Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 14:21–22
Ephesians Lesson #142
March 20, 2022
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.
“Father, we thank You for what You have revealed to us, that we are part of the church, not the local church, but the universal body of Christ that began on the Day of Pentecost in AD 33, which will continue to grow until the Lord returns for us in the Rapture.
“Father, we are thankful to recognize that this is Your church, Your body. You dictate what the terms are. You give us guidance and direction. You define our purpose and what our mission is.
“As we study this great passage, we learn that You have provided for our spiritual growth through gifted men, gifted leaders, whose role it is to equip us to do the work of the ministry. As we continue this study, help us to understand that this really is sort of the mission statement and job description for the leaders in the local church. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”
Ephesians 4:11, we are looking at these gifted leaders that we find described here, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastor-teachers.”
We’re looking at what the Bible teaches about this third gifted person, the evangelist: what does the Word of God tell us about this?
We looked at apostles and prophets and saw that they had a purpose that was limited to the early church as described in 1 Corinthians 13:8–13 and 1 Corinthians 14. These were limited to that early part of the church before the New Testament had been completely written.
The entire body, or corpus, of the New Testament is described as the Canon. We don’t shoot people with the “cannon” [with two Ns] of Scripture, the Canon refers to a rule or a standard.
When I get back from the Tucson Conference, I’ll be finishing up teaching on how prophecy within the Word of God confirms its accuracy and inerrancy. After that I’ll go through the history of how we got the New Testament. Many people have questions about that, and you hear a lot of false information.
Fake news started in the Garden of Eden; it’s not new. We have a lot of fake news about councils or people who sort of imposed these 27 books on the New Testament, and that’s not true at all. They carry within them, as the Word that originates in the thinking of God, the very self-authenticating stamp of veracity.
It beats the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. It resonates in the souls of everyone that God is saying this, and there are those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, and those that will respond to it.
But God has given these gifted people in order to teach the Word, looking to the Canon of Scripture, the 27 books of the New Testament, which were all completed by the 90s of the first century.
Apostles and prophets were no longer needed, and those that rose to the focus were there already, were evangelists and pastor-teachers, which we will be studying the next couple of weeks.
The purpose, Ephesians 4:12, “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry …”
Many churches refer to the pastor as the minister. Well, the pastor is not the minister, you are. The pastor is the coach; you’re the team. It’s the role of the pastor to equip saints, starting with teaching them, and leading to the edification or the building up of the body of Christ.
We saw that an apostle was someone who was directly commissioned by Christ Himself to the task of establishing the church in the Church Age. That’s the technical use.
It had a broader use that referred to some that were commissioned by a local church to go out as missionaries. Barnabas, Junius, and others are referred as apostles (lowercase), but that doesn’t relate to the office of apostle that we’re talking about here.
You could use it to describe missionaries today, but that would just get so confusing with the technical use, and most people aren’t aware of those two meanings. So we ought not to use it for anything other than “The Twelve.”
This group designated as “The Twelve” are the ones that were called and commissioned directly by Christ plus the Apostle Paul. Of course, Judas dropped out. We have the episode of the choosing of Matthias as an apostle to replace Judas in Acts 1.
Revelation 21:14, “Now the wall of the city—The New Jerusalem—had twelve foundations, and on them with the names of the twelve apostles.”
They are the foundation of the church, which we read and studied in Ephesians 2:20, that the apostles and prophets—those temporary gifts at the beginning which are the ones that are communicating the new revelation for the Church Age—are the foundation of the church, and a foundation is only laid once.
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We studied them last time that the concept of prophecy is also very much confused today, but prophet, as the word is used in the New Testament, has to be understood within Old Testament background, because there’s no place starting with Matthew and going forward, where the term is redefined.
It is assumed the reader knows what a prophet is, because he knows the Old Testament. We saw that this is a temporary gift in the New Testament that specifically ends when that which is the perfect or that which completes comes, according to 1 Corinthians 13:10.
These two were temporary gifts; now we’re looking at the permanent gifts of evangelist and pastor-teacher.
We can graph it out this way:
Ephesians 4:11, “it was He—Christ—who gave some”—‘some’ is used four times and is a translation of the Greek MEN. That it’s only used four times is one of the reasons we say there are only four gifts here. It should have been repeated before teachers if it’s talking about a distinct gift. Next Sunday I will go through that in detail because there’s always a lot of confusion over that.
[Their purpose is] “… to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ with the ultimate goal of having a unity of the faith—where we understand the Word of God and the doctrine of Scripture.
This must be understood in contrast to what Paul states earlier in Ephesians 4:7, that we have already, as a result of being in Christ, a unity of the faith] and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person—this is what leads to spiritual maturity,—attaining to the measure of—this relates to—Christ’s likeness.”
The first clause, Ephesians 4:11, “And He Himself gave …” emphasizes that it is Christ who gives.
This is a little different from 1 Corinthians 12 that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts. But we see how closely the Second Person of the Trinity and the Third Person of the Trinity work together in order to provide the spiritual gifts and these gifted individuals.
1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 are talking about the spiritual gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit. But this is not talking about spiritual gifts per se, it’s talking about the gifted men that Christ has given to the church for the purpose of equipping the saints.
Another thing that we should ask when looking at this is, to whom did Christ give these gifted people? Did He give them to A) the local church, or B) the body of Christ, the universal church?
If you said A), you’re wrong. That’s a heresy that came out of some Baptist churches back in the 19th century called “Landmarkism,” that there’s no real universal church, just the local church, but that gets into some pretty abstruse church history.
He gave it to the church, so that the purpose of these gifted individuals is to equip the saints in the body of Christ. It is not saying He’s given these to West Houston Bible Church, or He’s given pastors to other churches and their ministry is restricted to the local church. The ministry of these men is directed toward the body of Christ wherever God may direct them.
This is one reason that I go on mission trips to Ukraine every year, and it remains to be seen if it’s over with or if we will go back to that. I’m hoping this war will be temporary, and then there will be just a tremendous amount of opportunity. I’m hoping that we will be going back.
But these ministries are given to the body of Christ as a whole. When I’m invited to go speak somewhere, that’s a ministry to the body of Christ, so it’s not just tied down. We have a tendency to say, “That’s my pastor,”—and in one sense that’s true,—or “that person relates to my church.”
Some think that that’s the only place that that gift is to operate, and that’s not what the text is saying. It’s saying that these gifts are given to the entire body of Christ.
We looked at apostle and prophet, now we will look at evangelist. This is really interesting, and I will spend some time looking at some definitions. Someone once said a lot of arguments would never happen if we would just clearly define our terms. So, it’s important to define a couple of terms, and we need to define them biblically, not culturally.
The trouble is the church has too many terms, too many values that are defined culturally. By culturally I don’t mean necessarily the culture of the world, but just the culture within what you might call churchianity, as opposed to biblical Christianity.
The word for evangelist is a noun as opposed to a verb, the Greek EUAGGELISTES. This second letter here, upsilon, is usually pronounced like a V so that’s where we get “evangelist,” and the V in it.
It comes from a compound of a prefix EU, which has the idea of something that is good or well, something that is a blessing, something that is positive. We use it in the word “eulogy,” which is a compound of this same Greek prefix plus LOGOS. It’s a good word that is said about someone at a funeral; the word is “good.”
The second part comes from ANGELOS, where we get “angel,” meaning a messenger or a message. Here it’s a messenger, so this is a messenger of something that is good. He’s got some good news to tell. It’s translated as evangelist, meaning a proclaimer of good news, a proclaimer of the gospel.
Here is a brief statement which defines it as a proclaimer of the gospel in the BDAG [Bauer, Danker, Arndt, Gingrich]—the preeminent Greek English lexicon.
The reason I say that is that we see a lot of confusion because it is rarely translated that way. It’s translated as preaching something. That differs in the passage, but the idea is a proclaimer of good news. When it says, “preaching Christ,” preaching has nothing to do with it. That’s not what the word means and sadly it’s really treated that way.
The noun is only used in two other passages in Scripture:
Acts 8:35, talking about Philip the evangelist who was one of those that were chosen to serve the widows in Acts 6—different from Philip, the apostle.
Acts 21:8 as Paul was traveling to Jerusalem, he “came to Caesarea [this would be Caesarea by the Sea], and [he] entered the house of Philip the evangelist who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.”
That was his role in the early church.
2 Timothy 4:5, “But you be watchful in all things,—Paul is talking to Timothy, who was a pastor. People say he was a young pastor; he was probably 40-ish, not young like 18 or 16 as Charles Spurgeon was. He had been a pastor for some time, Paul encourages him to—do the work of an evangelist.”
He didn’t have that spiritual-gifted position; but nevertheless, he does the work of an evangelist.
That tells us something important that you can’t say, “I just really don’t have the gift of evangelism, so I have a difficult time explaining the gospel to people, so God will send an evangelist to them.” That’s just passing the buck and being irresponsible, because we’re all expected to function in every area where there are spiritual gifts. We’re all expected to be grace givers, but some are gifted in that area.
We’re all expected to be teachers as well. Hebrew says by now you ought to be teachers, all of you. They didn’t all have the gift of teaching, but some are gifted in these areas. We’re all expected to function in these areas. Timothy wasn’t gifted as an evangelist, but his responsibility as a pastor was to do the work of an evangelist; that is, to make sure that in his teaching, the gospel was made clear.
There are several people that I have noted over the course of my ministry, pastors and other Christian workers, that whenever they had a microphone stuck in front of their face, they always managed to get the gospel in. They never missed an opportunity.
Jerry Falwell was that way, and he was in many, many different venues, and he got involved with a lot of things related to politics, but whenever he was interviewed, he always tried to bring the focus back to Jesus Christ, the fact that Christ died for our sins and he is our Savior. We are to do that work.
The verb related to that noun, only used three times, is EUAGGELIZO, which is where we get the verb “evangelize.”
Some of this gets a little confusing because they’re not translated consistently in most of our translations, which I want to address for the next 5 or 10 minutes.
This verb is used 54 times in the New Testament, and almost half of them are used in the gospel of Luke or in his other writing, which is really Luke Part 2, the Acts of the Apostles. 25 of these 54 times are used by Luke.
Those who studied the Book of Acts with me: I kept pointing this out, there are so many phrases in the Book of Acts of “preaching this” “preaching that,” and preaching should never be used as a translation. I don’t think it should be used for translation for anything because it’s just too confusing. Because in the minds of many Christians they think of it as a certain way of doing a sermon.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “You’re not really a preacher, you’re a teacher.” I say, “Well, what is a preacher?” I get all kinds of things. I say, “Define it biblically,” and there is silence, because it’s not used that way in the Bible.
It has come within the history of Western Christianity, and we’ve influenced the rest of the world, to mean a certain kind of oral presentation. I would call it an exhortation if I were to use a Biblical term, as opposed to how the Bible uses it. We’re going to see how the Bible uses it this morning, because I think it’s really important.
The verb EUAGGELIZO in Acts and other New Testament books, instead of being translated as proclaiming the good news, is translated as preaching. Rarely is it translated proclamation.
In Acts 8:25 it’s translated as “preaching the gospel.” We’re going to look at that passage in just a little bit related to the work of Philip.
Acts 8:35, he “preached Jesus to them.” Notice that he doesn’t use the word “proclamation” in that.
Other forms of this word are:
KATAGGELLO, AGGELLO being the root. This means to announce, declare, and it is often translated as “preached.”
In Acts 8:25 it’s LALEO, which means to speak. It said he spoke about Jesus, but it’s translated as “preaching the Word of the Lord,” which is an interpretation, not a translation.
The word closest to “preaching,” KERUSSO, it’s defined in the lexicons as “to proclaim.” It’s very close to EUAGGELIZO, which is proclaiming good news; whereas, KERUSSO is just a proclamation. When KERUSSO is used, it is almost exclusively used for proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
The difference between preaching and teaching has to do with the content. If you’re proclaiming Christ as the Messiah and the means to salvation, that would be KERUSSO or EUAGGELIZO, but the word that is used primarily of the ministry within the local church is the verb DIDASKO, which means to teach, to instruct, to explain.
We are now in a phase of absolute confusion in the modern church, where pastor-teachers think they’re supposed to be preaching, which is just a rhetorical or oratorical form. It is not anything like what the biblical word means. No wonder most Christians don’t know enough about the Bible to come in out of the rain.
They are misinformed by the person who is supposed to be teaching the Word, explaining the Word, and helping them to understand the Word. Instead, they’re giving an exhortation based on an assumption that the people know what the Word says.
I ran into that when I was in seminary that in a lot of ways, listening to various things that were said in certain homiletics courses—that’s a technical word for preaching courses. And I kept thinking, “There’s an assumption here that everybody in the audience understands or knows these terms and words and is more knowledgeable about the Bible than they are.” You have to be explaining and teaching a lot of things.
The definition in the BDAG [lexicon] is twofold:
1. EUAGGELIZO means generally to bring good news, to announce good news, to proclaim good news
2. It is to proclaim the divine message of salvation, proclaim the gospel.
That brings up another issue, doesn’t it? What does the word “gospel” mean? That’s an important concept, because a lot of times you may be in a situation or I find myself in a situation where I explain the gospel many, many times in many, many classes.
I try to always get the gospel in there, even if it’s two or three sentences, but I don’t use the word gospel. I don’t say, “Here I’m going to tell you the gospel.”
Not long ago I was in a conversation with somebody, and I said, “Well, do you understand the gospel?”
They said, “Well, I’m not sure what that word means.”
I knew this individual. I knew he’d heard the gospel many times, but he’d never heard it defined as the gospel. We have to define what that means.
The point is that when we look at what the EUAGGELIZO means, it’s proclaiming the good news, and notice that neither of these definitions in the BDAG use the word “preach.”
What does preach mean?
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary:
1. To deliver a religious address to an assembled group of people.
But it doesn’t say anything about the methodology or the rhetorical form, so that becomes a really ambiguous term that you’re doing just about anything. It covers a very broad spectrum
2. To earnestly advocate for someone.
Gives the example of “my parents always preached tolerance.” So that doesn’t have anything to do with the biblical meaning, that’s regular uses
It comes from the Latin word, and this word history is helpful, praedicare, which means to proclaim. In ecclesiastical Latin it came over to us as “preach.” Notice the meaning of that root Latin word was “proclaim,” but you don’t find it translated that way.
I know, this is one of my little hobbyhorses and pet peeves. We use this word all the time, and if I were to take each of you aside earlier this morning and say, “Tell me the difference between preaching and teaching,” you wouldn’t have even come close. That’s really sad because everybody thinks, “Well, I can’t really define preaching, but I know it when I hear it,” so it’s sort of like the definition for pornography.
Collins Dictionary defines preach as to make known a religious truth or to give religious or moral instruction or expectation in sermons. So, dictionaries really don’t help us much; we have to look at what the Word says.
Homiletical books—books about preaching—define it by saying, “It’s a homily.” That’s called defining the word by its synonym, which doesn’t ever define the word, it just creates the impression you know something.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary says that a homily is usually:
1. a short sermon
2. a lecture or discourse on or of a moral theme
3. an inspirational catchphrase or platitude
None of which helps us define what we mean within the church.
Romans 1:15. Paul writes, “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach—EUAGGELIZO to proclaim the good news—the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”
It would’ve been a lot clearer if the translation read, “I am ready to proclaim the good news to you who are in Rome also.”
Some translations say, “I’m ready to preach the good news to you who are in Rome also.” That’s little clearer, but it is the idea of a proclamation, and that really fits with the idea of KERUSSO.
But a proclaimer, a KERUX, was a herald. Back in those days when they didn’t have all the social media, and you didn’t have email and texting, or telephones or newspapers, the way that the mayor of a city or governor in a territory would communicate, was he would send out a messenger, a KERUX.
The KERUX would come to a town and walk through it giving his message. He’s not to discuss it with anybody, he’s not there to explain it to anybody; he’s not there to answer questions. He just comes there and announces it and goes to the next block and announces it there, and goes to the next block and announces it there.
That’s the role of proclaiming the gospel. You are explaining it and you’re making it clear, and you just move on from town to town making the gospel clear.
Acts translates EUAGGELIZO preaching the good news, preaching the gospel, or just preaching many times.
In Acts 5:42 the Apostles, “… daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Messiah.”
When you’re proclaiming, EUAGGELIZO, the good news of Jesus as the Messiah, you are doing evangelism, you’re talking to unbelievers or maybe a mixed crowd. When you are giving explanation and instruction, that’s teaching. That’s what they were doing: teaching and preaching, teaching and explaining the Word of God and proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah.
Acts 8:4, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere proclaiming the good message.”
That word is LOGOS, which has a wide range of meanings. It can mean “word,” it can mean “thought;” sometimes it could mean “reason.” It has about 10 or 15 different meanings, one of which is” message.” So, a lot of times there’s a knee-jerk reaction; every time you see LOGOS, you’re going to call it “the Word,” so it’s the Word of God.
That’s the impression it gives, but a lot of times it’s not talking about the Word of God per se. We think of the Word of God as Bible, but they’re proclaiming the good news, the Message, which is how I think it should be translated.
Acts 8:5, “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and—KERUSSO—proclaimed Christ to them.” What’s he doing?
We see that he is proclaiming the message, a message that has to do with Christ Jesus as the Messiah.
Acts 8:12, “But when they believed Philip as he—EUAGGELIZO, evangelized, or as he proclaimed—the good news—the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.”
He is teaching about the kingdom of God. And just because I know the question will come up, he’s not saying that the kingdom of God is now. He’s explaining that Jesus came to offer the kingdom, the kingdom was rejected and postponed, and we are now in the Church Age.
We know that by looking at everything else in the Scripture. That’s not the focus of Luke, so he doesn’t go into that, but that’s what they were doing, and that’s how you are to understand many of these passages.
Acts 8:25, “So when they had testified and preached—LALEO—the word of the Lord—or the message of the Lord,—they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel—proclaiming the good news literally—in many villages of the Samaritans.”
Acts 8:35, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at the Scripture, proclaiming the good news about Jesus to him.”
Acts 8:40, “But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he proclaimed the good news in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.”
It’s much clearer when you translate it the way it should be translated according to the lexicons, than trying to put a cultural idea of preaching into the passage.
Romans 1:15 Paul says, “So as much is in me, I am ready to proclaim the gospel—the good news—to you who are in Rome also.”
But what is the gospel? What does gospel mean?
The English word gospel comes from the old English word godspel, from god meaning good and spel meaning news or story. They’ve taken the good EUAGGELIZO and just translated it verbatim over in the old English meaning the good news.
The Latin phrase was bona [good] annuntiatio, meaning a good announcement, and it was used to gloss over ecclesiastical Latin, which transliterated evangelium from the Greek meaning good news.
The good news is that we are born spiritually dead, that we do not have a relationship with God, we do not have eternal life, we are not righteous, and we are born condemned. The good news is that we don’t have to stay there. The great news is that we don’t have to do anything other than trust in Christ because he already did all the work at the Cross.
He died for our sins on the Cross. Because of that, this is great news! It’s not by works. You don’t have to go through ritual, you don’t have to memorize a catechism; you don’t have to do anything at all except simply receive the free gift of eternal life from Jesus Christ.
We saw phrases such as preaching the gospel, or the Word, or Christ:
- EVANGELIZO, which should be understood or translated as proclaiming the good news, which has to do with the message that Jesus is the Messiah.
- KERUSSO, which means to proclaim or to announce the message. It doesn’t have anything to do with the rhetorical format. It has to do with the content.
Acts 9:20 says, “Immediately—this is talking about Paul—he proclaimed—KERUSSO—the Messiah in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”
Interestingly, Paul is explaining that Jesus is the Messiah, and goes to the Old Testament to prove that this Messiah was expected to be the Son of God.
All of that helps us to understand the word here. Turn to Acts 8, and let’s just walk our way in quick summary fashion through the ministry of Philip, because Philip is the only one who’s called an evangelist. We see a great example of what he did as a proclaimer of the good news in Acts 8.
Actually, there are two episodes in Acts 8 that are important. It starts off telling us that Saul’s consenting to the death of Stephen. Then a great persecution arose against the church at Jerusalem, so everybody scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles, who stayed in Jerusalem.
Acts 8:4, “Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the message.”
This involves Philip, first introduced to us in Acts 6:5 as one of the seven who were chosen to serve the widows in the church in Jerusalem.
Acts 8:4–5, “Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere—EVANGELIZO— proclaiming the message. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed—KERUSSO—Christ to them.”
It fits; his focal point as an evangelist is proclaiming the gospel. As a result, many trusted in Christ as the Messiah. There were various miracles that came along attesting to the veracity of his message, and in Acts 8:8, “So there was great joy in that city.”
Acts 8:12, the response to Philip, “But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news about the things concerning the kingdom of God.”
When they believed him is when they’re saved, but he’s teaching beyond the gospel. Nobody just teaches simply the gospel. You’re also covering many other things that apply to believers as well and answering various other questions that may come up.
This one guy gets the message; he’s saved, because the language that is used for him is the same as that of anybody else.
Acts 8:13, “Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.”
He is a brand-new baby believer, and he doesn’t have a clue about anything else. But he sees all these miracles and thinks, “I want to do that. Let me buy it!” That doesn’t mean he is not saved, he’s just a confused baby believer. But he clearly said, “Simon also believed,” using exactly the same language it uses of many, many others in the Scripture who trusted in Christ as Savior.
Acts 8:14 when the apostles hear what Philip has done up in Samaria, the apostles in Jerusalem send Peter and John to them. They will pray and it will be like the second Day of Pentecost, because the Samaritans were sort of a half-breed nation. They were composed of Jewish blood that had intermarried with a lot of other Gentile blood, and so the Judeans in Jerusalem looked down on them. They were incredibly prejudiced against them.
If they had had their own event disassociated from the event of Pentecost in Samaria, they would’ve said, “Well, that’s the Samaritan church, and we have our church.” But by Peter and John going there and praying for them, and the Holy Spirit coming upon them as He did the apostles in Jerusalem in Acts 2, it shows the unity of the church, that the Samaritans are part of this new entity just as much as the Jews at Pentecost were, so it would avoid all of that.
That’s his first episode related to evangelism.
The second episode is related to our Scripture reading at the end of the chapter beginning in Acts 8:26, “Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip—who is in Caesarea—saying, ‘Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ This is desert.’”
Acts 8:27, “So he arose and he went; and behold a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of the treasury—he has a high ranking position as secretary of treasury for the Ethiopian government.”
He was riding along in his chariot; and must’ve had a chariot driver because I would guess it’s hard to drive the chariot and read a scroll at the same time. You have to read and understand what’s going on here; he’s reading while they’re going along, Acts 8:29, “the Spirit speaks and guides Philip, ‘Go near and overtake this chariot.’ ”
Acts 8:30–31, “Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and he said, ‘Do you understand what you’re reading?’ and he said, ‘How can I unless someone guides me?’–He’s totally confused; and it turns out that he’s in Isaiah 53.”
Acts 8:32–33, “The place in the Scripture which he read was this: ‘He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before it shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. In his humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.’ ”
Acts 8:34, “So the eunuch answered Philip and said, ‘I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?’ ”
Acts 8:35, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus …” the ESV translation.
The New King James translates it, “Then Philip opened his mouth and beginning at this Scripture preached Jesus to him.” Well, he’s not preaching Jesus in the sense that most people think of preaching. He’s just explaining the Scripture. It’s a conversation between two people.
Another passage is 2 Timothy 4:2, which I will compare with Titus 1:9 because they’re almost saying the same thing.
2 Timothy 4:2, Paul tells Timothy, “Preach the word!—This is the motto of Dallas Theological Seminary—Be ready in season and out of season—then he goes beyond that:—convince, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and teaching.”
He’s basically defining the roles of a pastor who will proclaim the good news of the message. That’s how I would translate LOGOS there. “Proclaiming the good news of the message, and be ready in season and out of season.” That was paraphrased at my ordination, “Be ready to preach, pray, or die at a moment’s notice.”
Compared to Titus 1:9, “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”
When I was a young man working at a Christian camp, each summer, one of the directors would pick a verse that would fit each counselor. This was the verse that David chose for me. I’d forgotten it, but he told me this a few years ago, “Every time I think of you, I think of Titus 1:9, “… holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”
The red arrows show that both “convict,” ELEGCHO in the Greek, and “exhort,” PARAKALEO are used in both passages. Exhort means to challenge people to apply the Word of God.
Another interesting thing here is that the first verse uses KERUSSO, proclaiming the message, which in most places relates to the gospel. Paul had already told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist, and I think that contextually he is talking about proclaiming the gospel.
“… convincing, rebuking, and exhorting, with all long-suffering and teaching” is the rest of what the communication of a pastor teacher is supposed to do. He is supposed to hold fast, to cling to the faithful Word. You stick with the Word. Paul in 2 Timothy told him to “commit these things to faithful men as they were committed to you.” That’s part of the role of pastor.
We preach the message, the LOGOS. This is the message, and that primarily refers to the gospel because the way KERUSSO is used in almost every other place.
Titus 1:9, “holding fast the faithful word—stick to the message—as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine—sound teaching of Scripture that challenges people. God the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts them through the Word.”
EUAGGELIZO and KERUSSO predominantly focus on proclaiming the good news or explaining the gospel to people: that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, tying it back to Old Testament prophecies. He redeemed us from sin, paid the penalty for sin, provided forgiveness, and He is the One on whom we should believe that we might have eternal life. That’s the content of the gospel. It’s by faith and faith alone in Christ alone and nothing else.
John 20:31, “but these are written—that is, everything that he said in the gospel focusing on these signs, taking that word from the previous verse—that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah—He’s the One who’s promised and prophesied in the Old Testament,—the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
This is what an evangelist does, but there’s something else we should see in our passage. An evangelist is one who gives and proclaims the good news of the gospel. But if you look at the purpose statement in Ephesians 4:12, it says that the purpose of these four gifts is to equip the saints for the work of ministry.
The primary mission of the evangelist is not to do evangelism. The primary ministry of the evangelist is not to be the person or persons in the local church that are the ones doing most of the evangelism. Their role is to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.
Their job is to equip the saints to be able to give the gospel. They’re not gifted at it, so the gifted person is going to train those who aren’t gifted to be able to give the gospel to unbelievers.
When this church first started, one of my good friends Gene Brown clearly had the gift of evangelism and Gene was remarkable. I’ve been many, many places many, many times, and suddenly Gene just stops and starts talking to somebody. Next thing I know they’re praying, this guy’s just trusted Christ the Savior.
One time we had a windshield wiper go bad on our car in Dallas, and we pulled into the auto parts place, went in and bought a new windshield wiper. The attendant came out and was putting it on and Gene witnessed to him. Next thing I know they’re sitting on the curb, He’s got his Bible out explaining the gospel to him.
Every year or two we had various meetings where Gene would help all of us walk through how to give the gospel. Sadly, for us, but not for him, he went to be with the Lord about five years ago, and there was nobody quite like Gene. Those who knew Gene, know there was nobody like Gene; he was one-of-a-kind.
But the role of the evangelist in the local church is to train others in the local church, to equip them to do the work of ministry, the work of evangelism.
Next time we will at pastor and teacher, as it’s quoted, but it should be pastor-teacher or pastor/teacher because the way you pastor or lead the sheep is by feeding them and teaching them.
We looked at preaching and proclaiming the gospel KERUSSO and EUAGGELIZO; next time we will look at the third gift: what it means to teach, and the distinction between these different words.
“Father, we thank You for this opportunity to go through these important words in the Scripture to understand what You have revealed to us using the words that You’ve used the way You use them. And how important it is to be accurate and to define these terms and understand that the role and purpose of these gifted men is to equip us, the saints, to do the work of ministry.
“Father, we pray that anyone who is here, anyone listening online, anyone who listens at a later date, that if they’ve never understood the gospel, the good news that Jesus is the promised and prophesied Messiah from the Old Testament, and that He came to die on the Cross for our sins like a lamb led to slaughter. That He died for us, that through Him many would be justified, would be declared righteous.
“Father, we pray that anyone who is an unbeliever would recognize that it’s not based on your good deeds, it’s not based on works. It’s not based on nationality, it’s not based on anything other than faith in Jesus Christ, trusting in Him. He is the One who saves us by virtue of His death on the Cross. All it takes is for us to believe, to trust in Him. That’s the good news.
“The instant we capture that thought in our soul, and we believe Christ is the Messiah and the One who saved us, at that instant Scripture says that we are born again. We don’t have to pray a prayer, we don’t have to go through many of the things that are typical in churches. The instant we believe in our soul that Christ is the one who saves us, He died for our sins; at that instant we have everlasting life.
“Father, we thank You for our time to worship at Your Word today, and we pray that You would just give us opportunities to develop in our own spiritual gifts, but also to function as evangelists. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”