Ministering to others, worshipping God, and growing in our faith are very important, but in this day and age, we tend to forget the importance of the story that has brought us salvation. We try to apply the gospel to everyday life but forget its utterly life-changing power. If someone came up to you and asked you to tell them about God, would you be able to share the Gospel?
Read Acts 13:16-43.
Here we see Paul sharing the Gospel with the Jews and Gentiles in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch. This was a Jewish crowd, and they understood well the Old Testament history Paul recounted to them. But what was most important was the news about Jesus.
“Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.” v.39
It’s clear Paul put this speech in terms the Jews around him would understand, but it is still the Gospel. Though we are called to proclaim the Gospel and teach others all Jesus has taught us (Matt. 28:18-20), we have to make sure we put it in a way they will be able to understand.
Paul and Barnabas were also invited back to speak again the next week. Telling someone the Gospel once probably won’t be enough. It could take someone several times hearing it to process the whole of it. Paul and Barnabas also continued to talk with the ones that followed them about these things. We have to expect people will need a little help understanding the Gospel, just like we did.
It’s interesting to see that there were many who followed Paul and Barnabas to learn more about the Gospel. In the church today, we have a tendency to warn believers that people probably won’t want to know more or be receptive to what God has done for us. But at least some of these Jews were fairly open to the idea. There are a lot of people out there who need God desperately; they just don’t know He’s Who they’re looking for. It’s our job to tell them.
But most importantly, we need to truly know the Gospel ourselves, for our sake and theirs. How can we experience the full power of God’s message if we ourselves don’t know it enough to be able to articulate it to others? They say you don’t really know something until you’ve had to teach it to someone else. Witnessing is such a core part of our faith that we’re missing something big if we’re not doing it.
So what do you think? Easter seems like the perfect time to look into God’s Gospel for us again. And others need to know it too.
Lord, please open our eyes and hearts to evangelism and to see Your message to us.