Christian Evangelism defined by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of World War I

During the World War I, the Church of England entered a period of spiritual mourning and reflection, including a call to seek “fresh guidance of the Holy Spirit.”  Concerning this period of history, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, “in this grave crisis of our nation’s history, after much thought and prayer, we called the people of England to a National Mission of Repentance and Hope.”

One area that became a focus of repentance, particularly within the Church, centered on the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, or evangelism.

Following two years of a “call to repentance and to hope in Christ as the living answer to our needs,” the Archbishop of Canterbury observed “that a new spirit was breathing upon dry bones.” And, in 1918, at the conclusion of the First World War, to memorialize the spiritual lessons learned, the Church prepared reports, one of which included the 1918 Report of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Committee on Inquiry of the Evangelistic Work of the Church.

This particular report included a discussion on the evangelistic work and “the discovery of immovable hinderances to the Church’s efficiency – the bearing of the Gospel message on the industrial problems of today.”

Within their final report the Committee on Inquiry of the Evangelistic Work of the Church attempted to succinctly, yet powerfully, define the work of Christian evangelism, publishing the following thoughtful definition:

To evangelize is to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, that men shall come to put their trust in God through Him, accept Him as their Savior, and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of His Church.”

 According to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Committee of 1918, to “Evangelize” is to:

1)     To present Jesus Christ

A.    In the power of the Holy Spirit

1)     that men shall come to put their trust in God [the Father]

2)     through [Jesus Christ],

3)     accept [Jesus Christ] as their Savior,

4)     AND serve [Jesus Christ] as their King

1.     in the fellowship of His [Jesus Christ’s] Church

Central to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is placing faith in God the Father and the truth that we are reconciled to the Father, only through the redeeming Cross of Jesus Christ. It is by the convicting power of God’s Holy Spirit that men may come to place their trust in God, receiving Christ as savior and – being born of the Spirit of God, living a life to the glory of God In Christ.

The Gospel is not entering into a religious club, rather it is entering into a dynamic relationship with the true and living God by way of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

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