The Power of the Law.
Christians don’t like to talk about law much these days, and I can understand why. The Old Testament Law isn’t for true Christians. Christians are not under the law. We are not to serve in the oldness of the letter, but under the newness of the spirit. HOWEVER, the law does have its place in the toolbox of the evangelist—and it is a powerful tool.
The bible says that the Law is not for the righteous but for ‘the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent…for the sexually immoral and homosexuals…for liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to sound teachings…’ This means that the Law is good and useful when used in the right way for the right people. This is something I had a hard time understanding early on in my Christian walk. I just wanted to tell people about the love of Jesus and the gift of eternal life. But my problem was that I failed to understand the true nature of the gospel and the thinking of those that I encountered. The truth is that the world is at enmity with God and in perilous danger of being lost forever because of their sin. Jesus, of course, came to save the world from sin and death, but it’s painfully obvious that most of the world is unaware that they need saving. I talk to many people on the streets and 99% think they are good enough to get in to heaven when they die. These people don’t see much of a need for Jesus in their lives. Why do they need a savior if they’re good enough to get into heaven on their own? This is where the Law comes in. Before they can be saved, they need to know what it is they need saving from. The Law does this beautifully.
Imagine a cancer patient who is in denial. The doctor comes in and says, “I have bad news. You have cancer. However, we do have treatments that can save your life. We will get started right away.” But the patient says, “I feel fine, I look fine, I don’t believe I have cancer.” This is the way many in the world are. They say, “I look fine, I feel fine, I’m a pretty good person when I compare myself to others. Why do I need religion?” The doctor can do nothing until he convinces the patient that he indeed has cancer. In like manner, the evangelist can do nothing until he convinces the sinner that he has a sin problem. The doctor may show x-rays and such, the evangelist shows the Law.
I’ve seen it time and again. Students will approach me and talk with me, but it is not until I show them how short they stack up against the Law that they become serious. This plowing of the heart makes ready its soil for the seed of the gospel. Without a softened heart, the gospel will go in one ear and out the other.
Of course, some people are painfully aware of their sin. They don’t need the law, they need grace. But before the proud of heart can receive grace, they must be humbled by the Law of God. I’m saddened that the church at large has moved away from this kind of evangelism. We should be experts in it by now, but we have moved backwards. Pray that the church would understand this message and go forth in the love and power of the Spirit.
Interviews on the Streets
Recently we went to the streets with a video camera to find people to interview. It’s interesting to hear what they have to say and we always turn the conversation to Christ. I hope that videos like these will help to teach others how to use the Law to evangelize those that the Lord puts in their path. Hopefully we will have videos up on Youtube soon!
As I write this I’m preparing to travel to Boston to preach and hold an evangelism workshop for a hispanic church! This is a very exciting opportunity for ministry. I’m especially excited to be bringing a good friend of mine who will be translating for me. Perhaps this will open other doors for us to work together to reach more hispanic audiences. Please pray for us! Pray that the Lord would work powerfully and stir this church up to adopt a lifestyle of evangelism. Pray for me also, that I would be give the right words and supernaturally ability to speak as I ought to speak. I look forward to giving you an update on this event in my next newsletter.
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