b. It is in the five-fold ministries (Eph 4:11)
c. It is used of Timothy (2Tim 4:5)
B. Christ: The Model Evangelist
The Gospel of Luke reveals Jesus in His ministry as an evangelist. Luke tells us that the main purpose for Christ’s coming was to preach the “good news” of God’s Kingdom (Luke 4:43).
Luke also tells us the nature of Christ’s ministry of evangelism (Luke 4:18,19) as he recounts Jesus’ reading from Isaiah 61:1,2 in the synagogue at Nazareth: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me to:
- Preach the gospel to the poor,
- Heal the brokenhearted,
- Preach freedom for the prisoners [of sin],
- Preach renewed sight for the blind,
- Release those who are held down,
- Preach that now is the year of God’s blessing.”
What a beautiful picture this is of the ministry of an evangelist. And it was this ministry which was given by Christ to the Church. No wonder His final command to His disciples was to go forth and “evangelize” the world:
“Therefore, go into all the world and preach the gospel [euaggelion) to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
C. The Ministry Of The Evangelist
Philip was the only person in the Book of Acts and the epistles that was actually called an “evangelist” (Acts 21:8).
There are four important things that we can learn from his life and ministry as an evangelist:
- The preparation of the evangelist (Acts 6:1-6).
The Scriptures record a number of interesting facts about the background for Philip’s ministry:
a. He belonged to a local church.
b. He was a man of good character.
c. He was full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.
d. He had a servant’s heart of love.
e. He first proved himself as a deacon.
f. He was submitted to godly authority.
g. He waited for God’s time to go forth (Acts 8:1-5).
- The public ministry of the evangelist (Acts 8:5-25).
Philip’s recorded ministry of evangelism occurred in Samaria. The seed had been sown there sometime earlier by Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4). The harvest is now going to be reaped with joy.
In Philip’s ministry as an evangelist, several important points should be noted:
a. His preaching centered around Jesus Christ (Acts 8:5-12).
b. His preaching was backed up by signs and wonders (Acts 8:6,7).
c. His preaching produced many new believers (Acts 8:12).
d. He baptized the new believers in water as a sign of their faith (Acts 8:12).
e. He sent for Peter and John, who led them into the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17).
f. The new believers were formed into local churches. (This was the pattern throughout the Book of Acts including in Samaria – see Acts 9:31.)
g. He did not leave until the Lord, directed him to do so (Acts 8:26).
One sees at once that Philip’s ministry was “evangelism with a purpose”. The purpose was to make new believers and then partner with other ministry gifts for the purpose of establishing a church (Acts 8:14-17).