The Sinfulness of The Sin of Silence, Part 6: An Appendix and The Exclusivity of Means

I would like to add an appendix of sorts to the writings so far in this series.  I do not want to give the impression that we must be uncontrollably (and annoyingly) vocal at all times.  The Bible is quite clear that there are times to be silent.  Job certainly should have been silent concerning the intent and purpose of God insofar as he did not fully know them (Job 42:3).  God tells us in Psalm 46 that there are times that He would have us “be still, and know that (He) is God,” (46:10a), that is, our silence is sometimes the overflow of authentic worship, – when we are overwhelmed and awed at the majesty of our God.  James admonishes us to think before we speak and so to humbly and calmly seek out personal and corporate edification in the unity of God’s Word (James 1:19-20).  So we see that silence is biblical when it is practiced for the purposes of worship and counsel.

My goal, however, has been to uncover our daily shortcomings in evangelism in hopes of showing the sinfulness of the sin of silence in relation to the Great Commission.  These posts have been designed not only to level personal excuses, but to dig up some biblical texts in order to make plain the importance of our Christian duty, the underlying (un)spiritual realities that stifle me quite often, and to examine them in such a way that we might be stirred again to passionate evangelism, and partnership in the Gospel of Christ.  In short, I often need to know and feel the sinfulness of my sin and failure (in this case, evangelistically) before God can truly use the acknowledgment of my disability, and inadequacy in such a way that glorifies the omnipotent ability and sufficiency of Jesus Christ and His grace, – when I am weak, then I am strong!  I hope this is obvious for you also.  To close this appendix, I would simply like to thank God for the awareness of my absolute inadequacy for ministry and daily Christian living.  I pray that I write this with all sincerity and with the purest humility, – I honor God for His grace.  Jesus is the surpassing power for any and all ministry.  Jesus crucified must be the message, for His Word is the exclusive source of true conversion, and transformation, and if it is the exclusive source and He the exclusive Savior, then God help us to make Christ and His Gospel the supreme and centralized priority of and in the Church, and outwards towards the world.  God, and God alone, makes things grow, gives life out of the dead, recreates sinners into saints, adopts the devil’s children into His own glorious family, – Christ and His Gospel eternally reigns preeminent as the exclusive source and power of these awesome works of God in the world.

With these things in mind, I would leave you with a verse to consider (sense I have pretty much covered ‘the exclusivity of the means’), – “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ,” Romans 10:17. 

Faith is impossible apart from the effectual hearing of the word of Christ.  It is possible to hear the word of Christ and not believe.  This kind of “hearing of the word of Christ” however (if it produces faith) is of a different origin, – a divine origin.  In 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 Paul writes, “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”   In a room of 1,000, the gospel is sounded and the invitation given, “Come to Christ and find rest from your labor.”  Fifty respond; 950 do not.  Of the fifty, five are found true over the course of a year of steadfast Gospel labor.  Why?  What is the difference?  All 1000 “heard the word of Christ”; a year later, five stand true.  Why did the word of Christ produce faith in the five, short-lived feelings in the 45, and a greater judgment in the other 950?  Out of the 1000 that heard the Gospel with the physical ear, only five heard it with the spiritual ear, that is, the gospel came to them not only in word (it came in word, but not only in word) but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.  Paul attributes this to God’s sovereign election, – “we know that he has chosen…because our gospel came to you…(in this divine way)!”

Now why did I have to throw that in there?  So that I could come back here and say without hesitation that those five, although the elect of God before the Gospel came to them and faith was created, would never have believed without the hearing of the word of Christ.  It is not up to men or women or children to discriminate concerning whom to share the Gospel with!  And God’s sovereignty does not impede the invitation to come!  Rather it compels us!  They will not believe apart from the proclamation of the Gospel!  And thank God that a saving response is not contingent upon my eloquency of speech (or lack thereof)!  God saves sinners and He has ordained to do that through Christians who speak the word of Christ to the world, persuading them to be reconciled unto God through faith in Christ, and it will not happen any other way.  The Gospel must be shared because it is the exclusive means of creating faith in the heart of the elect sinner.

The sinfulness of the sin of our silence then is this, – no one will be saved apart from hearing the Gospel of Christ.  God uses the Gospel as it is spoken by wretches like me and you to convert sinners to Christ.  Do you profess Christ?  If that profession is authentic and validated by the witness of the Spirit in your life, then God intends to make use of you to be the vessel that carries the Gospel to any and every lost soul.  What are you doing with this means?  What are we doing with this great Gospel?  Be unbiblical if you want and continue to tell yourself that if God has elected sinners to save then it matters not whether you share the Gospel with them or not.  You’ve missed the point!  Evangelism is a command; sharing the Gospel a privilege and a joy.  God will not do it without the Gospel witness.  You, dear believer, carry that Gospel within your breast.  Why so silent?  Have you put on the shoes of readiness given by the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15)?  You must!  Faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of Christ!  Let us speak exactly that, – not our own word, but the word of Jesus Christ!  And may God providentially bless your labor of grace in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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One Response

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