Jewish Evangelism: Not Fainting Nor Falsifying
II Cor. 4:1-2
Yesterday, I read in the newspaper, “Madison Avenue methods sell religion like soap.” Reading further the article stated, “Selling the deity is big business in America, it involves millions of dollars annually and has the nation’s churchmen using Madison Avenue razzle-dazzle merchandising techniques to sell the faith.”
My mind quickly focused on the ministry of Jewish evangelism. I asked myself the question, “Do we have to use Madison Avenue gimmicks to win Jewish people to the Messiah?” We all realize that when it comes to the ministry of Jewish evangelism some grow weary of witnessing, or resort to gimmicks and trickery for quick success. But in II Corinthians 4:1-2 Paul clearly tells us that the true evangelist need not “faint” or “falsify” his witness to Jewish people.
I. WE FAINT NOT (v. 1)
A. Mercy Received :
“Therefore, . . . we have received mercy, we faint not” (v. 1).
We were once blind like those mentioned by Paul in II Corinthians 3:14-15, but God shed His mercy and love upon us. The veil of unbelief has been lifted from our eyes, and we have experienced the mercy of God through Messiah’s saving power. Therefore, we “faint not” being sustained by God’s mercy.
B. Ministry Received:
“Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, . . . we faint not” (v. 1)
The ministry we have received from the Lord is that of proclaiming God’s mercy and forgiveness of sin through Jesus our Messiah. Paul clearly states in II Corinthians 3:6-10 that this ministry is more glorious than that which Moses was called to administer. Our ministry is the greatest call in life. What a privilege we have to tell Jewish people that Jesus the Messiah is able to bring life and peace to them.
The words, “faint not” mean we “do not lose heart.” We do not become discouraged in the ministry of Jewish evangelism. Our “call to salvation” in the Messiah sustains us. Our “commission to service” strengthens us.
Therefore, knowing we have received this mercy, ministry, and message from God we do not lose heart. Paul put it very succinctly when he said, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (lI Cor. 4:16). God has strengthened us and does sustain us in the ministry of Jewish evangelism.
II. WE FALSIFY NOT (v. 2)
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
A. Not Dishonest:
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty . . . ” (v. 2)
Paul says, “but,” or on the contrary, here is what we do. We should once and for all renounce anything that would cause disgrace and scandalous reproach to our ministry.
B. Not Deceptive
“. . . not walking in craftiness . . .” (v. 2)
The word, “craftiness”, has the idea of using any sort of trickiness or cunning deception to gain one’s goal by underhanded means and methods. In the work of Jewish evangelism we must not use unscrupulous procedures to get a hearing. Our methods must always coincide with what the Scriptures teach and glorify the Messiah. All such cunning, sly, and secret ways of ministry should and must be set aside.
C. Not Deceitful:
“. . . nor handling the word of God deceitfully . . .” (v. 2)
The word, “deceitful”, has the idea of “falsifying” the Word of God by adulterating it with false doctrine, men’s tradition, or false methods of evangelism. There were those in the first century who used the Word in such a way to “catch the crowd” and win “favor and following.” We must continually analyze our methods and motives as we present the Gospel of Messiah to make sure they do not in any way color the Word of God.
Instead of availing ourselves of “crafty and cunning” uses of the Word of God, Paul clearly tells us how we are to set forth the word of truth to our Jewish friends.
“. . . but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (v. 2).
We are to publish the truth of God’s Word in an undisguised and open manner, not mingling it with our own philosophies or traditional beliefs. We are not to blunt its edge, for as one writer states, “For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). When the Word is manifested in the power of the Holy Spirit it will convict men of their sins, and convince them that Jesus is the Messiah.
We are to speak the truth in such a way that man’s conscience will acknowledge that it is true, even though he might not receive it (II Cor. 4: 3-4).
We are never to forget that God is watching the presentation of His Word. Therefore, our methods and motives must be manifest in such a way that we would not be ashamed of them, if God were physically present.
Do we need the Madison Avenue razzle-dazzle merchandising techniques to sell “the faith” to our Jewish friends? Absolutely not! Neither do we need to “faint” in the ministry of Jewish evangelism, because we are sustained by God’s “mercy” and the “ministry” committed unto us. Neither do we need to “falsify” the Word of God through dishonest, deceptive, or deceitful methods.
We are to manifest God’s Word in all its truth and simplicity and allow the Holy Spirit to convince men that Jesus is the Messiah. Paul summed it up so well when he said, “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake” (II Cor. 4:5).
We at THE FRIENDS OF ISRAEL will not “faint,” nor “falsify” the Gospel through craftiness or trickery. We believe the Word of God properly proclaimed will bring Jewish people to their Messiah, and to God’s praise, we see it happening every week.