Effective Evangelism

Book of Acts   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul continues to labor in Ephesus until ultimately the entire region has been evangelized.

Notes
Transcript
Introduction
Last time we saw Paul’s dealings with the disciples of John the Baptist who lacked critical information concerning Christ. Paul supplied the information they were lacking and subsequently they were miraculously converted.
Tonight we will see Paul’s continued labor in Ephesus as he enters first into the synagogue and begins to declare the gospel.
We will see the method that Paul used to effectively reach the entire region with the gospel.
Paul dwelt in Ephesus for only two years during which time he was able to win many to Christ, disciple them in the faith, and plant a number of churches in the region. This was most certainly effective evangelism.
The first step for Paul in evangelizing the region was the:

Declaration & Disputation (Vs. 8-9a)

Paul followed the usual pattern of ministry that had worked so many times before and began to declare the gospel in the local synagogue. Paul’s sphere of influence was greatest in the synagogue because of his heritage and training among the Jewish leaders.
We must also work within the sphere of influence that God has given to us to declare the gospel.
Paul “spake boldly”- Romans 1:16- he was not ashamed to declare the gospel and had no reservations about delivering it to anyone and everyone that came into the synagogue to hear.
Paul spake “for the space of three months”- he was willing to take the time necessary to convince them of the truth that he declared.
Paul disputed- he was willing to have a dialogue- answering their arguments against the truth and discussing the reservations that might prevent them from believing.
Paul persuaded- Paul was persistently striving to convince them that the message he delivered was true and he deliberately sought to lead them to faith in Christ.
Paul would do everything in his power to help them understand the gospel and then to lead them to place their faith in Christ as savior. Even so not all who heard Paul believed and in fact many rejected the truth he declared.
The same will be true for you and I, not all will believe and many will reject our message but ultimately our responsibility is to declare the gospel the best way we know how and to answer the objections and explain salvation so that those within our sphere of influence must each make a decision to receive or reject Jesus Christ.
When Paul recognized that he had done all that he could in the synagogue and that there was nothing further to be gained there he separated the disciples (those who believed and were determined to follow Christ).
This moves us to Paul’s next step in evangelizing the region:

Discipleship (Vs. 9b)

Paul now begins to invest into the lives of those who had come to faith, daily discoursing with them.
Again we see Paul declaring the truth and disputing, now with believers. We can be certain that Paul was striving to lay a solid foundation of doctrinal and practical truth in the lives of these new converts.
Undoubtedly Paul was teaching them the truths that he himself had been taught preparing these new converts to go forth and deliver the gospel in their spheres of influence and educating them so that they also would be prepared to answer the objections and arguments of their hearers.
Now we can be sure that Paul was still declaring the gospel as well but he also recognized the importance of educating and training these new believers.
We never stop sharing the gospel but as we have the opportunity to lead people to Christ we must take the time to disciple them in the faith so that they develop into mature believers.
II Timothy 2:2- Paul’s ministry instructions to Timothy
So often this critical step is neglected but it is necessary if we are going to be effective in evangelizing our community. We need more laborers, we need more people who are equipped to share the gospel and to answer the objections and arguments of unbelievers.
We must teach new converts the Word of God and get them grounded in the truth so that they can then go out and reach others effectively.
Paul spent two full years giving the gospel and discipling new converts and ultimately this is how the entire region of Asia would be reached with the gospel.
The final step to Paul’s plan for evangelizing the region was:

Duplication (Vs. 10)

We do not find any record that Paul traveled beyond Ephesus at this time and yet everyone in the region heard the gospel. How was this possible?
It would not have been possible for Paul himself to have personally declared the gospel to every single person in the region in two years time and yet Luke records that “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus”
We find that ultimately a number of thriving new testament churches would be established in the region but how? It was through the work of those disciples that Paul had invested in.
Paul must have delivered to them the same love of the truth and the same missionary zeal that he himself possessed so that naturally they would reach others, who they would then disciple and equip to share the gospel, who would then set out to reach even further with the gospel and so the entire region would hear the gospel message proclaimed.
This ought to be the desire of every believer, to reach someone with the gospel, to disciple them and to help the to become grounded in the faith and equipped to share the gospel themselves.
Our theme for this year is Multiplication and here in this passage in the book of Acts we see the very pattern that we must follow to see it become a reality.
If Paul and his converts could saturate the entire region of Asia with the gospel in a two year period could we not do the same in Clovis, NM?
Conclusion
It should be our goal to see to it that everyone in Clovis, NM would have the gospel clearly presented to them. This is not a work that one or two or even 10 or 15 of us will be able to accomplish.
If we want to accomplish the task we must follow the same patter. We must declare the gospel within our sphere of influence, we must disciple those who believe, and then we must equip them to go out and do the same effectively duplicating our efforts.
The work in Ephesus began with one man, the apostle Paul, it then broadened to twelve who were formerly followers of John the Baptist, it then broadened to a number of converts who came to faith through Paul’s discoursing in the synagogue, and ultimately to the entire region of Asia.
Our goal should be to first do what God has called us to do in sharing the gospel and then to duplicate ourselves by discipling and equipping those who believe to reach their sphere of influence with the gospel. It is by this method that it is absolutely possible to deliver the gospel to all of the 38,000 people in Clovis, NM in a very short time.
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