Introduction: How complex is this witnessing stuff? Last week we
learned that the demon-possessed, naked, crazy guy was sent to
witness to his town after Jesus cast out his demons. That guy did
not have an advanced education in witnessing, yet Jesus sent him out
right away! The title to our lesson indicates there is an order
(sequence) to evangelism. Let’s jump into our Bible study and
explore this idea that math and order have something to do with
- Milk and Meat Loaf
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-2. Would you be insulted if Paul
wrote this to you?
- What kind of teachings are “milk” and what kind of
teachings are “solid food?” (Solid food, according
to the Bible, is food the world is not ready to
- My wife tells me about one of her aunts who attended
church, wanted to become a member, but would not
because the church prohibited her from being
baptized into membership unless she gave up her
jewelry. She was not ready to give up jewelry. She
never joined the church and ultimately lost interest
in it. Was the local church guilty of a milk/solid
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:3-4. What is the “milk problem” for
these Corinthians? (Jealously and quarreling with regard
to teachers. “I’m better than you because I follow a
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9. What is Paul’s answer to this
problem? (To explain to the “milk” people that they do
not have a proper understanding of the role of the
teacher and the role of God.)
- Have you noticed this issue with new or immature
believers – that they get caught up in controversies
and disputes that reflect a type of pride based on a
lack of knowledge?
- Here are two examples from my teaching past:
- Perfect strangers or new believers come to my
class and rebuke me because I teach from the
NIV instead of the KJV.
- A first-time visitor to the class points out
that I was wearing jewelry. She thinks I need
- Do these examples reflect a superior attitude?
(These new people are apparently thinking: “Whoever
taught me is better than this teacher, so I will
rebuke him!” None of the KJV people who talked with
me later had even a rudimentary knowledge of the
real issues at stake. My “jewelry” was a plastic Ten
Commandments bracelet. See Deuteronomy 6:6-8.)
- We’ve discussed the problem. We have the example in the
Bible and the two examples I gave. What “milk” response
should be made? If you have to start with milk, something
that the world can accept, then how do you deal with the
excited pride of milk level Christians? (If we review 1
Corinthians 3:3-8 we see Paul doing two things. First,
even though they are “milk” level Christians, he rebukes
them. Second, he explains to them the proper view of
- Read 1 Peter 2:1-3. Since our lesson is about order, is
“milk drinking” the first level of evangelism? (Notice
how the Holy Spirit and the student work together on
this. The first order of business is the confession of
sin. The second is a desire for good spiritual teaching.
This requires a decision of the student. The prompting
and conviction of the Holy Spirit are essential.)
- Let’s look at another practical problem. If we are to
start out with milk, what specific, practical approach to
evangelism is suggested?
- Many years ago, my church was debating how it could
best reach the community. One group in the church
thought we should pass out a book on the life of
Jesus. Another group thought we should pass out a
book about the history of the conflict between good
and evil and prophecy about the future. Which do
you think should have been passed out and why? (The
life, death and resurrection of Jesus is milk. The
other book seems a lot more like meat loaf.)
- Read Matthew 25:34-36 and Luke 9:11. Is there another
aspect to the “milk first” approach that we have not
discussed? An approach suggested in these verses? (Yes!
Going up to a disinterested stranger and trying to
convert the stranger is difficult because you have no
credibility. The first step is to make strangers into
friends. Helping others is a way to turn strangers into
friends. Once they become friends, we have the
credibility to talk with them about the gospel.)
- Let’s review. There is an order to evangelism. The first
step is to be a helpful friend. The second is acceptance
of Jesus and repentance of sin. The third is to teach
things the new believer will accept, and hold the more
difficult teachings for a later time. During this
process, we need to be on the watch for pride and error,
and not be afraid to gently rebuke error and explain the
- Meat Loaf
- Let’s return to 1 Corinthians. Read 1 Corinthians 3:10.
How does Paul view his work? (He is an “expert” who is
laying a “foundation.”)
- What warning does he give to more mature Christians?
(Just as milk Christians can be arrogant, so meat
loaf Christians have to be careful about how they
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:11. What is the solid food, the meat
loaf, that must be kept central in all teaching? (Jesus!
We just talked about how Jesus is milk, but He is also
meat loaf. We cannot exhaust our study of what He has
done for us. Teaching which focuses on other, minor,
issues is not a proper foundation.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:12-13. Is there a difference in the
quality of the work of Christian teachers?
- How can we tell gold-standard teachers from straw-standard teachers? (Examination (light) will reveal
it. Fire (tests) will reveal it.)
- What if you are a teacher and (like me) some new
person rebukes you? (You need to seriously consider
the rebuke to determine whether it is uneducated
pride or truth.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:14-15. If you are a teacher, and
you read this, aren’t you glad! Who loses with a straw-standard teacher? (The student! The teacher survives, but
- Who gains with a gold-standard teacher? (The student
and the teacher.)
- Read John 14:15-21. What foundational, meat loaf, truths
do we find in these verses? (The Holy Spirit is essential
to our Christian walk. Obedience is essential to our
Christian walk. Obedience shows that we love God.)
- Meat Loaf Test
- Read John 6:35-37. We now have an example of solid food.
(Jesus calls it bread instead of meat loaf.) Why does
Jesus compare Himself to bread? (You need bread to live.
There is a natural progression. We start out with milk,
we progress to meat loaf.)
- Read John 6:41-42. Should Jesus have given them milk
instead of this meat loaf?
- Read John 6:43-51. How would you characterize Jesus
teaching here – milk or meat loaf? (Accepting that Jesus
is God is foundational. It has to be “milk” teaching.)
- Read John 6:52-57. Is this milk or meat loaf? (I think
this is more advanced teaching. This is meat loaf.)
- Read John 6:66. What does this teach us? That Jesus made
a mistake by not sticking with milk messages? (No. This
teaches us that even if we follow the correct progression
of help, milk and meat loaf, we are going to have people
who cannot accept the truth. More milk is not the answer.
Instead, we must realize that God gives us free choice,
and for most the Kingdom of Heaven is not a priority.)
- Friend, will you be conscious of the order for
evangelism? First help, then milk, and then meat loaf.
Why not start today?
- Next week: Personal Evangelism and Witnessing.