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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by richard n koustas, Oct 2, 2006.
-- Eph 4:11&12
Are we all called to evangelize? or just some?
We are commanded to evangelize & disciple (Great Commission). God appoints some to be Evangelists.
In other words, God "appoints" only some to be evangelist, yet we are all to evangelize.
So if God does not "appoint" someone as an evangelist, he is to do the work of an evangelist, anyway?
There are two offices within the local church, pastor/elder and deacon. There is what I would refer to as the role of the evangelist but everyone is given the command to do the work of the evangelist. There are some who are more proficient, as there are in other things. Are you questioning the biblical legitimacy of the office?
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Whether you call this evangelism or not, it is what each and every believer is called to do--be a witness for our Saviour.
I am not sure that he is questioning the need to evangelize as much as the validity of the office of evangelist. I started a thread back some and it dealt with this issue. I asked him qualify his concerns, I hope he will give us more to go on. As you state it though, there is no doubt.
Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Ephesians 2:19-21 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
I look at Eph.4:11 in the context of other Scripture such as Eph.2:19-21. Our foundation is Christ (1Cor.3:11). There is no other foundation but Christ. He is the chief cornerstone. Upon that foundation rest the Apostles. We know of a surety that Christ and the Apostles walk this earth no longer. I believe that the gifts have ceased including the gift of prophecy. Thus the office of the prophet ceased about the end of the first century. Therefore He has given to the present day church: evangelists, pastors and teachers. These are the offices (if that is the word that you like to use) that he has given to us. The Bible uses the word "gifts."
The "deacon" is not an office despite the old english usage of the word "office." Our words have changed meanings over 400 years and that is one of them. Diakonos simply means servant. And the word office has the sense of place of service. It does not denote an official place of authority as it implies today.
i am not questioning the "need" for evangelism, because there is definitely a need. I'm not [really] questioning the "position", because there isn't one in the Bible. DHK has correctly said, the Bible calls it a gift.
some are given the 'gift' of pastoring or shepherding...we are not all pastors or shepherds.
some are given the 'gift' of teaching...we are not all teachers. (or are we?)
so, if some are given the 'gift' of evangelizing , are those without the gift required to evangelize?
yes, all are required to evangelize because it is given as a command to go out and witness to others.
Most mothers have the gift of shepherding as they raise their children and shepherd them through life to adulthood. Many of them may be able to use such skills in the ministry with others in the area of discipleship. But a woman cannot be a pastor, the head of the local church who is subject to Christ.
Some are naturally born teachers, and once saved the Holy Spirit can use that gift and perfect it even further. The same is true with the gift of music also as many of you know. I can teach, but I can't sing worth beans. Teaching and expounding the Word of God (rightly dividing the Word of truth) seems to be a gift. I believe it is much hard work and being led by the Holy Spirit, spending time in prayer, as well as having some ability to teach.
That being said, the first teachers in our lives are our parents.
Absolutely. However the gift of an evangelist is much like the gift of a pastor without the added responsibility of shepherding. His responsibility lies in his preaching and motivation to draw people to Christ. John Hyde (Praying Hyde) was an example of a missionary/evangelist whose success was dependent upon his time spent in prayer and also in his study of the Word. But the time that he spent in prayer and fasting was incredible.
So, why doesn't God give the 'gift' of evangelism given to all believers?
In our own little way yes.
Not all are Billy G's
Because He does all to the council of His Own Will.
You are missing something very important here, Richard. The evangelist and the others in Eph. 4:11 are not spiritual gifts as in 1 Cor. 12-14 and Rom. 12, they are gifts to the church. In other words, there are two kinds of gifts: gifts to the church and gifts to individuals.
The evangelist is not a spiritual gift given to individuals, he is a specially gifted person who is given to the church "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11). His purpose, then, is to help the believers in the churches he goes to in the area of evangelism in particular (though this often means he has to preach on revival first and get the saints where they ought to be in their relationship with God). So the "gift of evangelism" is a myth. It exists nowhere in the Bible. The gift is the evangelist himself, not evangelism.
All believers are commanded to evangelize. Look at John's version of the Great Commission: "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" (John 20:21). Why was Jesus sent? To seek and to save the lost. Who was the target audience for this Great Commission? "Disciples" (v. 20)--not apostles, not the 11, simply disciples, meaning in this context all believers, in my view. So anyone who claims to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is commanded in this passage to seek the lost to bring them to salvation.
Thank you, JoJ, for providing the missing link
so within the body of chirst (not necessarily the local assembly), some members are present to be evangelist, some are present to be shepards and/or teachers.
You are right regarding the gifts to the church. It is 1Cor 12:7-11 delineates the INDIVIDUAL gifts of the Spirit. Then 12:12-26 is how they are arranged in the world body and 12:27-30 (plus Eph 4:11 and Rom 12) show how they are "gifted" by God to the local churches. It's a great study for knowing God's working in the church!
I would add this -- the "great commission" is to all of us but each has a specific role in that worldwide mission. Some go, some send, some plant, some water, some pay, some pray. Evangelism is the "heart of God" for the world where we all need to find our place of service. I particularly believe that is what 1Cor 12:12-26 is addressing.
ACTS 6 clearly portrays the office of deacon. 1 Tim. 3 clearly defines the qualifications for the office of deacon. Church history clearly unfolds the existence of the office of deacon. Now how that office functions is a matter of debate. Clearly the word does indicate that the function is one of service. Nevertheless, it is an ordained office that should be recognized by the church. You will be hard pressed to find many evangelical scholars that will argue otherwise. There may be those who argue for the servant model but you are questioning the validity of the office altogether.
The point of a gift is not to keep it to yourself but to train others in that area. Everyone is to evangelize but not all are called to be one who is especially skilled and gifted at it such as an evangelist.
The person who has the gift is especially gifted by God in that area.
Gifts in 1 Cor are gifts of grace from God for the edification of the saints.
In New Testament terms the evangelist would have been equated to a missionary or a preacher. There is vast difference between a vocational calling and one of personal service through a local church. Not everyone is called to be a pastor or preacher but everyone is called to be a witness. See ACTS 1:8.
You've got it!:thumbs: :thumbs: