Like most students, lunch break was my favorite “class” in school. That was especially true in the spring. But it had nothing to do with lunch. It had everything to do with baseball. The goal was to down lunch as quickly as possible and then head to the baseball field.
When I reflect on those days, I remember the dynamic duo—two guys in our class that made an unbeatable team (one even went on to play in the major leagues). Everyone knew that if those two guys were ever on the same team, the opposing team was in BIG trouble. The opposing team had but two choices—head for the locker room or suffer an embarrassing defeat.
Dynamic duos occur in other areas such as the ballpark of evangelism. Four decades of experience has taught me there is an “unbeatable duo” in evangelism—two items that when combined in the same person makes his or her witness something that even Satan has reason to fear. I call that dynamic duo “clarity with the lips and consistency with the life.” Common sense tells you what makes such a combination so powerful.
Clarity with the lips means the believer’s greatest emphasis is not just telling others to come to Christ but telling them how to come to Christ. His clarity is demonstrated three ways.
A simple message—He doesn’t attempt to share all 66 books of the Bible, but the 10 words of the gospel: Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:3–4).
A clear definition of saving faith—The gospel of John, the book written to tell us how to receive eternal life (cf. John 20:31), exhorts us 98 times to believe. That means understanding that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again, as well as trusting in Christ alone to save you. A person who is clear on saving faith understands that walking an aisle or saying a prayer is not what makes one right with God. He avoids phrases such as “invite Jesus into your heart,” “accept Christ,” or “give your life to God.” Not only are those phrases not used in the New Testament, but they don’t convey the idea that I must trust in Christ and His finished work on the cross as my only basis of eternal life.
- An emphasis that salvation is not given on the basis of Christ plus anything but on the basis of Christ period—It is not Christ and a healthy dose of good deeds that saves us. It is Christ alone. When such a person leads others to Christ, the new converts typically understand the plan of salvation so clearly that they find it easy to turn around and explain it to someone else.
Now lay alongside that witness consistency with the life. It’s the kind of consistency Paul refers to when he says “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).
Nothing backs up a terrific message better than a terrific life. The comment has been made that when the world is at its worst Christians need to be at their best.
Non-Christians are often looking for a reason to toss our message aside. When they find a person whose holiness of life resembles the holiness of his message, they are rendered “speechless.” The Holy Spirit’s conviction says to him, “You’ve tossed other Christians aside. What are you going to do with that one?”
In baseball terms, clarity and consistency scores a home run.