Category Archives: Q&A

When Should I Make the Effort to Correct Error?

If we are going to help someone grow in their Christian faith or study the Bible with someone—whether it is with an unbeliever or a new believer—we are bound to encounter some doctrinal and theological error along the way. Even if one has not given much thought to that possibility, we intuitively know that when we do encounter serious error at some point, it is our duty to lovingly correct the error in such a discipleship relationship.  We also know that we don’t want to be overbearing or perceived as constantly waiting to slap wrists with a ruler. So, how do we know when it is important to address matters of biblical truth?

Prioritize by the Person’s Situation

For the unbeliever, we are not dealing with a new creature in Christ that is aided by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit. We can’t expect them to exhibit Christian behavior or proclaim sound Christian doctrine—and we shouldn’t place that burden on them. We really should focus on communicating the gospel message to them. To spend time talking about what the Bible has to say about church discipline, for example, would be unwise and unfruitful.

Prioritize by the Impact of

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Q&A: Is it Ever Right to Use Such Terms As “Turn from Sin,” “Yield,” “Surrender,” or “Repent” when Sharing the Gospel?

For the unbeliever, all of the terms will likely be unclear and require definition.  I think they are all fine, if properly defined, but some are more easily accessible in a biblical text (and thus more easily accurately defined) than others.

For the sake of this conversation, I will suppose a definition of repentance at conversion as recognizing that sin is actually wrong and has incurred God’s wrath.  With repentance and faith in Christ comes a desire to be obedient from the heart (Romans 6:17).  There is a continuing effort of repentance for the believer (as, possibly, in 2 Corinthians 7:9) that involves conviction of sinful behavior and involves resolution on the part of the believer to be against that sin and be rid of it.  That continued effort of repentance is not in the scope of this discussion, in my opinion.… Keep Reading

Q&A: What Does Jesus Say About the Old Testament and His Identity?

When we share the gospel, we point back to the completed work of Christ; we point to the mystery that has been fully revealed (Romans 16:25-26). However, as Jesus shared the gospel, he shared an unfolding gospel.  As such, when Jesus shared the gospel, he spoke of the start of God’s Kingdom[1], he spoke of himself as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, he spoke of his work yet to be accomplished, and he taught eschatology. For Jesus, sharing the gospel is, necessarily, teaching about himself and connecting the rich history of Old Testament prophecy to his ministry.

Jesus Indicates that the Old Testament Speaks Frequently and Understandably About Himself

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Q&A: Is it Appropriate to Invite an Unbeliever to “Ask Christ to Save You”?

It is clear that sharing the gospel involves more than just broadcasting information. In order to be saved, one must profess faith in Christ. It is incumbent on the Christian that shares the gospel to, at some point, appropriately make an invitation on behalf of Christ and proclaim “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). There are a number of ways one could invite a person to “be reconciled to God.”  Is it appropriate to invite an unbeliever to “ask Jesus to save” them?

The Example of Jesus

 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will

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