Evangelism and Salvation

Evangelism is a process, not an event.

The Gospel of John: John 10.34-42

Read and meditate on John 10.41, 42.
Not everyone who heard Jesus, and saw the many good works He performed, opposed and tried to silence Him. Many people listened and made the right conclusion, that John was right about Jesus, and Jesus’ claims were true.

                                        41Many came to that
location, seeking Him and saying, “John
performed no sign, but every word of John
about this Man was true.” 42And many there
believed in Him.

- John 10.41, 42

Reflect
1.  Retreating to the area beyond the Jordan had another benefit: It made it possible for those who were interested in hearing more, and perhaps believing, to come to Jesus apart from the scrutiny of their religious leaders. Are some people today reluctant to believe because they fear someone might disapprove of their doing so? Can talking with such people about Jesus in the presence of those whose opinion they fear put a damper on the conversation? Explain. Complete this prayer: Lord, I pray for the unbelievers in my Personal Mission Field. Are any of them intimidated by what someone else might think? How can I help them to…

2.  The area beyond the Jordan was Gentile territory (recall Cyril’s comment from yesterday), but close enough to Judea (familiar turf) that it would have been accessible to many. The religious leaders wouldn’t have been caught dead there, but “many came to Him” beyond the Jordan. There they could safely hear Jesus and make up their minds without being intimidated by their leaders. How might local churches establish such “safe places” for interested people to come and learn about Jesus? Lord, I pray for our church, that by all means we might…

3.  It’s clear from these verses that some of the people who came to Jesus beyond the Jordan had been thinking about Him for a while. How can you tell that? What does that suggest about the process of becoming saved, and the work of evangelism that must address that process? Should evangelism be an event or a process? Lord, give me patience with my unbelieving friends and associates, so that I will…

4.  The process by which “many believed in Him” began with John and continued for at least two years up to this moment. John, in some ways, prepared the soil of their souls, and sowed the first seeds. Jesus cultivated those sown seeds by His words and deeds, and continued sowing additional seeds as well. Now He was reaping some of the fruit of the process which began with John. Meditate on 1 Corinthians 3.5-9. What does this suggest for you regarding a strategy for reaching the lost people in your Personal Mission Field? Lord, help me to develop a strategy for reaching lost people, and give me the grace to work it…

5.  The Greek of verse 42 says literally, “And many believed into Him there.” Is there a difference in believing in Jesus and believing into Him? Explain. Bring together into one your prayers from questions 1-4.

Summary
“When he has spoken anything great and sublime, he quickly retires, giving way to their anger so that the passion may abate and cease through his absence. And thus he acted at that time. But why does the Evangelist mention the place? That you may learn that he went there to remind them of the things that had been done there and said by John, and of his testimony. At least when they came there, they immediately remembered John. Therefore also they said, ‘John indeed did no miracle,’ since how did it follow that they should add this unless the place had brought the Baptist to their memory, and they had come to remember his testimony? And observe how they form incontrovertible syllogisms: ‘John indeed did no miracle,’ ‘but this man does,’ someone says and ‘so his superiority is shown. If therefore people believed in the one who did no miracles, how much more must they believe this man?’ Then, since it was John who bore the witness—in case his having done no miracle might seem to prove him unworthy of being a witness—they added, ‘Yet if he did no miracle, still everything he said about this man was true.’ And so, Christ is no longer proven to be trustworthy by means of John. Instead, John is shown to be trustworthy by what Christ had done.” John Chrysostom (340-407 AD)

As Jesus was sent to the world to bring people to faith and the Kingdom, so He has sent us (Jn. 20.21). As He understood this work to be one of words and deeds, so must we. And as Jesus pursued the work of bringing the Good News as a process, and not an event, so He counsels us to do the same. How would you describe the state of your work of bringing Jesus to lost people?

Closing Prayer
I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.
Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
And I will declare Your greatness.
They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
And shall sing of Your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
The LORD is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.
All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,
And Your saints shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.

Psalm 145.1-12

Psalm 145.1-12 (Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
I will extol You, God, my King, and ever praise Your Name!
I bless You, Lord, for everything each day, and e’er the same!
Great are You, Lord, my praise I bring; unsearchable Your fame!

To ev’ry generation we Your wondrous works shall tell.
The splendor of Your majesty we contemplate full well.
We speak of all Your mighty deeds and all Your greatness tell!

Then shall we all the glorious fame of Your great goodness sing –
Your righteousness, Your gracious Name, Your mercy: Praise we bring!
Your steadfast love remains the same, mercy our covering.

Your works shall thank You; all Your saints shall bless and praise You, Lord!
Your works You do so faithfully, according to Your Word.
The falling You uphold and the oppressed You rescue, Lord!
           
T. M. Moore

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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