Path of Evangelism V: Jesus Alone

One of the most important battles in the Protestant Reformation was over the fact that our justification is grounded in the work of Christ alone. Contrary to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, that our justification is in Jesus plus, the Reformers rediscovered and reasserted the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone.
Although the Reformation started 500 years ago, it is still going on today. We all have the built-in tendency of trying to add something to the work of Christ. It may be good works, a religious experience, or even doctrinal clarity. Careful evangelists must be aware of this tendency and consistently point men, women, and children to Christ alone for salvation.

In this week’s episode, John and Matthew discuss how we can identify when someone is, consciously or unconsciously, attempting to add to the work of Christ. They also share how we can protect those we are witnessing to from that danger.

John and Matthew read several excerpts from The Life and Times of Samuel Walker of Truro. You can find a link to that book below. As always, links to other resources and Scriptures referenced in the podcast can be found on the Media Gratiae blog.

 

0:00 John and Matthew introduce this week’s focus, Samuel Walker’s third step in his “Scheme of Personal Instruction.” If you missed our episodes where we discuss his first few steps, links to them are under Show Notes.

3:00: Matthew reads from Walker’s third step. John pulls out a few major ideas to focus on. The first is that salvation is for Christ’s sake. As wise guides, we must guard the people we are talking to against self-righteousness and adding something to Jesus Christ.   

7:00 There are many things people trust in, other than Christ. In the particular area John and Matthew live in, one of those things in the Sinner’s Prayer. John shares the danger and problems with this prayer. It isn’t the prayer itself, but it is that we put the prayer in the wrong place. It can easily become a source of self-righteousness. John also warns against throwing the true nature of conversion out because many have dealt carelessly with it.

11:00 Matthew reads another quote from Walker with further instruction. In essence, the careful evangelist must not allow the mental understanding of doctrine to be a cause of delay for the sinner to embrace Christ. This idea is further developed after the break.

13:00 There are many types of false conversion. Richard Owen Roberts coined one of them as doctrinal regeneration. This is the belief that by understanding doctrine in such a precise way God rewards you by giving you regeneration. It is always good to desire to learn more, but if you think you must completely understand a particular doctrine before you are able to be saved, you are attempting to add to the work of Christ.

16:00 This is often seen in today’s religious climate in regards to Calvinism and Arminianism. While it is important to understand theology, and the systems of theological thought, that pursuit must not replace pursuing Christ. It isn’t our grasp of doctrinal truths that save us. There are many people who love Jesus but haven’t given much thought to these things.

23:00 Where some will pursue doctrine instead of salvation, others pursue experience. This may be an emotional moment culminating in a special prayer, or something similar, but is leading people to a moment, rather than a Savior.  John gives an illustration to help us understand the purpose of experience and the danger of basing our righteousness on them.

27:00 In overreacting to the unbiblical understanding of experience, many have lost the biblical truth of regeneration. Our desire should be to follow Christ alone, not the strengths and weaknesses of the culture around us.

For this week’s Supporter Appreciation Episode, we’re back in the Media Gratiae office. Joining Matthew are Teddy James, Jeffrey Johnson (from the Episode On the Church) Stephen McCaskell, (director of Puritan: All of Life to the Glory of God and Through the Eyes of Spurgeon), and one of Media Gratiae’s board of directors, Bob Robbins.
The crew came together to officially begin preproduction on Media Gratiae’s next big project for 2019/2020. In the episode we tell you more about the project, share a bit of our planning, and invite you, our supporters, to join us “behind the scenes” as we travel across North Africa, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, England, and more for this project. We couldn’t do what we do without your support, and at the beginning of what we feel is a very important project on the Church, we want to say “Thank you!”



Show Notes

 

Other episodes in this series:

Evangelism I: Privilege and Command

Evangelism II: Warnings and Promises

Evangelism III: More than Conviction

Path of Evangelism IV: Sufficient and Willing

Path of Evangelism V: Jesus Alone

Path of Evangelism VI: The Object of Faith

Path of Evangelism VII: Sovereignty and Responsibility

Path of Evangelism VIII: The Fruit of Faith

Path of Evangelism IX: Sanctification

Path of Evangelism X: What Constitutes a Christian

Podcast Resources:

A Cornish Revival: The Life and Times of Samuel Walker of Truro by Tim Shenton 

Philippians 3:2-8