My thesis: Evangelism is motivated by joy. Why? Evangelism is a form of praise, and praise is sharing our joy with others. Thus we share Christ with others as a privilege of delight and joy. The command is for us to have joy in God, to delight in God, not to merely share with or without that joy.
(1 Peter 3:15-16)
15…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
An answer requires hope
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
What is Praise?: Joy, Delight, Happiness - results in Praise.
C.S. Lewis -“ all enjoyment spontaneously flows into praise”
Praise and Joy linked to sharing in the Bible:
1[a] I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
2I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Not of duties, but of thanksgiving:
8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds. 10For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12"If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
13Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,[b]
and perform your vows to the Most High,
15and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."
We are told to “go into the world and preach the gospel” (Mk. 16:15). Gospel is good news. It is good news because it brings us joy. Joy naturally results in praise. And by praise we preach the gospel.
God does not accept our sacrifices of duty (Ps. 50:8,12). He may work through them, but he does not need them and we do Him no favor by doing them (v12). Our sacrifice is of thanksgiving (v13). The command is delighting in God (Ps. 37:4), praise is the result. Evangelism is others hearing our praise.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Everything that is done in the world is done by hope. No husbandman would sow one grain of corn, if he hoped not it would grow up and become seed; no bachelor would marry a wife, if he hope not to have children; no merchant or tradesman would set himself to work, if he did not hope to reap benefit thereby, etc. How much more, then, does hope urge us on to everlasting life and salvation? - Martin Luther