"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" The Work Of An Evangelist (4:5) by Mark Copeland


The Work Of An Evangelist (4:5)


1. In our text (2Ti 4:5), we find Paul commanding Timothy...
   a. "do the work of an evangelist"
   b. "fulfill your ministry"
   -- Thus Timothy was to continue his service for the Lord as an

2. The word "evangelist" often conveys different ideas to people...
   a. Some envision an Elmer Gantry figure, an itinerant preacher who
      travels from place to place
   b. Others equate the word with pastor, expecting one to provide
      similar service

3. The function of an "evangelist" is a gift from Christ to His
   a. Given along with the functions of apostle, prophet, pastor,
      teacher - Ep 4:8,11
   b. Contributing to the equipping of the saints and edification of the
      body - Ep 4:12

[Such a 'gift' should be properly understood and appreciated.  Toward
that end, let's consider...]


      1. The Greek word is euanggelistes
         a. Lit., a bringer of good tidings - ISBE
         b. A form of the word euanggelion, normally translated "gospel"
            (good news)
      2. As explained by Barnes in his commentary:
         a. "This word properly means one who announces good news."
         b. "In the NT it is a applied to a preacher of the gospel, or
            one who declares the glad tidings of salvation."
      3. It occurs in only three places in the NT
         a. In our text - 2Ti 4:5
         b. In the passage we noted earlier - Ep 4:11
         c. In the place where we are told that Philip was an evangelist
            - Ac 21:8
            1) He who preached Christ to the Samaritans - Ac 8:4-5,12
            2) He who preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch - Ac 8:35
      4. It is commonly equated with the term 'missionary', for
         evangelists often traveled
         a. Yet evangelists sometimes stayed in one place for extended
            1) Philip appears to have stayed in Caesarea about 20 years
               - cf. Ac 8:40; 21:8
            2) Timothy remained for some time at Ephesus - 1Ti 1:3
         b. Thus the word does not demand one be an itinerant preacher

      1. Preacher (Grk., kerux) - cf. Ro 10:14-15
         a. "to be a herald; to publish, proclaim openly; used of the
            proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it"
            - Thayer
         b. Used in the Scriptures to describe the work of:
            1) John the Baptist - Mt 3:1
            2) Jesus - Mt 4:17,23
            3) The apostles - Mt 10:7
            4) Philip the evangelist - Ac 8:5
            5) The apostle Paul - Ac 28:31; 2Ti 1:11
            6) Even Noah, a preacher of righteousness - cf. 2Pe 2:5
      2. Minister (Grk., diakonos) - cf. 1Th 3:2
         a. Translated variously as deacon, minister, servant
            1) It is not limited to preachers or evangelists
            2) It is used of other servants, such as deacons - cf. 1 Ti 3:8,12
         b. Yet is often used to describe those who preach and teach
            1) Paul - Ac 26:16; Ro 15:16; Col 1:23
            2) Epaphras - Col 1:7
            3) Timothy - 1Th 3:2; 1Ti 4:6
         c. The preacher is not the only minister of a church, for all
            Christians are truly ministers - cf. 1Pe 4:10

      1. Pastor
         a. Used of overseers (bishops) or elders (presbyters) 
              - Ep 4:11; cf. 1Pe 5:2; Ac 20:28
         b. In some cases an evangelist might also serve as a pastor,
            1) He meets the qualifications required - 1Ti 3:1-7; Tit 1:
            2) He serves with other pastors, for there was always a
               plurality of elders - Ac 20:17
            3) In which he is not the pastor, but only one of the
      2. Reverend, Father
         a. Such terms were never used as titles in the Lord's church
         b. The use of such titles were condemned by Jesus - Mt 23:8-12

[The very definition of the word evangelist, along with other words
often used (preacher, minister), provides insight into the work of an
evangelist.  Yet let's take a closer at what is and what is not...]


   A. WHAT IT IS...
      1. To preach the word of God - 2Ti 4:1-2
         a. Especially the gospel of Jesus Christ - cf. Ro 10:14-15
         b. As did Philip, the evangelist - Ac 8:5,35
      2. To instruct the brethren of their responsibilities - 1Ti 4:6
         a. In such matters as prayer, modesty, the role of women and
            men - cf. 1Ti 2:1-12
         b. In such matters as personal and family obligations, business
            duties - cf. Tit 2:1-10
         c. To reprove those that sin, even elders if need be - cf. 1 Ti  5:19-21
      3. To set in order things needed
         a. Encouraging the appointment of elders - Tit 1:5
         b. Training teachers, equipping the saints for ministry 
             - 2 Ti 2:2; cf. Ep 4:11-12
         c. Teaching against false teachers and false doctrine - 1Ti 1:
            3-4; Tit 1:10-11,13
      4. To set an example for the brethren
         a. In word, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity - 1 Ti 4:12
         b. A pattern of good works, in doctrine showing integrity,
            reverence - Tit 2:7
      5. To be devoted to the Word of God
         a. Giving attention to reading, exhortation and teaching - 1 Ti 4:13
         b. Being careful to handle the Word of God properly - 2Ti 2:15
      6. In contrast to the work of elders (i.e., pastors, bishops)...
         a. Elders are to take heed to themselves and to the flock of
            God - Ac 20:28
         b. Evangelists are to take heed to themselves and to the
            doctrine (teaching) - 1Ti 4:16
      -- This list adapted from The Early Church, Ferrell Jenkins,

      1. To do the work of elders, deacons, or other members
         a. The evangelist is to do 'his' work
         b. He is not 'hired' to do the work of other members
      2. To be the 'official'...
         a. Visitor for the congregation
         b. Leader of prayer at public functions
         c. An evangelist is honored to do such, but the honor should
            not be reserved for him alone
      3. To be expected to take care of:
         a. All the benevolence; all the personal evangelism
         b. All problems that arise in the church; all physical chores
         c. Members have different functions; each should do their part
            - cf. Ro 12:4-8; Ep 4:16
      4. The evangelist is to teach and preach the Word, not to "run the
         a. He is not the leader, the elders are to be the spiritual
            overseers and leaders
         b. He encourages and guides through teaching the Word, but he
            is not the pastor
      -- This list also adapted from The Early Church, Ferrell Jenkins,


1. The Lord has blessed His church with the role of evangelists...
   a. To proclaim the good news of salvation to the lost
   b. To preach the Word to Christians that they might grow in grace

2. Remember the principle established in Ac 6:1-4...
   a. Those devoted to the Word and prayer should not be distracted from
      their work
   b. Thus evangelists should encouraged and supported to do what is
      their responsibility
   c. They should not be hindered by responsibilities that properly
      belong to others

While all Christians are 'evangelists' in some measure (as they share
the good news of Christ with others), some are blessed by providence and
preparation to serve a special role as 'evangelists' in the Lord's
church.  May they be encouraged and supported to be faithful to their
gift, to do "The Work Of An Evangelist"...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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