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LESSON 9 - OUTREACH GIFTS

     Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All Scripture references
     are to the NIV unless otherwise noted. Suggested answers are
     found within parentheses. These lessons are taught from a
     computer screen, therefore upper case is used throughout for
     visual clarity. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a
     blackboard. This lesson can be found at:www.cameronlaw.com.

     INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK WE TURN OUR ATTENTION TO WHAT IS CALLED THE
"OUTREACH GIFTS!"  IN CASE THIS SOUNDS VAGUELY LIKE AN AT&T AD, AND
YOU ARE UNCERTAIN WHAT THIS LESSON IS ABOUT, WE ARE DISCUSSING
SOUL-WINNING.  SO LET'S DO IT!

I. EVANGELISM: HOW IMPORTANT?

     A. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT WORK OF 
     THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH? (EVANGELISM WILL PROBABLY BE HIGH
     ON THIS LIST.)

     B. LET'S EXPLORE THIS A MINUTE:

          1. WHAT WAS CHRIST'S LAST COMMAND TO HIS DISCIPLES? (LUKE
          24:46-51 SUGGESTS BEING A WITNESS TO THE GOSPEL; ACTS
          1:8-9 SUGGESTS THE SAME; MARK 16:14 SAME; SEE ALSO MATT.
          28:18-20.)

          2. WHAT DID CHRIST SUGGEST MUST BE DONE BY THE CHURCH
          BEFORE HE RETURNS? (MATT.24:14. THE GOSPEL MUST BE
          PREACHED TO THE WHOLE WORLD.)

     C. NOW THAT WE HAVE LOOKED AT THESE TEXTS, WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST
     IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH?
     (EVANGELISM: SOUL-WINNING.)

II. THE GIFT OF EVANGELISM: IS IT FOR EVERYONE?

     A. YOU RECALL MY CONCERN THAT THE LESSON DOES NOT DRAW A VERY
     CLEAR LINE BETWEEN SPIRITUAL GIFTS (THAT ARE POSSESSED BY ONLY
     CERTAIN "PARTS" OF THE BODY) AND BASELINE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER
     (THAT IS TO BE POSSESSED BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE BODY).

          1. GIVEN THE IMPORTANCE OF EVANGELISM, AND THE GOSPEL 
          COMMISSION, HOW DOES EVANGELISM GET CALLED A "SPIRITUAL
          GIFT?"

          2. DOESN'T BASELINE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER REQUIRE SHARING
          THE GOSPEL?

          3. TURN TO EPHESIANS 4:11-13. READ. 

               a. DOESN'T THIS CLEARLY SAYS THAT "SOME" ARE GIVEN
               TO BE "EVANGELISTS."  

               b. HOW DO YOU SQUARE THIS WITH THE GOSPEL
               COMMISSION? (TWO SUGGESTED ANSWERS: 1. JESUS "GAVE"
               TO HIS DISCIPLES TO BE EVANGELISTS IN THE GOSPEL
               COMMISSION. THIS WAS A CRITICAL GIFT FOR THEM
               CONSIDERING THE INFANCY OF THE CHURCH. THE CHURCH
               "BODY" NEEDED TO BE CREATED 2.THE FOCUS IN
               EPHESIANS 4 IS ORGANIZING A "MACHINE" (THE CHURCH)
               WHICH WORKS TOGETHER SMOOTHLY TO "BUILD UP" THE
               BODY OF BELIEVERS TO KNOW JESUS. THUS, THE
               "MACHINE" IS EVANGELIZING, BUT EACH PART OF THE
               MACHINE MAY NOT BE AN EVANGELIST. EXAMPLE: WHEN MAN
               FIRST STARTING TRAVELLING, HE WALKED. EACH MAN
               PROVIDED BOTH THE PROPULSION AND THE STEERING. A
               MORE EFFICIENT MEANS OF TRAVEL IS FLYING. NOW, ONLY
               ONE (OR TWO) HANDLE THE THROTTLE. THE REST
               NAVIGATE, CLEAN, SERVE, REPAIR, ETC. EVERYONE IS IN
               THE TRAVEL BUSINESS, BUT NOT EVERYONE IS HOLDING
               THE THROTTLE.)

     B. IF YOU AGREE THAT EVANGELISM IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT AND NOT
     BASELINE CHRISTIAN ACTIVITY, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO HAS THE GIFT?
     SPECIFICALLY, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER YOU HAVE THE GIFT?

          1. SHOULD WE BE TRAINING EVERYONE TO BE EVANGELISTS TO
          SEE WHICH WORK OUT? (THE TEACHER'S HELPS SAY STUDIES AT
          FULLER AND ANDREWS FOUND THAT ONLY 10% OF THE LOCAL
          CONGREGATION HAS THE GIFT OF EVANGELISM, AND THE PASTOR
          MAY NOT BE PART OF THE 10%! SO WHOLESALE TRAINING DOES
          NOT SEEM APPROPRIATE.)

          2. IF EVANGELISM IS A "GIFT" FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHY
          DOES MAN NEED TO TRAIN YOU?
          
          3. DOESN'T "TRAINING" SOUND LIKE "SALVATION BY WORKS" 
          APPLIED TO SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 
           
          4. WHAT KIND OF MAN THINKS HE CAN INSTRUCT BETTER THAN
          THE HOLY SPIRIT? (LOOK AT EPHESIANS 4:11-12 AGAIN. I
          THINK THIS CLEARLY PAINTS A PICTURE OF THOSE WITH THE
          VARIOUS GIFTS TRAINING OTHERS (v. 12 "PREPARE GOD'S
          PEOPLE FOR WORKS OF SERVICE). THUS, THOSE WITH THE GIFT
          REFINE THE USE OF THE GIFT IN OTHERS THROUGH TRAINING.)

III. EVANGELISM: WHAT, EXACTLY, IS IT?

     A. WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF EVANGELISM AND
     HOW WE GET THE GIFT.  PERHAPS WE HAVEN'T LOOKED AT THE CENTRAL
     QUESTION BECAUSE WE ALL ASSUME WE KNOW WHAT WE MEAN BY
     EVANGELISM. IN GENERAL, IT MEANS SOUL-WINNING, RIGHT?

          1. BUT IF YOU HAD THE GIFT OF EVANGELISM, WHAT, EXACTLY,
          WOULD YOU BE DOING?

     B. THE LESSON SUGGESTS, AND I HAVE CONFIRMED, THAT THE GREEK
     WORD TRANSLATED EVANGELIST IS FOUND ONLY THREE TIMES IN THE
     NEW TESTAMENT.  LETS LOOK AT ONE OF THOSE THREE: 2 TIM. 4:1-5.
     READ.

          1. WHAT, EXACTLY, IS TIMOTHY CHARGED TO DO BY PAUL AS AN
          EVANGELIST? (PREACH (BASED ON PREPARATION), CORRECT,
          REBUKE, ENCOURAGE (WITH PATIENCE AND CAREFUL WORDS)).

     C. "CORRECTING," "REBUKING" AND "ENCOURAGING" ARE ALL SOMEWHAT
     TRICKY MATTERS (ESPECIALLY THE FIRST TWO).  WE HAVE DISCUSSED
     IN PAST LESSONS HOW YOU GO ABOUT THESE TASKS. IS IT POSSIBLE
     THAT SOME PEOPLE SHOULD NOT EVEN BE IN THE BUSINESS OF
     CORRECTING OR REBUKING BECAUSE THEY LACK THE GIFT?

          1. WOULD OUR CHURCH BE A BETTER PLACE IF WE HAD
          "DESIGNATED" (CONSISTENT WITH THE GIFT) CORRECTORS/
          REBUKERS AND EVERYONE ELSE WAS INSTRUCTED TO KEEP A LID
          ON IT?

     D. IS THIS ALSO TRUE FOR PREACHING? SHOULD PEOPLE WHO DO NOT
     HAVE THE GIFT BE BLOCKED FROM GETTING UP IN FRONT?

     E. WHO DECIDES? DOESN'T THIS SOUND LIKE AN "IMPERIAL" WAY TO
     RUN A CHURCH? THOSE IN CHARGE DECIDE WHO GETS BLOCKED FROM THE
     PLATFORM AND WHO "GETS A LID" ON THEIR INTENDED CORRECTION.
     (IF YOU LOOK AT ALL GIFTS AS BEING ESSENTIAL, THEN THIS
     BECOMES A MATTER OF STEERING PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT "PART" OF THE
     "BODY." 1 COR. 12:14-25)

     F. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT IT IS A "GIFT" TO DECIDE WHO HAS BEEN
     GIVEN CERTAIN GIFTS?

          1. TURN TO 1 COR 12:4-11. WEDNESDAY'S LESSON FOCUSSES ON
          THE GIFT OF "DISCERNMENT" WHICH IS DRAWN FROM v.10.

          2. IF THERE IS A DISPUTE OVER WHO HAS WHAT GIFTS, SHOULD
          THOSE WHO HAVE THE GIFT OF "DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN
          SPIRITS" DECIDE? (THE MAIN MEANING OF THIS SEEMS TO BE TO
          DISTINGUISH BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL SPIRITS (WHICH IS THE
          TENOR OF THE TEXT).  HOWEVER, I THINK A SECONDARY MEANING
          COULD BE DISCERNING WHO HAS A GIFT.  IF SOMEONE FALSELY
          CLAIMS TO HAVE THE SPIRIT MANIFESTING ITSELF IN A GIFT,
          SOMEONE WHO COULD DISCERN SPIRITS WOULD SEEM TO BE ABLE
          TO TELL THIS. (PERHAPS THIS JUST REMOVES THE BATTLE TO
          ANOTHER LEVEL: WHO HAS THE GIFT OF DISCERNMENT?) IN THE
          CHURCH BODY OPEN TO THE SPIRIT, THE GIFTS SHOULD BE
          OBVIOUS AND UNDISPUTED.)

IV. TONGUES: HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT! 

     A. OUR LESSON (MONDAY) CALLS TONGUES AN "OUTREACH GIFT," WHICH
     WOULD MAKE IT PART OF SOUL-WINNING. DO YOU AGREE?

     B. HOW DID WE SEE THE GIFT OF TONGUES USED IN THE NEW
     TESTAMENT? (TWO PROMINENT EXAMPLES ARE: PENTECOST-ACTS 2:4-6;
     AND THE CORINTHIAN EXPERIENCE-1 COR. 13 & 14. IN 1 COR. 14:22
     PAUL CALLS TONGUES A SIGN FOR UNBELIEVERS.)

     C. WE HAVE DISCUSSED THE GIFT OF TONGUES EARLIER THIS QUARTER,
     AND I'M NOT GOING TO ASK YOU WHETHER THIS GIFT REFERS TO HUMAN
     LANGUAGE OR A LANGUAGE THAT IS NOT NORMALLY "INTELLIGIBLE" (1
     COR. 14:19) TO MAN, A LANGUAGE SPOKEN BY ANGELS (1 COR. 13:1)
     AND UNDERSTOOD BY GOD (BUT NOT NORMALLY MAN). (1 COR. 14:2)

          1. LET ME ASK YOU INSTEAD, WHERE DOES TONGUES RANK IN THE
          HIERARCHY OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS? (LAST. 1 COR. 12:28-31)

          2. IF IT IS LAST, HOW COMMON DOES THAT SUGGEST IT SHOULD
          BE? (IF WE ARE TO DESIRE "GREATER GIFTS," THIS SUGGESTS
          THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE SHOULD POSSESS THE "LESSER" GIFTS.)

     D. HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE SEEN THE GIFT OF TONGUES MANIFESTED IN
     AN SDA CHURCH (HOWEVER YOU DEFINE TONGUES)? (I HAVE NOT. I
     HAVE NEVER SPOKEN TO ANYONE WHO WAS AN EYEWITNESS. ANY STORIES
     I HEAR ARE ABOUT FOREIGN COUNTRIES.)

          1. THE KILLER QUESTION FOR US IS, WHY NOT? IF THIS GIFT
          IS SUPPOSED TO BE SO COMMON, THEN WHY DO NOT WE SEE IT? 

          2. DO WE SIMPLY THINK WE HAVE THE "GREATER GIFTS" BECAUSE
          THE LINE BETWEEN NATURAL TALENT AND A SPIRITUAL GIFT IS
          HAZY FOR SOME OF THESE GREATER GIFTS?  HOWEVER, THE GIFT
          OF TONGUES IS PRETTY CLEARLY SEPARATE FROM ANY NATURAL
          GIFT?

          3. DOES THIS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS
          NOT ACTIVE IN YOUR SPECIFIC CHURCH?  OR ANY AMERICAN SDA
          CHURCH FOR THAT MATTER?

          4. I SUGGEST A WHOLE LOT MORE THOUGHT AND PRAYER NEEDS TO
          GO INTO THE QUESTION OF WHY WE DO NOT SEE THIS GIFT AT
          ALL, IN ANY FORM, INSTEAD OF DEBATING THE EXACT NATURE OF
          THIS GIFT.     

V. NEXT WEEK: SIGN OR POWER GIFTS. STUDY!  I WILL NOT BE TEACHING
THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. (AND WILL NOT HAVE AN INTERNET LESSON)