Evangelism: Part 4

 

diamond necklace

Jonathan Edwards notes that a true love to God will incline us to esteem Him: “If a man sincerely loves God, it will dispose him to render all proper respect to him; and men need no other incitement to shew each other all the respect that is due, than love. Love to God will dispose a man to honour him, to worship and adore him, and heartily to acknowledge his greatness and glory and dominion.”[1]

A love to God will not have a concern for one’s own honor, but it will have a concern for God’s. Glorifying God is man’s chief end and man’s greatest joy because he loves the One who is being glorified. So, the love that a person has for God will incline him to give the proper honor that is owed to God, and telling of His glory and mercy through evangelism is one of the ways that God is honored.

For example:

At any kind of ceremony that would honor an athlete, actor, or some other profession, the people will view their honored guest with much respect for his work which has made considerable strides in their area of expertise. The ceremony will be filled with stories that paint the person in a wonderful light and to make known the things he has done. Perhaps the stories would be about his great character that led him to the marvelous accomplishments that have been done by him, or perhaps about how these accomplishments have had a positive impact upon people. The overall mood of the occasion would be an air of love that the people have of that person. Because of that love, the people will laud his great accomplishments.

If people are quick to worship in this way concerning the character and work of mere men, how much more should Christians do this about the character and work of God through His Son?

The sum of all His works are of infinitely more value and worth than all the honorable works of men combined, works that merited a ceremony or not. Christ is of an infinitely more honorable character than any man that has ever walked the face of the earth. His accomplishments are infinitely more glorious than what any man has done, partly because no man could have taken upon his shoulders the punishment that Christ bore. And His work has had an infinitely greater consequence than any other man in the world, because Christ’s impact forever takes the punishment of His people’s sins away.

His character, work, and eternal impact have all been brought to bear in its infinite might upon each, individual believer. Because of this, the true believer cannot help but to return his own love for the undeserved love shown to him. So, the proper response of the believer who has had all this work done for him by the very person of Christ would at least be the inclination to tell of it.

The believer’s love of God will have the bend to boast of His wondrous acts because the  believer loves to glorify God, and this act of salvation makes God glorious.

A loving wife would show off to her friends a new piece of jewelry with which her loving husband has given and adorned her. Though the piece of jewelry itself is beautiful and costly, the wife does not show it off only for the gem’s or diamond’s sake, but out of a love for her husband, she shows it off to display this expression of his love for her, thereby increasing his reputation and causing him to look honorable, generous, and loving.

So, the believer should boast all the greater for the infinitely more precious gift of salvation because it boasts of God’s love for the world.

The Christian is to love to honor God and to speak of the work of Christ in salvation to others. It glorifies God because it speaks to His glorious work and, as it were, increases His reputation. “God is glorified when His mighty works of grace are made known… For a Christian to talk to the unconverted about the Lord Jesus Christ and his saving power is in itself honoring and glorifying to God.”[2]

[1] Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, 6.
[2] J.I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2008), 76.
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