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Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 2, Chapter 5

Jesus Dependence Equals
Effective Ministry In Love

Page 1 of Pages 2, 3, 4, 5

Study Question:

  1. Humanism is not just doing things without Jesus or His ethics, but...

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The Apostle Paul states in the second book of Corinthians,

"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2 Cor 5:14-15).

To be effective in ministry outreach, Jesus wants us to be dependent on Him totally in what to say and in what to do. This is accomplished first, through getting all the objective facts; second, through taking it to Jesus in prayer through worship and praise and through the use of our prayer language with interpretation; third, through checking the answer with Godís Word; and fourth, through checking it with the facts not given in Scripture but not in contradiction to it.

Because Jesus is intimately knowledgeable about manís inner and outer constitution at any given moment, therefore only He knows best how any problem should be approached and handled. When we look to Jesus only as to what to do or say, since as Paul has stated, the love of Jesus is what brings restraint in our lives, we are assured that when we follow Jesusí specific instruction in responding to a given situation that what we say or do will be received in love and draw the personís attention to Jesus and not ourselves. The Apostle Paul put it this way,

"And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (1 Cor 2:3-5).

"Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate, as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit creates-alive." (2 Cor 3:5-6).

Anything that we attempt out of our own reasoning, no matter how well meaning, only leads to religious-strife, confusion, and condemnation. James, in the book of James, tells us that this is because anything which originates from the initiative of our soul not only will not solve the problem, but will in fact involve demonic forces in our ministering: "This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly47, from the soul48, demonic49" (James 3:15). Only want is initiated from above, through the Holy Spirit through our spirit first, will solve the problem and lead to life. This is because James tells us that, "the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy" (James 3:17).

The Spirit creates-life because He is only acting out of the initiative of Jesus in our lives. Because Jesus constrains us through his love, when we listen to the individual dictates of the Holy Spirit to our lives in what we say or do, whether we understand how what we are saying or doing is going to solve the problem, we can be sure that it will and will be ministered in love and received in love by the recipient. Why? Because Jesus does not make mistakes and because He promises us in the Gospel of Matthew that He will not give us a snake, but what we ask for in faith, believing, when we obey Him in our approach to Him.

"Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" (Matt 7:9-11).

In the very same chapter Jesus talks about two different kinds of gates. He states,

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." (Matt 7:13-14).

Jesus is the narrow gate. This is not just talking about salvation, it is talking about anything that we do without Jesus.

There is a lot of talk about humanism. When we talk about humanism, we think about people who try to build a world without Jesus and His ethics. HUMANISM though, is not just doing things without Jesus or His ethics, but ANYTHING THAT WE DO WITHOUT JESUSí INITIATIVE FIRST. Jesus continues in this same chapter of Matthew,

"Not every one who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father, who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?" And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.í" (Matt 7:21- 23).

When we preach in the name of Jesus and speak His Word, Jesus honors His Word whether or not we are in his will at the moment of our speaking or acting. But this does not please Jesus. What pleases Jesus is when we speak and act out of His initiative and not our own.

The apostle Paul puts it another way in Romans. He states, "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin." (Rom 14:24). (See also Is 30:1). Only faith pleases God. When we put our trust in Jesus and Him alone and only act out of His initiative in everything that we do and say, we are then living by faith. But, Paul says, if we act presumptuously, that is sin. Only what comes out of relationship with Jesus and Jesus dependence is pleasing to Jesus and will bring about the change in our lives and the personís life we are ministering too that Jesus desires.

Jesus said in another passage, ". . . Truly I say to you, unless you are turned and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of God." (Matt 18:3). Jesus says unless you become like a child in dependence on Him for everything, you will not enter His kingdom. When what you are doing or saying is out of Jesusí initiative, you are entering and living in the kingdom of God.

AS RELATED TO EVANGELISM

In the first section of this book titled, "Foundational Concepts," we shared how Jesus teaches us clearly in His Word that we do not need to wait for Him to prompt us to go out and share the love of Him with others, but that we are to GO THEREFORE! (Matt 28:18-20). We are to go therefore because all authority in Heaven and on earth are his. Therefore, when we in faith step out in obedience to Him, He promises that He will be with us, lead us, guide us and tell us what we are to say and do.

We discussed how Evangelism is explaining to a person what it means to be a Christian and how to become one. If you are now going through this Advanced School of Evangelism, I assume You already have this background, but it is necessary to restate it so you understand what we mean by Jesusí dependence in Evangelism and what we mean by acting out of His initiative only in Evangelism. Jesusí dependence in Evangelism means when I go out, no matter how much I know and have learned, I give all my knowledge and learning to him; and that outside of the basic presentation of the Gospel, you only share more as the Holy Spirit tells you and as he leads you according to the knowledge that you have. Second, being Jesus dependent in Evangelism on the field refers to not responding to peopleís opposition to the message through your own reasoning or thoughts, but looking to Jesus as to what to say in response and then only responding as He leads you to. The Apostle Paul states,

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful in order to destroy strongholds. We are subverting computations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor 10:3-5).

When a person speaks something out of his mouth, we do not know whether it is coming from his head or heart, or whether it is true or a lie. When it comes to Evangelism we want to reach the personís heart not just his head. It is for this reason we need to look to Jesus as to how He wants us to respond to comments made by those we are sharing with because only Jesus knows what is in their hearts and whether what they are saying is coming from their heart or their head and whether it is a legitimate question that needs an honest answer according to Peterís command in 1 Peter 3:15, or whether it is simply a diversionary tactic of the enemy to divert the conversation from the personís personal need of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, in his book, the God who is There, explains that effective evangelism is finding the center of tension within the individual with whom we are sharing, and then showing him how Jesus is truly the answer to that point of tension. He states,

"Therefore, the first consideration in our apologetics for modern man, whether factory-hand or research student, is to find the place where his tension exists. We will not always find it easy to do this. Many people have never analyzed their own point of tension. Since the fall man is separated from himself. Man is complicated and he tries to bury himself in himself. Therefore, it will take time and it will cost something to discover what the person we are speaking to often has not yet discovered for himself. Down inside of himself man finds it easy to lie to himself. We, in love, looking to the work of the Holy Spirit, must reach down into that person and try to find where the point of tension is."15/125

I have spent the past 30 years doing street witnessing, college campus Evangelism, seven years in Juvenile outreach and restoration, and ten in humanist outreach specifically. What I am about to share is not a formula for reaching out in these different areas, but rather an example of how as I went to Jesus through worship and praise He helped me to find that point of tension in the area of my Evangelistic pursuits to be most effective in my evangelism.

I worked with Juvenile delinquents for five years before I began learning the principles I am sharing in this concept. During that first five years I was faithful but not very effective. When I began to learn the principles shared here, I went to Jesus through worship and praise and began seeking Him how I could best approach these boys in Evangelism.

Jesus began to show me how most of these boys ended up in jail because their parents, for the most part, had no time for them, nor cared for their needs emotionally or socially. They were hurting and angry at society because of its lack of love and concern; and they were lashing out at society out of frustration, confusion, and bitterness. Jesus showed me that I would reach them with the message of the Gospel by reaching out to their social needs first.

Continued on Pages 2, 3, 4, 5
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