Ours to Proclaim

In a time when Israel was fraught with political instability and mired in moral bankruptcy, the Lord called the prophet Isaiah to speak His message to the people. But rather than simply telling Isaiah what his message would be, God showed him. God called Isaiah to ministry by causing him to experience the drama of redemption in real time. The prophet saw a terrifying and majestic vision of the sovereignty and holiness of God—the heavenly temple filled with smoke, and its foundations shook at the voice of flaming angels who continuously proclaimed God to be, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” And in the light of such holiness, Isaiah saw himself to be hopelessly sinful. He pronounced a curse upon himself and confessed “I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). And at just that moment, Isaiah experienced the atoning grace of God, as one of the angels touched his unclean lips with the burning coal and purified him from his sin.

What was Isaiah’s response to his experience of the gospel? “Here am I. Send me!” (v. 8). Isaiah was delightfully compelled to the ministry of preaching the Lord’s message as he had been commissioned. The awesome revelation of God’s holiness, the miserable condition of his own sin, and the astounding display of grace in atonement and forgiveness had made him ready to proclaim.

While we haven’t received the kind of heavenly vision that Isaiah saw, we have been saved by the very gospel of God’s grace that Isaiah experienced on that day of his calling. And, like Isaiah, we too have been commissioned by the Lord Jesus to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). This commission is at the heart of our desire to strengthen, equip, and encourage the members of our church family in the ministry of personal evangelism. In addition to the resources available at the Local Outreach table on GraceWalk each week, we pursue that goal through a class called “Grace Evangelism.”

Grace Evangelism is an eight-week, interactive training course that equips believers to proclaim the gospel clearly, understandably, and faithfully. Each lesson is designed to help students think through the vital components and implications of a God-centered message, while also providing practical applications and guidance regarding actual, “boots on the ground” evangelism. Our faithful instructors will teach you how to start and end a gospel conversation, what to say when presenting the gospel, and how to respond when rejected. The class also includes guidelines for evangelizing children, as well as practical pointers for moving from evangelism to discipleship with those who respond positively to the gospel.

Our hope is that each member of our church family would be ready, equipped, and committed to taking the opportunities the Lord gives us for telling others the wonderful news of forgiveness of sins through Christ. If you believe Grace Evangelism can help you do that, and you desire to grow in your knowledge of the gospel and what it means to evangelize, I encourage you to take the next class, scheduled to begin in September. If you are interested in signing up, or you just have some questions, please visit the Local Outreach table on GraceWalk after either morning service.

Have we, like Isaiah, been confronted with the fearful reality of God’s holiness against our sin? Have we been adequately affected by the hopelessness of our condition before a holy God? And have we tasted the sweetness of His matchless grace, which cleanses our sin and clothes us with righteousness? Then we must be delightfully compelled to go. After all, who else will proclaim the excellencies of the Holy God who forgives sins, if not those who are actually beneficiaries of that amazing grace? The gospel is ours to proclaim. And it is my prayer that Grace Evangelism will be a valuable tool in equipping us to follow this Great Commission.