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Reflections on Evangelism 3: Understanding the Gospel

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : December 19, 2006

Evangelism flows out of one?s understanding of the Gospel. When Jesus proclaimed the Good News, he said it was that the kingdom is here. And when Paul re-affirmed the Good News, he pointed to the Cross and the Resurrection, and to Christ’s continued presence by his Spirit–so that through these events we can experience a reconciled relationship with God. He dwells among us. And his presence transform us.

And if we, the Church, are to be people of the Gospel (evangelicals in the truest sense of the word)…then we need to not only proclaim the Good News, but live as though it were true. The reason that we are given an entire Testament in which to discover the Gospel is that there are many terrifying and beautiful implications to the reality that God is among us. Our being and doing and proclaiming all should point to the presence of God among us. And that is why we, the Church, exist-to proclaim and embody the Presence among us.

If the Gospel is God?s Triune presence among us, then what evangelism is, in my estimation, is first a matter of embodying Christ?s presence in our world (with all of its Sermon on the Mount goodness). Flowing out of our embodiment, Gospel proclamation is a NARRATION of what God has done, what he is doing now in our midst, and what he will ultimately do.

Therefore, the church, which is not the Kingdom, is its visible expression and its interpreter in our world. The church both embodies the Kingdom and its life and witnesses to its presence and future in its mission.

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