He has a demon.’
The Son of Man has come eating and drinking,
and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

Is it possible that there are different ways to evangelize, all approved by God? What do you think? Which way do you prefer? Why?

Philippians 1:15-18 ~
"Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry,
but others from good will.
The latter do it out of love,
knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry,
not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
What then?
Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth,
Christ is proclaimed,
and in that I rejoice."

To God be all glory.

(all Scripture quotations from the English Standard Version, emphasis mine.)

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