Once we become Christians, we have a responsibility to share the truth of salvation with others. But oftentimes, we are not bold in sharing our faith because we have questions and doubts about exactly what the gospel is.
THE REASON FOR OUR BOLDNESS
KEY PASSAGE: Romans 1:1-7 | Romans 1:14-16
SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 20:7-9 | Ezekiel 18:4 | Matthew 24:14 | Mark 16:15 | Luke 4:18 | 1 Corinthians 1:1 | 1 Corinthians 9:16 | 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 | Galatians 1:11-12 | Galatians 2:7 | Ephesians 2:8-9 | Philippians 1:16 | Colossians 1:5 | 1 Thessalonians 2:2 | 2 Timothy 1:6-12
What is the gospel? Can you explain it?
Even though Christians are familiar with the gospel, many are reluctant to share it because they don’t feel capable of explaining it to someone else. They fear negative reactions from people and are intimidated by the questions they may ask. But God has given us the single most important message in the world. Since we’re confronted by so many incorrect philosophies and deceptive beliefs, we need to understand the gospel and how to present it to others with boldness. We can’t let fear and ignorance keep us from giving lost people the only message that can change their eternal destinies.
The gospel’s place in Jesus’ life
- Anointed to preach the gospel (Luke 4:18): Christ was commissioned and empowered by the Holy Spirit to travel throughout Israel, teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God wherever He went.
- Trained others to share the message (Matt. 24:14): Jesus spent three years teaching His disciples before giving them their lifelong assignment: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
The gospel’s place in Paul’s life
- Set apart for the gospel of God (Rom. 1:1): Paul was specifically called by the Lord to serve Him. He faithfully carried out this assignment by proclaiming Christ wherever he went.
- Entrusted with the good news of salvation (Gal. 2:7): To be entrusted with something means that you are given a responsibility, one for which you’re accountable. Paul saw his ministry (primarily to the Gentiles) as a stewardship for which he would one day give an account to his heavenly Father.
- Appointed for the defense of the gospel (Phil. 1:16): The Lord gave Paul many opportunities to defend his faith in Christ. He reasoned with anyone willing to listen. Like him, we must remember that the most effective way to share our faith is simply telling others what Christ has done in our lives.
- Anointed as a preacher and an apostle (2 Tim. 1:6-12): Despite many hardships, Paul was determined to complete the task the Lord had given him. He recognized his calling, relied on God’s power, and declared his willingness to suffer for the gospel.
- Obligated to preach the truth (Rom. 1:14): Knowing the Lord had called him to evangelize the Gentiles, Paul felt obligated to faithfully present the message of salvation to them. Since believers have been commissioned to make disciples of all people, we are obligated to share the gospel with family members, friends, co-workers, strangers, and even enemies.
- Eager to evangelize the lost (Rom. 1:15): Paul looked forward to each new opportunity to tell people about Christ. Is that true of you? Things that will eventually pass away excite us, but people have eternal destinies and need to know the Savior. This is why we must eagerly look for opportunities to reach out to them. When they share their needs with us, we can be ready to offer them the good news of salvation.
- Unashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16): The apostle Paul focused on the gospel’s power to change a person’s life forever, not the negative reactions of others. Too often we’re ashamed to talk about our faith because we’re focused on ourselves. But if we look toward people who are hurting, express genuine interest in them, and ask God to open a door for us to share our faith, He will empower us to do so.
- Under compulsion to share the good news (1 Cor. 9:16): Paul was compelled to tell others about Christ. In fact, he said, “Woe is me if I do not.” The prophet Jeremiah shared a similar experience (Jer. 20:7-9). Even though he was taunted and persecuted for delivering the Lord’s message, he discovered that not speaking made him feel as if a fire was burning inside him (v. 9). We may avoid warning people about God’s judgment for fear of driving them away from Him, but those people are already far from the Lord and need to hear His offer of forgiveness and salvation.
The nature of the gospel
- The source (Gal. 1:11-12): The message we’re called to share comes directly from the Lord, not from man. Paul called it the “gospel of God” (1 Thess. 2:2) and the “word of truth” (Col. 1:5).
- The definition: The Greek word for the gospel is evangelion, which means “good news.” It’s the good news of Jesus Christ and His offer of salvation through His personal death, burial, and resurrection to be received in faith by all who believe (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It has nothing to do with our goodness but is instead a gift of God’s grace. Once we receive His salvation, we are under obligation to share it with others.
The accomplishments of the gospel
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, many wonderful things happen. As a child of God, remember that you are:
- Redeemed: Jesus paid the price for your sin on the cross and purchased you for God. Now you belong to Him.
- Forgiven: On the basis of Christ’s payment, the Lord no longer holds your sins against you.
- Justified: He declares that you are no longer guilty of your sins.
- Reconciled: It is now possible for you to have a personal relationship with God.
- Sanctified: You are set apart as one of God’s children, and His Holy Spirit works within you to transform your life.
- Glorified: This is the last step you take when you leave this earth and enter heaven. There, you receive rewards and experience the glory the Lord has reserved for you.
Who has a message to match the gospel? No one! No religion or philosophy can equal it. Unlike all other religions—every one of which is based on works—those who serve Jesus Christ know grace comes by salvation through faith alone. We are surrounded by many people who are desperate for something they can’t even name, and we have the answer to their need. That answer is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that is why we are entrusted to boldly share it with anyone and everyone we meet.
- Have you ever felt that you should share the gospel with someone, but you were too afraid to go through with the explanation?
- Do you look for new and different methods to share God’s Word with others?
- Is there an age group that you feel more comfortable in sharing the good news of Christ? Perhaps this could be an avenue of ministry to help with your boldness to action!