by Brad Jolly
I was reading and dwelling on the following passage in Romans 10.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 NIV
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 NIV
There is a clear link between God’s Word and people coming to faith in Christ. Some translators say the phrase “word of Christ” in the original Greek refers to the “word concerning Christ”, or the Gospel message.
In the New Living Translation (NLT), verse 17 reads, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”
So hearing the Gospel message is, according to God’s Word, necessary for the listener to come to faith.
As I’m pondering on this link, I must admit that I’m convicted. Follow me on this: in verses 14-15, people hear the Good News by a preacher. Now, a preacher is not strictly a formally trained person, such as a pastor. A preacher is anyone equipped to share the Gospel. That means you and me! We are equipped to share the Gospel. And not only that, Christ himself has commissioned his followers to do just that. Look at this verse with me.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-19
Now, you may say, “Well, I don’t really know how to share the Gospel with someone. I haven’t really been trained. And what if they ask me something I don’t know? No, that’s for someone who’s better equipped than me.”
I get the fear and feeling of panic you may be having as you read this post and these verses. But, stay with me here as you continue reading.
1) In Matthew 28:18, Jesus says that all authority has been given to Him, both in Heaven and on earth. That means authority over everything.
2) Jesus lives inside you through the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16-17)
3) The Holy Spirit will give you the words of Christ to share with others. “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.“ John 14:26
So you have the authority, the Source (the Holy Spirit), and the ability through that same Holy Spirit to share the Gospel message with someone. You are not alone; this does not rest on you to do this by yourself. When you are given the opportunity to speak up and share Jesus with a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member, simply say a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit and ask Him for the words to say and the power to say them. He will help you!
You do not need to be a theologian to share the Gospel. God’s word in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 outlines the Gospel for us.
“Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”
1) Christ died for our sins. Why, because we are all sinners, separated from God because of this fact, and we cannot pay for our sins ourselves.
2) Christ was buried. Christ’s burial validated that he was truly dead.
3) Christ “was raised from the dead on the third day”. Nobody ever rises from the dead. Only God Himself can raise someone from the dead, and God the Father raised Jesus from the dead to show the world that Christ’s payment for our sins was complete and acceptable to Him.
So as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in what you say, (1) share your testimony (what your life was like before you came to Christ, how you came to know Him personally, and how your life has been changed by Him) and (2) share the Gospel message as given in 1 Corinthians 15.
Friend, as you have read these verses with me and read this blog post, if you feel discouraged or overwhelmed, don’t be! If you are fearful of trying to share Jesus with others, though you know you should, begin simply by praying. Ask the Holy Spirit to work in your heart to love those around you who are lost and dying without Christ. Ask Him to give you the strength and courage to share your testimony and the Gospel with them. And ask Him to show you whom to share with. Friend, God wants everyone to come to Christ (2 Peter 3:9). But there is a link between lost people coming to faith in Christ and you sharing the Gospel message with them. Simply trust God and obey Him as He leads you.