An evangelist recognizes that sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is not about us. It is not necessarily what an evangelist proclaims – but Who an evangelist is introducing… Jesus Christ. And He provides all believers remarkable gifts to do just that.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord…” (2 Timothy 1:7-8)
The Apostle Paul, a man whom God used to spread the message of the gospel throughout the world, sends these inspired words to Timothy to carry on the work. They were not words of condemnation, but of encouragement. Paul is reminding Timothy and all believers who we are in Christ and what we have in Him, rather than resting on our own efforts or inadequacies.
By trusting in Christ, we are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). A life in Christ is something we have already received – salvation, grace, redemption. The same Spirit that works salvation in us also extends gifts that overcomes any human frailty.
For people like myself, who have to daily conquer the inward spirit of timidity, we embrace these promises God gives us.
The challenge is bringing the reality of Christ’s promises into our faith life. A clue on how to do that is given in 2 Tim. 1:6.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
The Greek word for “gift” in this verse is charisma. This familiar word is an admirable trait. It is commonly considered a “gift” and an attribute found in many outstanding leaders. It is a “special charm or appeal that causes people to feel attracted and excited by someone.” (Dictionary.com)
Believers receive the “charisma” of God. The same Spirit that daily renews a believer to be a “new creation” is the same Spirit that draws and attracts people through us by the fruits of His Spirit within us. Believers receive encouragement to “fan into flames” the charisma God has already given us. In Christ, believers use God’s charisma to testify about what Christ has already done for us.
Believers are reminded to rekindle the gifts of the Spirit whenever we are struggling with timidity or a lack of confidence.
By taking Self out of the picture, we receive three amazing gifts of a new spirit or a new creation to conquer our fears and be eager to share God’s Word with others.
- The Spirit of Power
The Greek word is “dynamus” from which we get the word “dynamite” and “dynamo.” In Romans 1:16, Paul calls the gospel “the power [dynamus] of God.” This same power of the Holy Spirit has been placed in those who trust in Christ and His promises. We are not ashamed to proclaim God’s power through His Word.
- A Spirit of Love
The Greek word is “agape” which means unconditional love. In John 3:16, we read, “God so loved [agape] the world that He gave his only Son.” This same love of the Holy Spirit is placed in those who trust in Christ and His promises. We are not ashamed to display and express the unconditional love of God with others through the power of His Word. We are not ashamed to proclaim God’s power through His Word.
- A Spirit of Self-Discipline
The rare Greek word used in the Bible for “self-discipline” is “sophronismos”. This word means the ability to keep a cool head amid tense circumstances. When frustrated, angry, or sad, we are given the opportunity to remember that sharing God’s Word is not about us, but the Spirit within us. The same self-discipline of the Holy Spirit is given to those who trust in Christ and His promises. We are not ashamed to rely solely on Christ to conquer frustration, anger, or the fear of sharing God’s Word with others.