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In Defense of Evangelizing, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Congratulations on your recent conversion to Christianity! I am writing this letter to encourage your new life as Christians and to effectively facilitate this process and journey you have chosen to embark on. In Romans, the Bible states, “The just shall live by faith.”[1] Understanding the essentials of Christian faith is of paramount importance on your spiritual journey, and I would like to take this opportunity to expound on faith in order to facilitate this process. The Bible–both Old Testament and the New Testament–demonstrate what is significant and essential for having Christian faith, which includes salvation by the grace of god rather than works, the sacrosanct nature of Jesus Christ, scripture, the Holy Trinity, monotheism, salvation via Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of Christ. These so-called essentials of Christianity must be understood and truly believed in if you are truly adherents of Christ the Lord. I will first explore each of these essentials in meticulous detail to impart important information about each, which will help your conversion process. According to the bible, faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not see.”[2] Faith is thus the confidence one possesses that things hoped for will eventually come to fruition, thereby giving people the assurance that the unseen really exists and will happen. This sentiment is further evident in Galatians, which states that those who are just live by their faith.[3] As such, faith does not refer to people possessing the will to live because of feelings or circumstances. Just Christians will live by faith, and it is this faith that will make an enormous difference whether or not something happens. Before expounding on faith, it is important to explore the essential ingredients of Christian faith and doctrine.

Viewing Jesus as God as God’s human incarnate. Although Jesus never overtly states that he is the Lord in the Gospels, He nonetheless unequivocally to his contemporaries is God on Earth, especially to the Sadducees and the Pharisees Jews, that he is indeed God. The Book of John provides one example, as Thomas calls Jesus his Lord and his god, thereby conflating Jesus and God as one and the same.[4] Jesus never corrects Thomas by saying that He is not actually God. Another example is  in the Book of John when Jesus states “I and the Father are one.”[5] These are just two of the examples of Scriptural evidence about the rightful place of Jesus in heaven with God.

Salvation via grace is another essential of Christian faith, which is a tenet that acknowledges that all followers are sinners who have been separated from the omniscient God. As such, those who have Christian faith believe that as sinners, humans  deserve damnation for eternity for all of our sins. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross took place so that Christ could pay for all of mankind’s sins, thereby granting adherents access into heaven and enabling them to forge an eternal relationship with the almighty God. The Lord never had to become a martyr for Christian followers, but because He loved His followers so much, God sacrificed Jesus, who was His one and only son. This fundamental tenet is grace, which is rendered an favor that humans did not deserve.  The Gospels tell the followers of Jesus that “It is by grace [that] you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God by works, so that no one can boast.”[6] Humans can never do anything to gain access into heaven or earn the favor of God apart from the grace of God.

Salvation through only Jesus Christ is another important facet of Christian faith, and it poses the provocative inquiry whether all of the roads and avenues ultimately lead followers to God. Indeed, the ultimate truth is that all avenues are oriented towards God, and all people regardless of faith must  go in front of the Lord and be judged when they extirpate. It is at that very moment that people are judged both for what they have not done and what they have done while they were alive on Earth regardless if Jesus Christ was viewed as the God of their lives. Most people dread this moment because they know it will be an atrocious experience because they will not be accepted into the kingdom of heaven and thus never  know God. Hell is the ultimate fate and destination for those individuals to live in for eternity. However, God’s mercy provides people with the tools to attain salvation vis-a-vis Jesus Christ, His one and only Son. In the Book of Acts, it states to readers that salvation can only be found in Jesus and through Jesus and no one else.[7]  Jesus has ultimate saving power, as this passage attests to. Jesus further states that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Lord except through me.”[8] Only through the salvation of Jesus Christ and faith in Christ can people enter into heaven.

One of the most significant events in scripture besides the crucifixion of Christ is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross as an act of martyrdom for his followers, and three days after he was enlivened and appeared before his followers in his corporeal form. Jesus previously demonstrated his capacity to resurrect individuals who died such as Lazarus who was one of his close friends. However, now the Lord had resurrected Jesus to underscore His glory and power. It is this extraordinary event that differentiates Christianity from other religions. The majority of all religions center around a powerless person or deity or on works alone. Religious leaders die and never come back to life, yet the Christian faith centers on the crucified yet resurrected Christ. In Corinthians, it states that if Jesus was never resurrected then prayers and faith in Him would all have been in vain.[9] The denial of Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection means that one denies the currency of Christ’s work when he was alive as a human and was just a sacrifice to the Lord for mankind’s sin.[10]

The Gospel is extremely important to the Christian faith. In Corinthians, Paul delineates what the Gospel is and how significant it is to embrace the Gospel and subsequently share the Gospel with others.[11] Paul preached the Gospel to the Corinthians, and he reiterates to them that Jesus Christ had died for the sins of humanity according to the Scriptures, and that Christ was buried and then resurrected three days later, which Scripture states. That notion encapsulates the very essence of the Gospels. Additionally, Paul admonishes the Corinthians to be cognizant of the presence of false prophets and gospels that are being told to those who least expect them. In Galatians, Paul asserts that “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a false gospel that is contrary to the one I have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have stated previously, and now I will say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”[12] Jesus Christ has conveyed to His followers a pure gospel, and His death through crucifixion on the cross and subsequent resurrection represents the fulcrum of Christianity and the Christian faith.

An obvious facet of the Christian faith is monotheism, or the existence of just one omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God. Exodus provides a powerful assertion regarding the tenet of monotheism in which God tells His followers that they shall worship no other God but Him.[13] Followers only believe in this almighty God and worship and serve Him. The Lord also declares: “You are my witnesses and my servants who I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no God was formed, nor shall there be any after me.”[14] This passage stresses that adherents both understand and believe that only one omnipotent God that exists, thereby rendering the praising of idols as blasphemy. Christians understand that only the God that is in Scripture exists, and any other purported God or gods are considered false and do not actually exist. This notion is evident in Corinthians when it states that even if other gods purportedly exist on earth or in heaven, there is only one Father and Lord for all people to live for and all things emanated. Jesus Christ is the only Lord, and through Christ all things come from and people live through.

Another rudimentary facet of Christian faith is a belief in the Holy Trinity, or the notion that God manifests in three various forms. Although this concept of God as manifested in three different states is absent from Scripture, it is nonetheless described throughout the Gospels. The Book of Matthew  describes the concept of the Holy Trinity as follows: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”[15] A God composed of three different manifestations is described here in this  particular passage, although Scripture never overtly calls it the Holy Trinity. To fully comprehend the tenet of the Holy Trinity, followers must observe  scriptural passages holistically in order to glean what actually defines it. Corinthians further describes the three manifestations of God yet never labels the Holy Trinity. The letter states that although there are three different manifestations of God that provides many  gifts, they are all from the same Spirit. These manifestations engage in different activities but they are all empowered as the Lord.[16] Passages like this one refer to the Holy Trinity without outright labeling as such. Nonetheless, faith in the Holy Trinity is of paramount importance for neophytes such as yourself to embrace.

It is faith in these tenets that binds together the essential components of Christianity, which is stressed in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. The bible explicitly defines faith as one having conviction in things they cannot perceive or observe, and the assurance in things or events that are hoped for.[17] This verse puts faith at the fulcrum of Christianity, or the belief in God despite the fact that God cannot be seen or heard. This belief in things people cannot actually see is stressed throughout the bible, yet the works of God can be perceived through His power of creation. Such faith pleases the almighty God, and without this faith, people would never be able to please the Creator. Those who wish to become closer to God must believe in His existence and the fundamental notion that God rewards individuals who exhibit a desire to draw closer to Him.  In the Book of Matthew, it states: “So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’ Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”[18] It is clear that the Bible speaks volumes about the topic of faith, expounding on strong faith, rich faith, weak faith, working faith, dead faith, and obedient faith. It is of paramount importance for new Christian neophytes such as yourself to use the faith bestowed to us by God.

I am writing this letter to you to encourage you in your new life, so I must also address problems within Christianity that may cause some concern for you. The Christian Church as an important institution has waned in its influence across the globe due to the twin forces of secularization and modernity that have marginalized Christianity. As such, the Church is viewed as an antiquated institution that has hitherto failed to effectively navigated evolving cultural and social contexts during the so-called Quantum Age, which is evident in modern and postmodern cosmogonies. As such, the church has lost its social and cultural currency, which is why members of the younger generations have sought to “define their own spiritual journey.”[19] Church leaders have thus sought innovative ways to render the Church relevant in a world that is more diverse with regards to race and other demographic categories. Scripture has emerged as the main justification for evangelistic efforts that are sponsored by the Church. Direct personal evangelism has profoundly contributed to appealing to the unchurched and convincing them to convert to Christianity. Christian faith is thus established through so-called friendship evangelism, which refers to a stranger forging a friendship with a non-believer and encouraging him or her to convert to Christianity and embrace proselytizing.

It is true that the Church has historically catered to particular sectors of society, which is problematic in an increasingly diverse world as a result of immigration. As such, the Church’s message no longer seems pertinent.[20] At the local level, Christian leaders must reconfigure how evangelical ministry is done, thereby developing it in an idiosyncratic fashion in order to address the needs of a diverse audience and impart the Gospel to a contemporary audience and recent convert such as you all.[21] Christian ministry must change the current orientation inward and thus restructure church organization and leadership in order to effectively carry out the Mission of God and impart His word in a manner that members of all nationalities, backgrounds, gender, and classes regardless of how fervent adherents are.[22] Doing this will effective address the spiritual necessities and desires within the modern and postmodern contexts by reaching a wider audience.[23] I feel it is important for me to tell you about the shifting nature of evangelical ministry in order for you to see that the Church is constantly evolving in order to cater to the tastes and needs of the congregation.[24] Neophytes such as yourself will be satisfied and should have confidence that the Church will adapt to the spiritual desires and needs of a constantly evolving congregation.

Regardless of the state of the church in modern contexts, it is important to remember that faith can make all of the difference in your lives. God works through anthropogenic means, and He is the one who is constantly working for the good of humankind.[25] An example of such work through human means is in Exodus when He exhibited the sovereignty and autonomy to part the Red Sea for the Israelites without Moses, the prophet, having to part. Rather, God told Moses to raise his staff up as an act of faith for the Israelites to cross the Sea and escape the Egyptians. Another example is when the prophet Elijah had to exhibit his faith in God and pray rather than merely bringing down the fire on the altar at Mt. Carmel without Elijah praying to Him. In addition, Jesus retained the capacity to heal all of the suffering when he was alive and walked the face of the Earth, but Scripture shows that it was only those who reached out to Jesus through their faith that were healed by Jesus upon His touch.  According to the Book of Matthew, Jesus did not perform any great works in his own homeland because he was struck by their lack of belief and faith.[26] It is only through faith that people can become righteous, which Genesis attests to: “And because of his faith it was accounted to him as righteous.”[27]  It is those of great  faith that pleases God, and faith enables followers to live forever in union with God. In order for people’s prayers to be answered by God, they must have great faith.

Most importantly, faith provides a shield for people against the wickedness and sins of the outside world. As a result, faith enables people to be victorious and liberated from danger, fear, anxieties, and worries associated with pain and sudden death. Scripture states: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”[28] Through faith, human sins are forgiven by God. Upon seeing a paralyzed man who exhibited his steadfast faith in God, Jesus tells the paralyzed man “My son, your sins are forgiven.”[29] In addition, they are able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and be with the Lord through faith. As such, faith becomes a source of joy and peace in people’s lives because of what God and Jesus Christ has done for humankind. Faith functions as a source of protection, which is evident in Thessalonians in which “the body armor of faith and love” leads to human salvation as the end result.[30] Such an assurance of salvation starkly contrasts from those who turn away from God and thus seals the fate of the unbelievers in hell. Having faith therefore assures the salvation of believers

It is unequivocal that faith is important for Christians to have, and one needs to have faith in order to believe in Christ. Faith is needed to believe in God’s word and its veracity and walking that faith on a quotidian basis. An individual needs faith to constantly grow and develop in one’s relationship with Jesus Christ, and if it does not he or she will not be able to see the kingdom of God. Whatever type of faith a person has will ultimately dictate the outcome one’s faith level in God’s word and works around them. What a person spends their time, energy and money on figures prominently on how much faith a person puts in Jesus Christ. As I have shown above, various passages in the Gospels reveal how Jesus was drawn towards, loved, and responded to those who had the utmost faith in him and in the almighty Lord. Those who placed their trust in him earned his love and respect and were often healed by his touch. Moreover, Jesus demonstrated that an individual did not have to have a lot of faith for him to respond to them. Indeed, he believed that a little bit of faith had the ability to move mountains. A small amount of faith leads people to do amazing things and accomplishments in their lives in addition to the lives of those around them. Jesus compared people’s faith to a mustard seed, which is a fascinating and fitting trope because a mustard seed is quite small, yet as a seed it gains currency because it constantly grows and develops. Feeding and watering the seed of Christian faith gives it nourishment.[31] As new converts, it is important for you to constantly nourish your faith by reading the word of God, praying, and worshiping the Lord. Doing so nourishes and feeds the seed of Christian faith throughout your lifetime, and you will be fulfilled in so many ways in your new life as devout Christians.

People can be full of faith, but it is important to remember that faith is also a verb that requires a person to actually do something in order to demonstrate their faith and their level of belief. The majority of people choose not to share Jesus Christ with others or take the time out of their day to step out and say prayers because they fear rejection or do not want to humiliate themselves. However, in order to see how God works in one’s life and the lives of those around you, stepping out and praying for others is of paramount importance.

If no one shared Christ with you, how different would your life be? Possessing a strong faith in what Jesus Christ has done for you should foment a desire in you to share God and Jesus Christ with others. Reflect on the subjects you talk about and discuss with your family and friends. Usually, you discuss the things in your life that are most important to you and cherished, and who a person is usually is conveyed through what they say because they discuss what they truly believe in. If your relationship with God is significant, and you believe that Jesus Christ saved you from the pitfalls of hell, then you should want other people to be rescued as well as to know and experience God in the same way that you do. It is important to take risks and provide the opportunity to act as a bridge for people to also experience the omnipotent God. Sharing God with others is another manifestation of one’s faith, and it will help you grow as Christians and as human beings.

Bibliography

Baber, H.E. “In Defence of Evangelizing.” Religious Studies 36, no. 3 (2000): 333-344.

Berg, Thomas C.. “”Proclaiming Together”? Convergence and Divergence in Mainline and Evangelical Evangelism, 1945-1967.” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 5, no. 1 (1995): 49-76.

Gibbs, Eddie. ChurchNext: Quantum Changes in How we do Ministry. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Hubbard, George D.. “Preaching and Evangelism.” The Biblical World 51, no. 4 (1918): 203-207.

Kanagy, Conrad L. . “Social Action, Evangelism, and Ecumenism: The Impact of Community, Theological, and Church Structural Variables.” Review of Religious Research 34, no. 1 (1992): 34-50.

Lewis, Robert, and Rob Wilkins. The Church of Irresistible Influence. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan   Pub. House, 2001.

McQuerry, Maureen Doyle . “Some Terms of Evangelical Christianity.” American Speech 54, no. 2 (1979): 148-151.

Rainer, Thom S. Surprising Insights From the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2001.

The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments. Trenton: I. Collins, 1791.

[1]Romans 1:17.

[2]Hebrews 11:1.

[3]Galatians 11:3.

[4]John 20:28.

[5]John 10:30.

[6]Ephesians 2:8-9.

[7]Acts 4:12.

[8]John 14:16.

[9]Corinthians 15:14.

[10]John 2:19.

[11]1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

[12]Galatians 1:8-9.

[13]Exodus 20:3.

[14]Isaiah 43:10.

[15]Matthew 28:19

[16]Corinthians 12:4-6.

[17]Hebrews 11:1.

[18]Matthew 13: 57-58.

[19]Eddie Gibbs, ChurchNext: Quantum Changes in How we do Ministry (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2000). 3.

[20]Ibid, 5.

[21]George D. Hubbard, “Preaching and Evangelism.” The Biblical World 51, no. 4 (1918): 203.

[22]Robert Lewis and Rob Wilkins. The Church of Irresistible Influence. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House, 2001. 5.

[23]Thomas C.. Berg, “”Proclaiming Together”? Convergence and Divergence in Mainline and Evangelical Evangelism, 1945-1967.” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 5, no. 1 (1995): 49

[24]Maureen Doyle McQuerry, “Some Terms of Evangelical Christianity.” American Speech 54, no. 2 (1979): 148.

[25]H. Baber, “In Defence of Evangelizing.” Religious Studies 36, no. 3 (2000): 333

[26]Matthew 13:58.

[27]Genesis 15:16.

[28]Ephesians 15:1.

[29]Mark 2:5.

[30]1 Thessalonians.

[31]Matthew 17:20.

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