Answering the call to proclaim Christ: Know and proclaim the gospel

If you are in Christ, then you yourself know the gospel. There is no way to be saved yourself if you don’t know the content of the gospel. It’s impossible.

Speak the Gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.

‌We are commanded to go and tell.

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ ” (Matthew 28:18–20).

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation’ ” (Mark 16:15).

“And said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem’ ” (Luke 24:46–47).

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you’ ” (John 20:21)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

We can see that we are called in Christ and called by Christ to proclaim Christ to the lost world, but what exactly is evangelism?

J.I. Packer has a very useful definition for us:

“Evangelism is to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to sinful people, in order that they may come to put their trust in God through Him, to receive Him as their Savior, and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of His church.”

This is a calling that we have on our lives. In fact, evangelism is inextricably woven together with our identity in Christ.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

This verse is used quite often to demonstrate the priesthood of all believers, but the latter half of the verse also shows our role as a kind of prophethood of all believers as we speak the Word and truth of God over the lost world.

Know and Proclaim the Content of the Gospel

Before anyone raises any mental flags and objections because you’re an introvert, you have trouble reading, or you are afraid they will ask you a question you can’t answer, just stay with me. The Lord has an encouragement for you.

If you are in Christ, then you yourself know the gospel. There is no way to be saved yourself if you don’t know the content of the gospel. It’s impossible.

This is great news though! You know the basic gospel message if you are saved! Sure, there are methods and techniques and ways to start conversations, but in Christ you already know the most important thing — the gospel.

Let’s turn to and camp out in Acts 13:13-52.

Chapter 13 starts with a commissioning of Paul and Barnabas and some others to go out on missionary journeys. The Holy Spirit was guiding them, we see in verse 4. They get to their second stop in verse 13.

“Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, ‘Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.’ So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: ‘Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen’ ” (Acts 13:13–16).

What followed was a speaking of the gospel from the Old Testament. What we often reject as difficult and hard to understand is exactly what Paul is using to proclaim the gospel. So have confidence in God’s Word, the whole thing, both the Old and New Testaments.

Verses 17-22 show Paul’s use of the Scriptures with the people in the synagogue to bring them to Christ. He starts with the calling of Abraham, moves to the captivity and rescue from Egypt, then on to the judges, prophets, and kings. The kings lead to David, and David to David’s descendant. This is Jesus, the promised One.

“Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised. Before His coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’

Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize Him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning Him. And though they found in Him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have Him executed. And when they had carried out all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead, and for many days He appeared to those who had come up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now His witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this He has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’ ” (Acts 13:23–33).

The story of Jesus, our Savior. He shows the Deity and resurrection from the Psalms in verses 34-37.

“And as for the fact that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken in this way, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore He says also in another psalm, ‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption” (Acts 13:34–37).

Next time, we’ll pick up in verse 38 and look at what it means to proclaim the name of Jesus boldly.

James Hammack is a regular contributor to The Rope. He also is digital services manager for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. He also serves as worship pastor at Sovereign Grace Church, Prattville. He and his wife, Alicia, have three children.


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