Campus Ambassadors @ UAlbany

LORDSHIP EVANGELISM


LORDSHIP   EVANGELISM

Much confusion takes place when Christians call unbelievers to repentance and at the same time describe salvation as the grace of God, a free gift appropriated by faith. This confusion has created two faulty conclusions, each being the extreme opposite of the other: 1) Salvation is faith and works together; 2) Salvation is bestowed upon anyone who simply believes, even to those who are unwilling to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ.

Our distinction of Lordship Evangelism looks at the whole teaching of Jesus: Salvation is a free, undeserved gift made possible by the death of Christ on our behalf (I John 2:2). Nobody earns merit with God. Instead, eternal life is offered unconditionally to anyone who wants it (Eph. 2:8-9). At the same time, eternal life must be carefully defined as a relationship with God which starts now and continues for all of eternity (John 5:24). The relationship is characterized by obedience (Matt. 7:21-23). Although we are incapable of obeying God on our own, the Holy Spirit comes into the heart of the believer and brings forth both the desire and power to obey (Phil. 2:12-13). We will not obtain sinless perfection in this life (Phil. 3:12-14), but the Holy Spirit definitely brings about change (Rom. 8:9). The willingness to accept this process is repentance. The fruit and sign of this acceptance is a life of obedience. Works, therefore, are a by-product which verifies salvation, not a prerequisite for salvation (James 2:18-19). Belief and faith in biblical times described a willingness to obey, not mere intellectual adherence. The person who would rather live a life of sin does not really want the gift of eternal life, since the end product of this eternal life is submission to Christ.

Campus Ambassadors insists upon a gospel which stresses both the mercy of God and supremacy of God’s Spirit in our lives. To do less makes the gospel sound unfair and leads people into dangerously false belief.

We must resist the temptation to take prospective converts through a quick “prayer of salvation” and instead ask such individuals to count the cost (Luke 14:28). All too often, people respond emotionally to persuasive gospel presentations, without really taking the time to think through all of the implications. One must know that his/her life is going to change radically. If people understand from the onset that Jesus must be Lord they will also become concerned if they do not see the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. This healthy caution is preferable to a false security based upon “easy believism.”

Ministering on the secular campus as Campus Ambassadors, we are committed to this biblical (lordship) evangelism. It concerns PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP. We seek the goal of “making disciples” according to the Great Commission which requires confession by baptism and Christlikeness by obedience (Matt. 28:19-20). Evangelism is our primary goal.

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