We desire to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who need to hear it in every way we can every First Friday in Downtown Phoenix. We equip ourselves so we can model, explain, defend, share, and live out the gospel message in a way that is biblical, loving, and ultimately God-glorifying.
Evangelism: Laboring to Waken a Taste for God
“The exhibition of God’s glory and the deepest joy of human souls are one thing, then evangelism means depicting the beauty of Christ and his saving work with a heartfelt urgency of love that labors to help people find their satisfaction in him. The most important common ground with unbelievers is not culture but creation, not momentary felt needs but massive real needs. Augustine’s famous prayer is all important: “You made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace till they rest in you.” If a person realizes that the image of God in man is man’s ineffably profound fitness to image forth Christ’s glory through everlasting joy in God, then he will not gut the great gospel of its inner life and power.”-Both excerpts adapted from God’s Passion for His Glory by John Piper, pages 38-39
“The gospel is not the good news that God makes much of me; it is “the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4). And when, by the agency of prayer and witness and the illuminating grace of the Holy Spirit, unbelievers suddenly see the glory of God in Christ and rejoice in hope (2 Cor. 4:6). Our evangelistic task is not to persuade people that the gospel was made for their felt needs, but that they were made for the soul-satisfying glory of God in the gospel.
THE GOSPEL AS THE STORY OF THE BIBLE …
What the gospel IS - 4 Essentials:
from Nine Marks of a Healthy Church
1. God - God is both our sovereign Creator and our righteous Judge. God therefore has the right of ownership over us by virtue of creating us, and he has the right to punish or reward us by virtue of his royal, judicial office. And because God is both our Creator and Judge, we are doubly accountable to Him for all our behavior - word, thought, and deed.
• Neh 9:6; Ps 98:9.
2. Sin - Man was created by God, in God's image, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But man sinned against God by disobeying His holy law. Man therefore separated himself from God's holy and satisfying presence, and incurred His wrathful displeasure.
• Gen 1:27; Rom 3:23; Rom 1:18.
3. Jesus - Jesus Christ's death was substitute payment for penalty that we deserved for our sin. His death is God's only provision for forgiveness of man's sin and the appeasement of God's wrath against him.
• Isa 53:6; John 3:36; Acts 4:12.
4. Response - We are called to respond to this good news in repentance and belief - turning away from our sin and self-sufficiency toward God, and trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the substitute penalty that we deserved for our sin.
• Mark 1:15; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 16:30-31.
The gospel is the good news of what God has accomplished in Jesus Christ. This gospel then leads us to discover all that God now has for us in Jesus Christ.
The gospel is the heart of Christianity. But the good news is not that God wants to meet people's felt needs or help them develop a healthier self-image. We have sinfully rebelled against our Creator and Judge. Yet He has graciously sent His Son to die the death we deserved for our sin, and He has credited Christ's acquittal to those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus' death and resurrection. That is the good news.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: John 4:1–30 (ESV)
*What practical principles about evangelism do we learn from this?
*What are some real life ways we can apply Jesus’ example in our lives and this coming First Friday?