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According to the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, “we must first be grounded in our relationship with Jesus before we can be ‘properly equipped’ to effectively witness for our faith.”

  1. Reread the quotation above.
    1. Do you agree? Why or why not?
    2. What are some biblical examples of people who would be excluded from membership in our churches because of their sins, but who God used in powerful ways to communicate his message to the world?
  2. In a discussion of “equipping for evangelism,” it seems that we should take a careful look at how Jesus went about equipping his disciples for ministry.Matthew 10 is a thought-provoking chapter in this regard.
    1. Why would Jesus give the instruction in vss 5-6? Shouldn’t we go to all the world?
    2. In the so-called Western world, a great deal of emphasis is placed on “proclamation evangelism.” Jesus, however, seems to be more interested that his disciples go out with spiritual power (vs 17-8).
      1. Is this power (to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead) still available to Christians today? If it is still available, why does it seem in short supply?
      2. How effective is “power evangelism” in communicating the gospel?
      3. What are the dangers of relying upon miracles and exorcisms in witnessing? What are the dangers of ignoring miracles and exorcisms in witnessing?
    3. We often emphasize the joy that comes from sharing the gospel. Jesus seems also to stress the trouble that will occur. He mentions being arrested, beaten, and betrayed even unto death. How should we relate to his words on this subject? Does witnessing bring joy, or suffering? Is it easy, or difficult?
  3. In Philippians 1:5-18, the apostle Paul notes that some are preaching Christ “out of envy and rivalry . . . not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.” The amazing thing is that Paul does not seem terribly bothered by this. Rather, he concludes, “The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice.”
    1. Just how important is the integrity of the one witnessing? Which is better, an authentic Christian who is silent, or an insincere Christian who is loud?
    2. Should we actually rejoice over insincere, divisive Christians who are preaching Christ?
  4. In Mt. 4:19 and Mark 1:17, Jesus calls his first disciples by saying, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What is the balance between spiritual equipping for ministry, and more formal education in preparation for ministry? Does Jesus train us, or should a school train us? Are the two mutually exclusive?

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