Reflections on the Word: God’s word spread by people sharing Gospel
January 29, 2017
Romans 10:14-15 (NLT) says "How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? Verse 17 adds "So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ."
I find it interesting that only one person in the New Testament came to faith outside of having another person share the gospel with him/her. Although faith comes by hearing the good news of Jesus, it takes someone who is willing to speak the good news in order for someone to hear the word.
Some examples from the Bible where God used people to reach others include (Acts 8:26–39), the Ethiopian official. There are many ways God could have reached that man. He could have sent an angel — instead he sent an angel to Philip who in turn spoke the gospel to the official.
There's a Philippian jailer in Acts 16:27–34 who God could have reached through any means he wanted, but he used people. God allowed Paul and Silas to get arrested. In jail they proclaimed the gospel and the jailer and his entire family came to faith.
There was a Roman Centurion named Cornelius who was searching for God (Acts 10). An angel told Cornelius he needed to meet a man named Simon Peter. That angel could have given Cornelius the gospel, but God used Simon Peter instead.
While it's true even the one exception, Saul of Tarsus, was converted through a divine encounter with the risen Christ, his conversion is sandwiched between two experiences that influenced him. First, he saw Stephen being martyred and that event must have softened Saul's heart, making him receptive to the word of God. After Saul encountered Jesus, God sent Ananias to explain more and pray for Saul to receive the Holy Spirit. So Saul became the Apostle Paul who was born because two people were willing to die (one did) in order to share the good news.
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Just as God used people in Biblical times, he still uses people today. As Paul asked in Romans, "How can they believe in Jesus if they have never heard about him?" The gospel has been entrusted to those who already believe — we are the hands, feet and voices for the Lord. Have you shared the good news today?
You might think "I'm too shy"; "I don't know enough"; or "I don't have the gift of evangelism." Don't think you are exempt from sharing Christ. Anyone who has experienced the joy of a relationship with God cannot keep quiet about this good news.
So how can you share your faith? First, be real and live a life of love. The Bible says that's how people will know we are followers of Jesus. Second, open your mouth. Let people know what God has done in your life. Sharing scripture is great but a changed life is the most powerful witness of all. If you have never heard about this good news of God's love, I suggest you ask someone who lives out their faith or go to one of our great local churches. For as Jesus said "Those who seek me will find me."
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.