Ligon Duncan begins the conversation by sharing his and David Platt’s shared belief in the primacy of the Word just as God speaks and brings his people into being. Duncan says that as we image God as witnesses, we should speak his word of grace, and the Holy Spirit will use that to bring people to newness of life.
Duncan goes on to say that we want to see the Word come to fruition in the lives of the people we are speaking to, and that if we desire those people to come to faith in Christ, we should then want the Word coming to fruition in our own lives and through our testimonies.
Duncan thinks one reason that Christians are motivated to do deeds is not just for evangelistic reasons, but also because we are called to be a blessing to other people and to love our neighbor, at all times. Duncan says we as Christians don’t need an evangelistic motivation to love our neighbor.
In the context of evangelism, Duncan says that when people see us living out the life that we are proclaiming with our lips, it makes the words that we are saying especially compelling, and oftentimes, opens a door of someone’s heart to hear the Word of God.
Duncan thinks it’s helpful for us to see ourselves as followers of Jesus—called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Second, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are intended to look to others’ interests and ask, “How can I serve, how can I care?” Duncan says this is the character of Christ in us, and the greatest love we can show to someone else is to share the good news of how they can be reconciled with God.
Platt agrees and says the greatest way we can show love to another human being is to care about their eternal wellbeing, not just their temporal wellbeing. Platt says that caring about the eternal wellbeing does not mean that we don’t care about the temporal wellbeing, because we care about people who are embodied, they are enfleshed, they are in a context, and because we love them, we should care about all those things.
Duncan shares a story about a time he attended a conference with a missionary working in a closed Muslim country, and when the missionary told Duncan what country he was in, knowing that many of the men who flew planes into buildings on 9/11 had actually come from that country, Duncan wondered how he was ministering there. Duncan asked him what ministering in word looked like and realized it was only displayed through deed.
Duncan says his hope for the listener of this conversation is to have zealous commitment to love neighbors as ourselves. To see physical needs and to ask, “What can we do to show the love of Christ?” Duncan says that question must be then coupled with and driven by a desire to proclaim the gospel.
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This episode was produced by Heather Calvillo and Steven Morales.