“Are you evangelical?” Sometimes I’m asked this question. My initial response is to reply: “I’m a sinner, a Christian who conforms to the basic doctrines of the Bible and am devoted to the Good News (“Evangel”) of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ – so yes I’m evangelical.”
The “Evangel” is summarized by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.”
That’s certainly my creed: that the Word-Event Jesus Christ – His incarnation, teaching, death and resurrection is the fulfilment of Scripture and the revealing of God’s salvation purpose for sinful people. Alongside this, I also believe that to be saved and go to Heaven, one must be converted to trust in Christ by turning away from sin, and accepting His free gift of salvation through His payment for sin by His death on the cross. These fundamental facts and truths of Christianity shape the centrality of my preaching. So I’m definitely evangelical.
Although such a label is meaningless in terms of eternity, I still think it is one of the most important labels that can be applied to any Christian today. So don’t be embarrassed by the misnomers (legalism, fundamentalism et.al.) that sadly are connected with the word “evangelical” – it simply means that we preach a solid Gospel. Good News indeed!
So if someone asks you the question, “Are you evangelical?” – what will your response be? More importantly, as a Minister of the Word – would you expect me to be anything less than evangelical? I certainly hope not!