21 December 2010

Chad Williams - Should we use the Law in Evangelism?

Should We Use the Law in Evangelism?

Countless times I have encountered self-proclaimed Christians conducting opposition to the use God’s Law in evangelism. The objection typically comes in the form of:

“I appreciate what you are doing but I don’t like the way you are doing it. That’s not how Jesus would have done it, Jesus was all about love!”

After I do a little probing, without fail I find that the objector raises such a disapproval against the use of the Law while standing on the sinking grounds of ignorance. What they do is take ignorant conjecture and put it in the place of honest research. They lend an ear to what they hear verbally flipped around “Jesus is all about love, hugs, and kisses” rather than going the Berean route by examining the Scriptures to see if this is so (Acts 17:11). They assert such a unlearned expression rather than test it’s truthfulness (1 Thess. 5:21).

So today lets remove all speculation in asking What Would Jesus Do? And look at What Did Jesus Do?

In the Gospel of Mark is recorded an encounter that Jesus had as He was going out on the road. “One came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’”

Reflecting on this for a moment...Talk about a potential convert! This guy is eagerly running towards Jesus and he seems to have some genuine humility as he bows his knee before the Creator of all things (John 1:3, Col. 1:16) and asks Him what he shall do? Does Jesus talk about love, joy, or a wonderful plan for the man's life? No, instead Jesus cuts to the heart of the matter and points out the man’s personal sins so that he could see his personal need for the Savior! Jesus' weapon of choice (2 Cor. 10:4): God's Law!

Jesus replies, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”

And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

I have so much I want to share about what we have covered in the previous passage but lets keep focused and strike ahead to where Jesus gets precise and zeros in on this man’s particular obstacle that separates him from everlasting life.

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

As it turns out this man was a transgressor of the first and greatest commandment (Matt. 22:37-38). The man was sad and sorrowful at this word as he seemed to have counted the cost (Lk. 14:27-28,33) and decided to walk away from Jesus.

Early in the picture it seemed this man was a highly potential convert. Jesus turns on the light of the Law (Prov. 6:23) which reveals the true condition of this man’s heart (Rom. 3:20). God's Word discerned the man’s true thoughts and intentions of his heart (Heb. 4:12). Had Jesus never prepared the way by using the Law we would have never known! (Ps. 119:105)

Why use the Law in evangelism? BECAUSE JESUS DID! (Eph 5:1)

By Chad Williams at Street Apologetics


  1. Oftentimes the Law is already bearing down on the hearer. The loss of a job, a divorce, the death of a loved one, these are also manifestations of the law.

    It is often less effective to try and use the ten commandments (which many people do not care about, anyway) when you have law already crushing people in personal ways that they know about all too well.

    So, I find where the person is being had by the law (we all are in some way, or many ways), and then I sympathize or emphathize with them, tell them a little about how life (the law) is having it's way with me also...and then I hand over Christ to them. I tell them what Christ has done for them, that they may have true life, eternal life, the forgiveness of sins...and that all of this Christ Jesus has done for them. And then, I leave them alone. I don't ask them to pray any "sinner's prayer". I don't ask them to make any decision. I may invite them to church. I may ask for their phone number, or give them mine. Then I leave them and pray for them that the Lord will use my poor words for His purposes.

    When you hand over Christ and His gospel, the Lord will do what He will do. (Romans 1:16)

    Thanks, Wayne.

    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    - Steve

  2. Thanks, Chad!

    And a Merry Christmas to you and your family, as well!

    - Steve