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Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141

 Law and evangelism

I have recently learned about the importance of using the law is a backdrop (the bad news), so the gospel (the good news) makes sense and is effective.

While there is no "forumla" for what to preach... the gospel does include some fundamentals, and we are told to be prepared to share...

Someone told me the other day that the law is one way people can come to Christ. Apparently Paul didn't use the law when preaching to the gentiles.

Be it the law, or the Holy Spirit convicting them, I don't understand how people can come to Christ without conviction. I dont understand how we can be convicted unless we are shown that we are sinners?

I was wondering if anyone had a list (or we could create one here) where people in the NT didn't seem to use the law to bring people to Christ?

Maybe it will help understand it better?


 2005/7/12 23:00Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37511
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re: Law and evangelism

One theme I have been praying about is the phrase: "preaching the kingdom of God" Acts 28. This is a great discussion and it would be neat to see more examples from scriptures as we continue discussing this important topic.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/7/12 23:04Profile

Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141


Well I might as well get the ball rolling, if someone has another idea on how to do this let me know, but I might as well start from the start of Matthew...

[b]Laying a foundation of repentance[/b]
Matt 3:1 "In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.' "
Mat 4:17 "From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Thats all right... now we have v18-25...


 2005/7/12 23:22Profile

Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia


Sorry. See other message!

Hal Bachman

 2005/7/13 0:04Profile

Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia


If there is a message that must be preached to the lost, and one absolutely refuses to use the law, repentance must be preached. I will say foremost that basically all Gentiles today are familiar with the law. Everyone in America is familiar with the 10 commandments, so it is a valid form of evangelism to those of this country. If one was dead set on not preaching law, then he must preach repentance. However, I see the law as effective and Biblical as a use in evangelism. See from Scripture how you can't get around repentance:

To the people, soldiers, and publicans, John Baptist said, "Repent." (Matt, Mark, Luke)

The message Jesus told his disciples to leave with, when He told them to go out two by two was "that men should repent." (Mark 6)

Jesus twice said in Luke 13, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

The Great Commission given in all 4 gospels and in Acts 1, is summed up in Luke 24:47: "...repentance and remission of sins should be preached...among all nations"

Acts 2:38, Peter says, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ."

Acts 3:19, Peter says, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted."

These two verses should answer any question as to what message should be given to what crowd (although the Great Commission in Luke 24 covered it):

Acts 17:30, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth [b]all[/b] men every where to repent."

Acts 20:21, "Testifying [b]both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks[/b], repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

These are only some of the 66 times that the New Testament uses the word "repent." The law is simply showing someone what they need to repent of. Shows them their sinful nature in God's sight that they need to turn from. God's grace then makes sense.

The message of repentance was not missing from Wesley, Finney, Ravenhill, etc etc, but it is missing from our church today. Brothers, we must tell men to repent!

Hal Bachman

 2005/7/13 0:14Profile


Keep in mind many people don't know what that precious word means. Always be willing to break down what you preach, cause how can you talk to a 10 yr old with intellecual words??

Always be willing, or prepare them in a manner of 'understanding'. But also causing them to think. This is where the Spirit helps me most, cause there are no examples that i say to you

 2005/7/13 1:04

Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141


Yes! there is no repentace without salvation and the law leads to repentance...

But are there other ways someone can be brought to repentance? Is there another way someone's concience can convince them they are sinners before God?


 2005/7/13 3:58Profile

Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573



Let me give a disclaimer up front here and say that I do not think that using the Law is wrong in evangelism. It seems to be a pretty effective method. I just wonder if there's a better way. I think the Bible reveals there is.

Either way you understand it, this post should be helpful as far as the list you are working on.

"But are there other ways someone can be brought to repentance?"

How about God's kindness demonstrated through healing, deliverance, signs, wonders, miracles, etc. Is this not a common New Testament model?

In the New Testament, doesn't preaching the gospel (especially the gospel of the Kingdom), healing the sick, casting out demons, and other demonstrations of power often go hand in hand?

Matthew 4:23-24
"And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and [b]proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people[/b]. And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken wiht various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them."

Luke 9:1-2, 11
"And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases. And He sent them out [b]to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and to perform healing[/b]... But the multitudes were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, [b]He began speaking to them about the Kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing[/b]."

Luke 10:8-9
"And whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and [b]heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God has come near to you[/b].'"

And the following Scripture seems to speak very plainly to our discussion...

Luke 10:13
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! [b]For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occured in you, they would have repented[/b] long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ahses."

Acts 8:5-7, 12
"And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed... But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike."

"Is there another way someone's concience can convince them they are sinners before God?"

I don't know if someone's conscience in and of itself will convinct them, but it is part of the Holy Spirit's work to convict the world concerning sin.

John 16:8
"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin..."

In the Bible, is there any reference to the Law being used in preaching after the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentacost?

 2005/7/13 5:29Profile

Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141

 Re: preaching the gospel

Hey todd, thanks for your is really helpful :)
I don't really know much about "the gospel of the Kingdom"... can you explain how it is different from using the law in evangelism?

You have brought up a really good point with the miracles, and the verse comes to mind..."When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven' " (Luke 5:20) and " For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness" (Romans 4:9) so I guess when miracles happen people see and have more faith and it counts as righteousness?

Another can of worms...miracles confirmed Jesus’ authority and claims. Through His miracles, Jesus revealed His glory as the Son of God, His supernatural power, His glorious character, divine thoughts and principles, the beauty and holiness of His attributes, His transcendent teachings, and His great love for mankind. They revealed His authority over nature, His authority over Satan, and His divine authority to forgive sins. When the paralytic man was lowered through the roof in front of Jesus in the crowded room, Jesus said to him, "Man, your sins are forgiven you." Then the religious people who heard these words accused Jesus of blasphemy, saying, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus replied, "Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But "[b]that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins[/b]" - He said to the man who was paralyzed, "[b]I say to you, arise, take up bed, and go to your house.[/b]" (Luke 5:23, 24).

So in summary:

What is the difference between preaching "the gospel of the Kingdom" and using the law as a foundation?

Is it right to say that in many cases the miracles could lead to faith which leads to righteousness?

It seems the miracles were not to fix the current need of the world, but to prove that Jesus had the power to forgive sins (which I think we need the law to understand...)

On todd's question about preaching the law after pentecost: I don't necesarily mean naming a commandment etc, but just appealing to the conscience about their sin, (which is known by the law), you don't need to quote verses, but still point out sin an urge repentance... But the qustions still stands to anyone: Where did people preach using the law after pentecost?



 2005/7/13 7:28Profile

Joined: 2003/10/29
Posts: 62
College Station, TX



We must take this discussion to the same place we must all go, to the cross.

The issue of one being converted is the issue of their death. Plain and simple. Jesus said "Any man who desires to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will surely find it."

The cross of Calvary is where we must all come, laying down every kind of sin and iniquity, doubt and shame, and let Christ put us to death to ourselves so that we might "have life in His Name".

How can one come unto the cross without turning away from themselves and turning towards God in repentant, desperate faith? And how can one repent if he knows not what he is repenting from?

"I would not have known what sin was, but by the law." Paul said in Romans 7:7

"The Law IS our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ." Galatians 3:24

So what is it that Paul wrote AFTER PENTECOST to show people how to lead them to Christ? The law.

Now, the overall principal I believe is found in James. James says "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

In my own experience, I've witnessed to people who could care less about sin, and need the law of God to break down their hard hearts and see their need for God's forgiveness. These people are proud, and God opposes them with the law, which is able to break through and convict them of "sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment".

However, there are other people who I've met, who are so overwhelmed with guilt over their sin that they are humbly broken, but without the understanding of the gospel (good-news) of Christ. These people, like the man I met almost crying outside of a club because he just found out his wife had been cheating on him, are already humbled by their own sin and are truly ready to receive the grace of God. They know they've messed up their lives, they just need to know God can come in and work a miracle in them.

In that case, a person may not need the law presented to them, because they are ALREADY AWARE that they are a sinner.

In either case, the person MUST have an understanding that they have sinned against a Holy God, and that God now commands "...every man, everywhere TO REPENT, for He has set a day in which He will judge the earth by the man (Jesus) He has appointed." Acts 17:31

I am in complete agreement that God can, has, does, and will use signs and wonders to accompany His word, so that people might believe. But even then, the person who has seen or heard such a mighty and awesome act MUST then THEMSELVES come unto the realization that they have sinned against this Holy and Powerful God, and that Jesus is the way in which they might be restored unto God by faith alone.

There are two kingdoms in this world, the Kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of God. One must not only turn from one unto the other, but understand why and what it is (sin, by the knowledge of the law) that they are turning from.

As far as the law being used after pentecost?
Paul preached against false Gods (1st comm.) in Acts, wrote about the law to the Romans, and exposited about it to the Corinthians and Galatians, instructing them so that they may know how others might come unto faith (Galatians 3:24).

And what of the mighty works of God in America, Wales, and Shantung? Are they not after Acts 2? It would be laughable to say that the law was not preached in these to bring massive repentance and massive life! Ask Whitfield, Wesley, Spurgeon, Roberts, Campbell, Ravenhill, Finney, Culpepper, etc, etc.

And what of those who yet preach the law today as a schoolmaster unto Christ? We here are after pentecost aren't we?

Thank you Lord! You showed me my need for grace that I might appreciate it all the more! Seeing Your love for what it really is! Hallelujah!

Ryan Couch

 2005/7/13 11:53Profile

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