Liturgical Evangelism

The structure of our liturgy—and that of most other ancient liturgical traditions—follows the pattern of God making or renewing a covenant (hence the name "covenant renewal worship"). This biblical pattern also serves as a summary of the gospel, and the cumulative effect of this sort of weekly liturgy gets the gospel deeply ingrained within us.

In addition to the formative effect of covenant renewal liturgy on God's people, it also provides a very handy and familiar way of speaking to unbelievers or wayward Christians. Covenant renewal worship is the evangelistic "strategy" you already know, and it can be easily adapted to the specific situation of the person with whom you are speaking. You can start at the very beginning with a person who knows nothing about the Lord, or you can pick up in the middle to encourage a believer.

God Calls Us

God has created us for Himself, and all men are accountable to God. We owe God total obedience and allegiance, but our first father Adam rebelled against the Lord so that we are all now born as rebels and enemies. But God, in His mercy, did not give up on His creation. God pursues sinners and has provided a Savior to restore us to fellowship with Him. God came to earth as a real man, Jesus of Nazareth, to reconcile sinners to God, to defeat the Devil, and to establish the kingdom of God on earth. God has sent forth the announcement of the gospel of the kingdom throughout the world and commands all nations to submit to King Jesus. We who were God's enemies have been summoned into God's presence to receive pardon and life.

God Cleanses Us

Just as it is God alone who calls all men to Himself, it is only through the finished work of Jesus that we are able to be cleansed of sin and made acceptable to God in Christ. We are unable to atone for our own sins or to satisfy God's just wrath or to free ourselves from the power of sin or to reconcile with God. But Jesus has accomplished all these things for us. By faith in Christ's death and resurrection, God assigns all our sin and guilt to Jesus' account, and He puts our name on Jesus' account so that we accepted by God on the basis of Jesus has done for us. Through baptism, the Spirit of God applies the redemptive work of Christ to us, and the forgiveness and cleansing received in baptism are renewed throughout our lives as we confess our sins and turn from them. Having been cleansed by Christ's blood, we are welcomed into God's presence as His beloved children.

God Consecrates Us

But God is not content to simply forgive our sins and declare us righteous. He insists on sanctifying us and glorifying us and making us holy as He is holy. He doesn't want slaves but mature sons and daughters, a spotless bride for His Son. Though we are sanctified in Christ, we must also undergo a lifelong process of sanctification—we must become who we are in Christ. Jesus doesn't make converts but disciples. We are called to follow Jesus and to learn from Him and are transformed by Him.

God Communes with Us

God saves us to restore us to fellowship with Himself. We commune with God through means of grace such as hearing and meditating on God's word, through prayer, and through receiving the Lord's Supper. Jesus took on human nature like us so that He could bear our sin, and now He has made us participants in God's divine life. God has promised to be with us always through the presence of His Spirit within us, and we have the certain hope that we will share in God's love and joy throughout our earthly lives and in the age to come. But God doesn't save us and make us holy merely for our own benefit. Not only have we been restored to fellowship with God, we are also members of a new humanity. We were made for community and are now members of God's family. In union with Christ and His body, the Church, we become human again and are able to enjoy restored relationships that are marked by mutual love, service, sacrifice, and encouragement.

God Commissions Us

The work that God is doing in the world is far bigger than you could imagine. It's not as if God just wants to save your soul just so you can go to heaven when you die. Just the opposite: God has given His church the mind-boggling task of discipling all the nations of the world. God promised to redeem the human race and bless all the peoples of the earth, and that is exactly what He is doing and will do. And God has commissioned His followers—us!—to carry out this task. God sends us out into the world with the promise of His presence to live for Him and declare His greatness in every aspect of life. All of life is infused with purpose and is to be lived for God's glory as we seek to play our part—however insignificant it may seem—in God's story of redemption.
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