Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Gift Of Exhortation

From The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide to the Pastor by R. Alan Streett.  This will be the final post concerning this book.

Gift of exhortation, Rom. 12:8.

The word “exhort” comes from the Greek word “parakaleo” (para-to the side, kaleo-to call, used in Greek to mean to call to one’s side, call for, summon). Used 108 times in the New Testament, variously rendered “besought,” “exhort,” “entreat,” “called.” A call by the preacher to stand by his side as an indication of repentance and faith in Christ.

5 times parakaleo is used in the New Testament in relation to evangelistic preaching:

Acts 2: 38-41, 11:23, 2Cor. 5:20, 2Cor. 6: 1-2, 2Tim 4: 2,5.

In 61 out of 108 occurrences of parakaleo, it means “to beg or plead” or “to express an urgent request.”

Paul tells Timothy that his exhortations will be accompanied by long suffering or patience 2Tim. 4:2.

See also Titus 1: 7-9.
Key passage explaining the operation of the gift of exhortation: 1Cor. 12: 4-6. There are a variety of gifts (1Cor. 12:4) and of course, exhortation is one of them (Rom. 12:8). These gifts can be administered in a variety of ways (1Cor. 12:5). For example, one can use the gift in evangelism (Acts 2:40), or one could exercise it to minister to the saints (Acts 14:22). There are diversities of operation for each gift (1Cor. 12:6). Greek word for “operations”- energema (energized or empowered) from which the word “energy” is derived. God energizes all the gifts, He provides the power and the level at which it operates. According to A.T. Robertson, each gift produces a different result according to the power supplied to it by God.

Paul describes the operation of the gift of exhortation in 2Cor. 5:20: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech (parakaleo, exhort) you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” A prime characteristic of the gift of exhortation: God uses the evangelist’s mouth to urge his hearers to be saved.

Evangelion In Scripture

Evangelion (translated Gospel, noun, synonym for Kerygma) means good news. Used 77 times in the English New Testament. In context of Christian faith, means glad tidings of salvation through Jesus Christ. Paul equates two terms in Rom. 16:25, “Now to him who is of power to establish you through my Gospel (evangelion), and the preaching (kerygma) of Jesus Christ…” Evangelion speaks of the content of the Gospel message proclaimed.

An analysis of the 7 scriptural titles directly associated with evangelion, each which illuminates the Gospel message (From James S. Stewart)

1. The Gospel of God, Rom. 1:1. The Gospel’s origin is in God.

2. The Gospel of Christ, Rom. 1:16, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2Th. 1:8, the Gospel of His Son, Rom. 1:9. The Gospel is about Christ, but what about Him? Two-fold message, His person (His historical reality and His present ministry in heaven, and His atoning death on the cross, His burial, His resurrection). Neither part of the two-fold message can be separated. Paul stated that he was sent to preach the gospel, which he demonstrated both elements of the two-fold message (1Cor. 1:17-18). See also 1Cor. 15: 1,3,4, Rom 4:25, Acts 2: 36-37, 2Cor. 4:5

3. The glorious Gospel of Christ, 2Cor. 4: 3-4. Emphasis on the gospel’s intrinsic worth and majesty.

4. The Gospel of the grace of God, Acts 20: 24. The good news about God’s grace. Presupposes sin nature inherited from Adam and that all men and women deserve eternal punishment. On the basis of Christ’s atoning death, God offers forgiveness of sins. No one can earn this forgiveness; it is a free gift (Rom. 3:24).

5. The Gospel of Peace, Eph. 6:15. Peace is the fruit of the Gospel, see Rom. 5:1, Rom. 4: 24-25, Col. 1:20, Eph. 2: 13-14, Is. 53:5. The Cross produces peace in believers.

6. The Gospel of your salvation, Eph. 1:13. The individual appropriation of the gospel. The atoning sacrifice of Christ does not automatically save everyone; it establishes a basis upon which God can show mercy to all who believe, 2Cor. 5: 21, 1Pet 3:18.

7. My Gospel, Rom. 2:16.

Evangelizo (to bring good news, to announce glad tidings). Used 55 times in the New Testament. In LXX, used to describe a runner coming with the news of victory, it occurs twice in the Psalms proclaiming God’s faithfulness and salvation. Signifies the act of preaching the good news that the battle for souls was won by Christ’s atoning death, Jn. 12: 31-33, Col. 2: 13-15, Heb. 2: 14-15, 1Jn. 3:8). Evangelizo and Kerysso similar in meaning, but differ concerning the direction of action. The first emphasizes the act of bringing the message to others, the second speaks of being sent by a king with a message.

Evangelistes (bringer of good tidings, means basically the same thing as keryx). Used 3 times in the New Testament, appears in most English translations as “evangelist.” An evangelist is one specifically gifted to gather souls into Christ’s Church and who trains others to evangelize (Eph. 4: 8-12). This gift originates with Christ. The title is mentioned in connection to Philip (Acts 21:8), and Timothy (2Tim. 4:5). Philip went out from a local Church assembly to evangelize, Timothy was commanded by Paul to do the work of an evangelist within a local church body. Each local assembly contains lost souls (1Cor. 14:23).

From The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide to the Pastor by R. Alan Streett.

Exhortation To Sinners: God And Man Working Together

In inviting those in Corinth to be reconciled to God, Paul was making use of the gift of exhortation: “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore (parakaleo- para, to the side, kaleo, to call, to call to one’s side, to summon) you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2Cor. 5: 20.

Paul did the calling, but it was as if God gave the invitation: “We then, as workers together with Him also plead (parakaleo) with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2Cor. 6: 1-2.

Rev. 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” The invitation is issued by both the Spirit and the bride, God and man working together to bring the lost into the Kingdom of God. As man exhorts sinners to come to Christ, the Holy Spirit draws them to Christ. It is the evangelistic preacher’s duty to gather souls for Christ. As the seed (the Word) is sown publicly, it must be reaped publicly. The sow only is to leave the job undone. A public invitation is an integral part of evangelism. Failure to harvest souls for God is not with the Lord of the Harvest, but with those who are supposed to be laborers in God’s field.
From The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide for the Pastor by R. Alan Streett.

Biblical Quotations from the NKJV