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
effective evangelism!

  1. Milk and Meat Loaf

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-2. Would you be insulted if Paul
      wrote this to you?

      1. 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

      2. 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
        food mistake?

    2. 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
      better teacher!”)

    3. 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.)

      1. 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?

      2. Here are two examples from my teaching past:

        1. Perfect strangers or new believers come to my
          class and rebuke me because I teach from the
          NIV instead of the KJV.

        2. A first-time visitor to the class points out
          that I was wearing jewelry. She thinks I need
          adult supervision.

      3. 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.)

    4. 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

    5. 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.)

    6. Let’s look at another practical problem. If we are to
      start out with milk, what specific, practical approach to
      evangelism is suggested?

      1. 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.)

    7. 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.)

    8. 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

  2. Meat Loaf

    1. 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.”)

      1. 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

    2. 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.)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 3:12-13. Is there a difference in the
      quality of the work of Christian teachers?

      1. How can we tell gold-standard teachers from straw-standard teachers? (Examination (light) will reveal
        it. Fire (tests) will reveal it.)

      2. 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.)

    4. 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
      just barely.)

      1. Who gains with a gold-standard teacher? (The student
        and the teacher.)

    5. 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.)

  3. Meat Loaf Test

    1. 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.)

    2. Read John 6:41-42. Should Jesus have given them milk
      instead of this meat loaf?

    3. 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.)

    4. Read John 6:52-57. Is this milk or meat loaf? (I think
      this is more advanced teaching. This is meat loaf.)

    5. 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.)

    6. Friend, will you be conscious of the order for
      evangelism? First help, then milk, and then meat loaf.
      Why not start today?

  4. Next week: Personal Evangelism and Witnessing.