Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Evangelism Series (Part Nine): Lloyd-Jones on the Office of Evangelist

Here’s a follow up to my recent post in the Evangelism Series on the office of evangelist:

In his exposition of Ephesians 4:11, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reaches a similar conclusion (from Christian Unity:  An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1 to 16 [Baker Books, 1980]):

If any are surprised that I place the evangelist and his office in the same extraordinary and temporary category as the apostles and prophets, the probability is that they are thinking of an evangelist in terms of the modern use of the term.  This is something essentially different from its use in the New Testament, where we are not told much about the evangelists.  Philip, who is mentioned in the eighth chapter of the Book of Acts, was an evangelist.  He is mentioned again in the twenty-first chapter.  It is quite clear also that Timothy and Titus are evangelists.  The Apostle Paul reminds Paul to do the work of an evangelist.  It seems clear from these references that an evangelist was a very special man who was in close association with the apostles….  The evangelist is a man who had been given special ability and power to make known, and to expound, the facts of the Gospel.  Generally, he was a man appointed by the apostles themselves, and can be described as a kind of understudy to the apostles.  He was one sent by the apostles to do a given work.  Sometimes he was sent ahead of the apostles, as Philip was sent to Samaria, but generally, he followed the apostles…..

This does not mean that there have not been men since then, and in the Church today, who are given a special call to preach the Gospel in a particular way and manner, but strictly speaking they are not evangelists in the New Testament sense of the word.  It would be better to call them ‘exhorters’, as they were called at the time of the evangelical awakening of the eighteenth century (pp. 191-192).

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