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Featured Preaching the Gospel to the Humble, the Law to the Proud???

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JonC, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    It’s been presented that evangelism consists of preaching the gospel to the humble and the Law to the proud. I’ve seen this before on the BB and have wondered what biblical support there is for this “method”.

    I’ve seen this linked to a specific evangelistic model - The Way of the Master – but am not sure if it is a part of their doctrine or method. For those familiar with Living Waters and their method (TWOTM, Ray Comfort), is this what the evangelistic method teaches (i.e., if a person is proud withhold the gospel of Jesus Christ and preach the Law; if humble then preach the gospel)?

    Is this type of criteria used by others in evangelism?

    And, is this idea of the Christian evangelist preaching the gospel to the humble and the Law to the proud biblical (and if so, what is the supporting passages)?
     
  2. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Active Member
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    I'll be very interested to find out myself. I myself embraced the Gospel down to my heart close to the height of my arrogance, haughtiness, and conceit in life. It's been an awfully long downhill slog since then to humble, and I still have an awfully long way to go it seems.
     
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  3. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Apparently those who believe the gospel is to be preached to the humble but the Law to the proud are referencing James 4:6 (out of context) which states that God gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud. This is what James wrote to a church (to professing believers) concerning quarrels among them.

    I do think that there is a legitimate application for the believer here. When we are prideful (when we do things our way) then we should expect opposition. But when we submit in obedience to God we move from grace to grace.
     
  4. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    Part of the issue is in the false thinking that "the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ" somehow means the Law is an appropriate way to bring an unbeliever to salvation.

    However, that's not the case.....

    Galatians 3:
    19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

    The law was given to believers:

    Exodus 4:31
    So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.

    Exodus 14:31
    When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.


    Galatians 3:
    23But before faith came, we (* believers *) were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our (* believers *) tutor to lead us (* believers *) to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

    It's the same truth Paul expressed in 2Cor 3, in distinguishing the ministry of condemnation verses ministry of the Spirit
     
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  5. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    We're all proud...so....

    2 Corinthians 5 gives us the general role.
    We are ambassadors of God's Kingdom spreading the news of reconciliation.
    If someone imagines there is no need for reconciliation then we show them how they have rebelled against God's laws. If a person knows they are a rebel then we share the message of God's reconciliation with rebels through Christ's substitutional work on the cross.
    Both are needed, but the place the rebel is at will determine the message being shared.
    My guess is that is what Comfort and crew are implying with the phrase you bring up. (I have not heard that phrase until now.)
     
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  6. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I have never seen it can you provide a link to some posts?
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    [/QUOTE]
    The problem is that 2 Corinthians 5 does not teach "preaching the Law to the proud". Instead, it looks to proclaiming the whole gospel to the world. We have to teach that while were sinners Christ died for us (we don't get to choose which part of that to offer).

    This is just one concern among several that has arisen with TWOTM. I think it started off good, but now it so loosely interprets Scripture that I would strongly hesitate recommending the program.
     
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  8. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    @evangelist6589 mentioned giving the gospel to the humble and convicting the proud on a current thread (WOTM throwing dust), and @blessedwife318 provided a reference as well.

    I have seen it here quite often, that we are to offer the Law to the lost who are proud and the gospel to the humble. But my point here is to see if this is a proper interpretation of Scripture (my claim is it is a false teaching).
     
  9. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    What is the function of the law?
    It reveals sin and convicts sinners.
    Many people in the US think they are good enough. They imagine there is a scale and as long as their good deeds outweigh the bad, they will go to heaven. But, we know that is not true. Thus, when we meet a person who has no standard of measuring their depravity, we need to show them God's standard of holiness and point out that there is no way they will ever attain such holiness by their own merit. How do we know this? God's law reveals this to be true and convicts us that we are indeed needful of a Redeemer who will reconcile our sins with God.
    We cannot skip past our guilt and shame to present Christ's atonement if the person we are talking with holds any hope that they are good enough, sort of good, might be good. No, they must be brought to the realization that they are so infected with sin that there is no self-remedy for their rotted, corrupted being. Until a person gets to that point of hopelessness, they will not understand the glorious ramifications of God's grace extended in reconciliation. The good news (gospel) is that Jesus atoning sacrifice brings healing to our rotted and corrupt being. We die to self and Christ lives. We are then and forevermore found "in Christ."
    We cannot skip over the fact we are corrupt and tell people only about atonement. They may never see the depth of their depravity and always hold onto their self as the cause agent of their decision. We find people on this forum who imagine their choice is the reason they had faith. It's a self-centered thought that robs God of being glorified for the work he alone did in our lives.
     
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  10. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    What is the function of the law?
    It reveals sin and convicts sinners.
    Many people in the US think they are good enough. They imagine there is a scale and as long as their good deeds outweigh the bad, they will go to heaven. But, we know that is not true. Thus, when we meet a person who has no standard of measuring their depravity, we need to show them God's standard of holiness and point out that there is no way they will ever attain such holiness by their own merit. How do we know this? God's law reveals this to be true and convicts us that we ate indeed needful of a Redeemer who will reconcile our sins with God.
    We cannot skip past our guilt and shame to present Christ's atonement if the person we are talking with holds any hope that they are good enough, sort of good, might be good. No, they must be brought to the realization that they are so infected with sin that there is no self-remedy for their rotted, corrupted being. Until a person gets to that point of hopelessness, they will not understand the glorious ramifications of God's grace extended in reconciliation. The good news (gospel) is that Jesus atoning sacrifice brings healing to our rotted and corrupt being. We die to self and Christ lives. We are then and forevermore found "in Christ."
    We cannot skip over the fact we are corrupt and tell people only about atonement. They may never see the depth of their depravity and always hold onto their self as the cause agent of their decision. We find people on this forum who imagine their choice is the reason they had faith. It's a self-centered thought that robs God of being glorified for the work he alone did in our lives.[/QUOTE]
    scripture tells us that the Law functioned to keep Israel in custody until salvation came and demonstrated that men cannot merit righteousness.

    I'm not opposed to using the Law in evangelism (assuming, of course, the person accepts it as an authority, which was the case with Paul). But it is anti-Christian to withhold the gospel to people we think are proud. And it misrepresents the passage in James.
     
  11. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    If a person will not accept that God's moral law is Sovereign over all other laws, then there is an impasse. The person is harboring a hope that they, themselves, are good enough.
    We can share the good news of reconciliation with them as well, but we cannot skip man's depravity and just share God's reconciliation. How will they ever know they are depraved if they don't know how bound in sin they are? The message of reconciliation means nothing and is only an intellectual nod of acceptance while the person harbors thoughts of their own goodness. The idea becomes..."I have reasoned this whole thing out and my prayer makes me saved. I choose God and I am proud of the choice I made. It was a good choice. A choice I am satisfied with."
    Do you see the man-centered thinking that creates? How is God glorified by such a thought in regard to salvation?
     
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  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    We are not commanded to preach the gospel only to those who will accept its message. We are not commanded to preach the Law. We are commanded to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ - in season and out of season. I believe we should proclaim the gospel and leave the giving of grace or opposing to God (where the passage says it belongs).
     
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  13. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    The law reveals sin. It is the law which makes the gospel such good news.
    We are not preaching the law as a means of salvation. We are showing the function of God's moral law, which is to convict us and show us we are condemned.
    What is the good news if people think they are good enough on their own merit? We can preach reconciliation to God until we are blue in the face, but if a person holds out hope that they are good by their own merit, then the gospel is meaningless.
    God gave the law so that we might know how sinful we are. God has never cast his law out. The law still convicts us today.
    The good news is that Jesus atoned for our lawbreaking.
    I cannot imagine leaving the law out of the message of the gospel.
     
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  14. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Scripture says God Himself testifies to man in such a way that we all know our sinfulness and are justly condemned. If this is true then we do not need the Law to show us our sinfulness (we already have Gods law). The purpose of the Law, according to the Bible, was not to teach the world of sin but to keep Gods people until the New Covenant. The Law was a covenant itself, demonstrating man's inability to meet the standard of righteousness (and by virtue of it being a covenant remained in effect until the Cross).
     
  15. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    In both Romans 3 and Romans 7 we see Paul showing the purpose of the law and explaining why it is important for today.
    The law gives the reason for why the gospel is such good news.

    Romans 7:1,4-25
    [1]Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only while a person is living?
    [4]So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.
    [5]When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.
    [6]But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
    [7]Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”
    [8]But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.
    [9]At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,
    [10]and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.
    [11]Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me.
    [12]But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
    [13]But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
    [14]So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.
    [15]I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
    [16]But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
    [17]So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
    [18]And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
    [19]I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
    [20]But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
    [21]I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
    [22]I love God’s law with all my heart.
    [23]But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
    [24]Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
    [25]Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
     
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  16. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    God's law, yes. But WOTM teaches that the world is under the Law of Moses given as a covenant to Israel.

    To be clear, we don't evangelize if we don't address sin. But we also don't evangelize if we don't share Christ. We are not allowed to choose one part and ignore the other.

    Half a gospel is itself "another gospel".
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    It is the model of the Way of the Master, except the neither the Master nor His Apostles preached law to save, but spoke the Gospel message! The Holy Spirit Himself will do the needed conviction thru that message, as he does not need the Law to do that!
     
  18. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I see the law being used in evangelism around here but I have never seen it separated out in that way. The law is part of the gospel.
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    God's law is vital to the gospel. How else would we understand our sin?

    Until WOTM I had never seen it separated that way either. I have seen a few of Ray Comfort's on campus videos and thought they were good even though I believe he often misuses Scripture. So I was hoping @evangelist6589 misunderstood something he had stated. Apparently that's not the case and we need to be cautious about allowing the program in our churches.

    That said, I believe God can use even WOTM for His glory. It is one of the most energetic program's I've seen in a long time but at the same time, it is probably the worst evangelistic program I've encountered when it comes to being faithful to Scripture. It is not a trade off that I would be comfortable making.
     
  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I have never seen it.
     
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