Evangelism–God’s Part and Our Part

Adapted from "Crossing the Barriers", Truth For Life Ministries

“Even if I were utterly selfish, and had no cure for anything but my own happiness, I would choose, if I might, under God, to be a soulwinner; for never did I know perfect, overflowing, unutterble happiness of the purest and most ennobling order till I first heard of one who had sought and found the Savior through my means. No young mother ever so rejoiced over her first-born child, no warrior was so exultant over a hard-won victory.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Remember that ‘to evangelize’ is to present Christ Jesus to sinful people in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may come to put their trust in God through Him.

If we examine the above definition of ‘to evangelize’ we see that there are three ‘actors’; the one who presents Jesus Christ (that would be us), the Holy Spirit (God), and those who put their trust in God through Christ (those to whom we present Jesus Christ).

Given our three ‘actors’ then, we can say that evangelism is supremely God’s work in people in which He enlists human cooperation.

It naturally follows that, in order for us to fulfill our responsibilities in personal evangelism, we must first be clear as to what God alone can do, and what we, therefore, cannot do.


1. Conviction of sin is the work of God the Holy Spirit. (John 16:8)

Joh 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

2. God alone can give repentance to men. (Acts 5:31; 11:18)

Act 5:31 "God exalted him at his right hand as Leader (Prince)and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."

Act 11:18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life."

3. Only God can draw men and women to Christ. (John 6:44)

Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

4. God alone can reveal Jesus. (2 Cor. 4:6)

2Co 4:6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

5. It is God’s unique prerogative to bring about the new birth. (John 1:12, 13; 3:3, 5)

Joh 1:12-13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.


Our part in evangelism consists of 1) being prepared and 2) understanding what God requires of us.

Preparation for this work.

1. Our life needs to be open to God and cleansing sought for all known sin. (Psalms 51:10; 2 Tim. 2:20-21)

Psa 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

2Ti 2:20-21 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

2. We must be living in the fullness of the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:4)

Eph 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

1Co 2:4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

3. There needs to be an awareness of our own personal dependence upon Jesus for salvation. (1 Tim. 1:15)

1Ti 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

4. There needs to be a humble recognition of God’s power. (1 Cor. 3:7)

1Co 3:7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

5. We must the know Scriptures.

6. We must understand the human predicament without Christ. (Matthew 9:36)

Mat 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

7. We engage in this task with sincerity of heart. (Romans 9:1, 2)

Rom 9:1-2 I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit–that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.

What God Requires of Us – Cooperation

1. Although the work of conversion is essentially God the Holy Spirit’s work, He calls us to work with him in achieving it. (Acts 26:15-18)

Acts 26:15-18 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

2. Our responsibility is to make known the Word of God. (Acts 16:14; Romans 10:14-17)

Acts 16:14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

Rom 10:14-17 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

3. We should urge men to seek God (Isaiah 55:6, 7; Luke 13:24), To repent (Matthew 4:17; Acts 17:24). To be converted (Matthew 18:3), and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 16:31)

Isaiah 55:6, 7 6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; 7 call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 18:3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn (be converted [KJV[) and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Acts 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

4. In doing this we must be willing to display genuine friendship which will often be costly. (Luke 10:29ff; 2 Tim. 2:10)

Luke 10:25-30 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.

2 Tim. 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

5. We are to be ready to do this work anytime and anywhere. (Acts 1:8;James 1:2; Romans 10:1; Acts 4:29)

Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Jas 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Rom 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Act 4:29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,


The implications of these truths are far-reaching. They ought at least instill in us a renewed sense of dependence upon God and an increased confidence in God which will be demonstrated largely in our prayers.

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