Building up to, and through, Bible belief

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Heb 11:6

First we "...must believe that God is... " If apologetics has any place in our movement, it is here. I also believe that God reveals Himself to anyone open to realizing His presence. This power of revelation, even to the sinner, is why we should always pray for the unsaved. 

Second we must believe that God wants to be known, "...and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." This is a simple step after the first, but still important. Some deists and agnostics will argue about it. 

Third we must accept a medium of exchange. This is where the Bible can come in, or where it can be squeezed out. It can be traded for one's personal revelation, tradition, or other spirit systems. This is a critical point - many call themselves Christians but are in truth sitting at this stage, waiting, in peril. 

If the Bible is not our foundation, that great truth that informs all other truths in our lives, we are building our faith outside the will and plan of God. Prophets, miracle workers, the wise and inspirational are all still subject to the Bible. They should point us to the Bible, and if they do not and conflict with God's word that should be a sign. Disclosing contradictions are the purpose of polemics, to me.

Fourth we find and obey the Bible's doctrines: of God, of salvation, of living saved in holiness. We need help in this, and God has ordained preachers and teachers to deliver the truth so that others might believe and act accordingly.

Fifth we help others work through these same steps.

Apologetics doesn't progress down this path well alone. At best they get us to point number one. Polemics assumes too much, often Online debates don't find out where people are and move them through the process. Preaching on street corners try, often, to skip steps and overly simplify God's plan. 

Testimonies of salvation always includes all of these steps. Bible studies dig out where we are and deliver what we need. That why these tools have been evergreen throughout our history.

Ask people where they are, and then get them to the next step. Use the power of questions. Then they can be disciples the way God intended, and not just followers of personality or rules and traditions. 

We can get caught up on our favorite point of doctrine and they are already past it ready for something more. Or we can assume they are further on the steps than they are (especially in youth work).

Helpfully, everyone is at some step.

#EDC for an Evangelist

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