Friday, June 20, 2008

Too Much Information!!!!

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


In this passage that is referred to as the Great Commission, Jesus gave us the marching orders for evangelism and missions. He said we are to go and make disciples and to teach the disciples to observe all that I have commanded you. That seems simple enough. Yet the GES (also called Free Grace theology) group accuses Reformed Theology of adding works to justification by faith alone if we teach anyone to obey the commandments of Christ. For example, they assert to even mention repentance in a gospel presentation is adding works to being saved. In short they warn that you must be careful to not give too much information.

What do you think?
Is it possible to give too much truthful information when evangelizing the lost?


14 comments:

Gayla said...

Truthfully, I've grown weary of continually reading the very minimalist view on salvation, as posited by some. One individual, in particular, continues to repeat this "trusting Jesus for your eternal well-being" statement. What? I have yet to figure out the biblical basis for this.

So, to answer your question - no, I don't see how there can ever be too much truth given when evangelizing someone.

mark pierson said...

When we are dealing with the concept of the Holy Spirit bringing about faith in an individual, that individual, as the concept goes, receives and embraces the truth as it is uttered by the evangelist. Look at Acts 10:36-44 - Peter at Cornelius' house. Look at the ground covered:
*peace (with God) through Christ
*He is Lord of all
*Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit
*Christ's miracles, done because God was with Him
*Jesus killed on a cross
*God raised Him up the third day and showed Him openly
*He was the One ordained of God to judge the living and the dead
*whoever believes in Him will recieve forgiveness of sins
AND WHILE PETER WAS STILL SPEAKING...the Holy Spirit fell upon those who heard the word... Hmmm...

Celestial Fundie said...

No, you cannot give too much truthful information.

We are to make disciples of all men and that means teaching them to obey our Lord.

jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Would you then agree that a call to repentance is order?

Celestial Fundie said...

It would be wrong to hide the truth of repentance from a would-be convert, just as it would be wrong to hide the truth of baptism.

jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Good. Now that you've agreed not hide repentance from a would be convert, do you also agree that explaining the need of turning to Christ in faith and repentance due to sin is not only not to be hidden but is in order?

Celestial Fundie said...

Wayne, first let me ask you, is it correct to explain the need of turning to Christ in faith and repentance and baptism?

jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Since faith and repentance are both gifts from God in conversion, I think they deserve explanation in a gospel presentation.

The understanding of baptism, is a sign and a sacrament and is not knowledge that is needed to understand one's sin and need of a savior.

Now, you can answer....

Celestial Fundie said...

I think we need to talk a bit more about baptism.

I agree that baptism differs from repentance in that it is not essential to understanding one's sinfulness (though I think we would both agree that repentance is more than just acknowledging one's sin- there is an active desire to turn from it).

You refer to baptism as being a sign.

Can we not say that repentance is also a sign? Does it not indicate faith and a response to God's judgment?

Your statement seems to imply that repentance is somehow more important than baptism. I think this is possibly an indefensible position exegetically.

In Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter told the first converts to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. This would seem to imply that their sins would not be remitted without baptism.

Likewise, Phillip the deacon made sure that the Ehiopian eunuch was baptized immediately. Evidently, baptism was not omitted from his Gospel message.

This is in keeping with the instuctions of our Lord. We are to baptize those who become disciples (Matt 28:19). Our Lord connected faith and baptism in Mark 16:16.

The Scriptures know nothing of a Christian who is not baptized.

Therefore in makign disciples, we must teach faith, repentance and baptism as the means of turning to Christ.

God Bless

Matthew

donsands said...

I think it may be essential in some nations to preach from Genesis, how Adam fell, all the way to the Gospels, and even the Epistles of the Apostles.

The good news is only good news, if they understand there's some bad news, other wise they won't need the good news.

mark pierson said...

"I think we need to talk a bit more about baptism.

I agree that baptism differs from repentance in that it is not essential to understanding one's sinfulness (though I think we would both agree that repentance is more than just acknowledging one's sin- there is an active desire to turn from it).
===========
Amen!!!
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"You refer to baptism as being a sign.

Can we not say that repentance is also a sign?
==============
Yes, it is a sign that saving faith has taken place. See Acts 11:18.
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" Does it not indicate faith and a response to God's judgment?"
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Yes.
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"Your statement seems to imply that repentance is somehow more important than baptism. I think this is possibly an indefensible position exegetically.

In Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter told the first converts to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. This would seem to imply that their sins would not be remitted without baptism."
========
Ryrie says that the word "for" can also be interpretted "because" of the remission of sins. See his commentary on Acts 2:38.
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"Likewise, Phillip the deacon made sure that the Ehiopian eunuch was baptized immediately."
===========
Actually, it was the eunich that WANTED the baptism right away.
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" Evidently, baptism was not omitted from his Gospel message."
========
AMEN!!!
=========
"This is in keeping with the instuctions of our Lord. We are to baptize those who become disciples (Matt 28:19). Our Lord connected faith and baptism in Mark 16:16.

The Scriptures know nothing of a Christian who is not baptized."
===========
AMEN!!!
=========
"Therefore in makign disciples, we must teach faith, repentance and baptism as the means of turning to Christ."
=========
I'd say that baptism is so closely connected to the reception of saving faith that to say one is baptized is to say that one is a believerin most cases.

mark pierson said...

I also must add that the Scriptures know nothing of a Christian who is not a disciple.

jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Your statement seems to imply that repentance is somehow more important than baptism.

Scripture tells us that the gift of faith and repentance are given when a person comes to saving faith and is saved. One is justified and adopted at the point of faith, which is accompanied by repentance. A person may be killed and never be baptized, but he has eternal life through saving faith. Therefore, I would say that repentance is more important than baptism. This is not to say baptism is not important, but a person can have eternal life without baptism. However, without the gifts of faith and repentance, baptism will not do a person any good.

Mark and Don have also given very good explanations as well to your question.

Lou Martuneac said...

"For example, they assert to even mention repentance in a gospel presentation is adding works to being saved."

There are sharp differences on the meaning of repentance, but nearly all evangelical Christians agree that repentance is a condition of salvation. The exception of course would be Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and their shrinking cell of followers in the Grace Evangelical Society (GES).

The statement above could only be true of the GES/Crossless gospel faction and their sympathizers.


LM