Understanding the Gospel

Oct 5, 2023 | Articles

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
–Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

Jesus’s mandate from the Father was to come to earth and pay the price for every person’s sin by dying on the cross. And according to this passage in Matthew 28, we have the responsibility of making disciples all over the world, so that everyone will fully understand His teachings and be obedient to His commands.

It’s not popular today to talk much about sin. In fact, many people have little notion of what sin really is. As believers, we are responsible to share the gospel story and help others understand that they have sin in their lives. The reality is that everyone who has been born (except Jesus) sins and needs a Savior.

We can take clues from the apostle Paul and others as to how to go about sharing the gospel with others.
According to Paul’s teaching early in the book of Romans, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell people what He has done for them so that they will believe, obey, and bring glory to His name (see Romans 1:5, New Living Translation). Salvation is up to God, not us. We tell—either they believe or not. It’s that simple. We don’t do the saving. Only God does that.

Christians often get a bad rap for being “exclusive.” The truth is “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16 NIV]. In other words, the gospel is for everyone and not exclusively one people or another.

A bit later in Romans chapter one, Paul alludes to his sharing the gospel as one of the ways he serves God with all his heart. In like manner, we need to examine our hearts and ask God to re-ignite our passion for telling others about Jesus. Again, Paul understands that all he has to do is talk about Jesus. The saving of souls is God’s business.

In Romans 1:14-17 NLT, Paul gives us clues about who God wants us to take the Gospel to. He says that he “… has a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike.” In another passage, Paul tells us he is becoming all things to all people so that he might win some for Christ.

Finally, Paul says that he is not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes. People will not understand the gospel unless we have conversations about it with them. We need to talk about the fact that everyone sins, but that God has made a way for everyone to be forgiven and saved from eternal damnation. We need to trust that if we are faithful to share what the scriptures say about sin and the gospel, God will do the saving.

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