J.I. Packer has an interesting note on the Puritan approach to evangelism.
Their programme as evangelists (Packer writes) was no more specialised than this: to teach and apply the Scriptures in a patient, thorough way, ranging wide in their declarations of the whole counsel of God but constantly returning to three themes.
Theme one was the length, breadth, height and depth of everyone’s need to be converted and saved.
Theme two was the length, breadth, depth, and height of the love of God, who sent his Son to the cross for sinners, and of Christ, who from his throne calls burdened souls to himself for their salvation.
Theme three was the ups, downs, blockages and pitfalls that face us as we travel the road from ignorant complacency about our spiritual state to informed, self-despairing, clear-headed and whole-hearted faith in Christ.
The Puritan way of opening up this third theme was to keep ringing changes on four truths:
- the duty of receiving Jesus Christ as Saviour and Master;
- the danger of settling in religion for anything less;
- the impossibility of coming the Christ without renewing grace; and
- the necessity of seeking that grace from Christ’s own hand.
J.I. Packer, Among God’s Giants, 393 (paragraphing altered)