First Steps in Christ–Step Nine–Good News

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STEP9-GoodNews

For PDF, STEP9–Good News

 

STEP NINE

GOOD NEWS

Someone somewhere shared God’s good news with you. You heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and received it. You became a born again Christian. If you have no idea what I am talking about, then click  on this Peace with God link. In this study, we will see that Jesus Christ not only bestowed the gift of salvation upon you, but He also commissioned you to spread the Good News into all the world.

 

ONLY JESUS

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'” │John 14:6, Page 1684

Jesus absolutely proclaimed that He alone provided access to the Father. You may have heard the claim that all religious roads lead to the top of the mountain. Others say that it does not matter what you believe, so long as you believe it devoutly. Jesus flatly refuted all such claims. He said no one comes to the Father except through Him. Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Buddhists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and every religion that does not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ or adds to the revelation of Jesus Christ found in the Bible will never come to the Father, no matter how faithfully they practice their own religion. Jesus said only He leads people in the way, the truth and life. He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. See how Jesus excludes everyone else from leading people to the Father. People must hear the message of Jesus Christ to come to Father. Well, then, is it enough for someone to believe that God exists?

FALSE FAITH

“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” │James 2:19, Page 1889

Demons believe that God is one. The demons knew immediately that Jesus Christ was “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24, Page 1558). Yet, no demon ever intended to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Instead, they work with Satan to deceive mankind and lead everyone away from salvation. When confronted with Christ, demons recognized Him as the Son of God, and cried out because they know His power to torment at His appointed time (Matthew 8:29, Page 1513). So, even if people call Jesus the Son of God, or refer to Him as the Holy One of God, it does mean they have trusted Him to forgive their sins based on His Gospel. Only faith in Christ dying for you will save you from your sins.

REAL FAITH

“In Him you have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” │Ephesians 1:7, Page 1827

Real faith means you that have the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1, Page 1882). While the demons may believe that God is one, they never have redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ, or find spiritual help through the death of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:16, Page 1871).  As believers, Christ purchased with His blood, and paid the price for our redemption. Redemption means to pay the amount necessary to release a bond, or grant a ransom. Jesus paid the price to satisfy the justice of God requiring the death penalty. Jesus paid the death penalty for me, and so redeemed me from my trespasses. He acted according to the riches of His grace. He died for me because He loved me, not because I had done anything to deserve redemption. He gave me a free gift of eternal life. I must be sure that my friends, relatives, and everyone I know has eternal life, and not just false faith that will never save anyone. I must be careful and loving to share my faith and discern whether people are truly saved. I will know them by their confession and their works.

FAITH AND HEARING

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.│Romans 10:17, Page 1773

Jesus wants preachers. Now, do not panic about being a “preacher.” While God intends for males to preach the Gospel to male and female audiences, He certainly included women in His plan for evangelizing the world. He wants people like the woman at the well, just like the man once possessed by demons, to become Christians who will share the love of God with people around them. Yes, God does send some people to “preach” the Gospel as their only occupation, but the vast majority of His plan to reach the world involves people from all walks of life going about their daily lives and sharing His love with people around them. Invite people to come and see Jesus. Jesus explained that faith only comes by hearing. Think about this doctrine. Jesus said only faith saves people from eternal punishment, and that faith only comes by hearing the word of Christ. People will not hear unless God’s messengers, you included, tell them. Your loved ones will not hear unless you tell them. God planned for you to spread His message of love. He also promised that many people will come to faith in Christ. 

COME AND SEE

“Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it? │ John 4:29, Page 1669

Jesus met a Samaritan woman while resting near a well. He asked her for a drink from the well, and in the process explained to her that she could have a fountain of life springing up to eternal life in her. Jesus stepped across all kinds of cultural and religious boundaries by talking with this woman. The Jews hated the Samaritans, and men did not speak with women in public, and this woman was living with a man not her husband, after having five husbands. Even so, Jesus wanted to talk with her. The Gospel of Jesus Christ moved this woman to faith in Jesus Christ, and she immediately left her waterpot and went to tell her city about the Messiah. She had met Him personally and she could not wait to tell others. She invited everyone to come and see the Christ. The Samaritans from Sychar came out to see the Christ because of one woman’s testimony about Christ. You may be the person that Jesus will use to reach an entire city with His message.

GO AND REPORT

“And He did not let him, but He said to him, ‘Go Home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.'” │ Mark 5:19, page 1566

Jesus went to the country of the Gerasenes and met a man wandering in the tombs, possessed by demons, and screaming as he gashed himself with stones. I cannot imagine a more pitiful creature and yet Jesus chose Him to be a messenger of the Gospel. After Jesus cast the demons out of the man, he wanted to get into the boat and follow Jesus. But Jesus had other plans. He told the man, now clothed and in his right mind, to go home and report to his community what great things God has done for him. He also focused the message upon the mercy that God had bestowed upon this man. In our own way, each believer has a personal story of the mercy of God coming into our lives. Jesus did not take us straight to heaven after we received Him, but He commissioned us to spread His Gospel to the community around us. He wanted us to tell about how God works in our lives, and God’s mercy poured upon us. We can share the change that God brought to us. You may not know the Bible very well yet, but you do know about the mercy of God and what Jesus did for you. Remember the woman at the well immediately went back to town to invite everyone to come and see Jesus. They came out as a crowd. Likewise, Jesus here chose a Gerasene demoniac to be an evangelist to the region of Decapolis (ten cities). Notice the pattern. Jesus chose people from that area to speak to their friends, family, and people who lived in the same area. He chose all kinds of people, and not all of them were “normal.” Of course, Jesus also sent people into all the world, but He often chose people to speak to their own home areas.

HARVEST TIME

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the His harvest.'” │ Matthew 9:37-38, Page 1515

The Lord Jesus asked His disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers. He owns the harvest, but wants His disciples to be workers in the harvest. Every Christian must follow the command of the Lord to pray for workers and to be a worker. We use our lives in a process of multiplication. I share the Gospel with you, and you share it with one more person. That person now shares it with one more person. As we each continue to share the Gospel, we will see God spread His Word throughout the earth. In fact, Jesus commissioned His disciples to make new disciples all over the world, teaching them and baptizing them.

MAKE DISCIPLES

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I  commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,  even to the end of the age.” │ Matthew 28:19-20, Page 1557

Jesus commanded a process of multiplication. Because Jesus had received all authority from His Father, He told His disciples to go into all the world. He commissioned twelve men to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by making disciples. People all over the world would be converted, baptized and taught. They would observe all that Jesus commanded. Jesus planned for a world-wide ministry, growing stronger after He left. Even so, He promised to be with His men to the end of the age. These men would spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the same way, thousands of years later, all of us have been commissioned to go and to make disciples, teaching them and baptizing them to follow the commands of Christ. If you love people, and believe Jesus when He proclaimed that He alone was the way, the truth and the life, then you truly believe no one will go to the Father except through Him. Without someone sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with your loved ones, they will perish. If you really love them, share the Gospel. If you want to obey Jesus, then go and make disciples. The fields are white unto harvest. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send forth workers into His harvest, and that you would be one of them.

WORK OF EVANGELISM

“But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” │ 2 Timothy 4:5, page 1864

As Paul neared the end of his life on earth, he encouraged his spiritual son, Timothy, to do the work of an evangelist. Whether you the have the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism or not, all believers must do the work of an evangelist. That means that you share your faith so that people may received the free gift of eternal life. We must each fulfill the ministry given to us, and part of our ministry for Christ is doing the work of an evangelist. So, no one can say they lack The Spiritual Gift of Evangelism, and therefore, they have no obligation to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like Timothy, we must all do the work of an evangelist, and so fulfill the individual ministry that Jesus has given to us. Jesus promised that He would make all of His disciples “fishers of men” (Mark 1:17-18, Page 1558).

MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION

“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” │ 2 Corinthians 5:18, Page 1809

The moment I was born again, many things happened and everything changed. I became a new creature in Christ, all the old things passed away, and new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17, Page 1809).  As a new creation, God also gave me the ministry of reconciliation. He gave all new believers the ministry of reconciliation at the moment of spiritual birth. What does reconciliation mean? It means that God reconciled us to Himself. Notice that God took action to bring us back to Him, because we had sinned against Him and separated ourselves from God. God wants us back. So, He did not count our trespasses against us, but sent Jesus to die on the cross, pay for our sins, and redeem us so that we would be holy and clean. As holy and clean, God has now reconciled us to Himself through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Reconciliation means that the relationship has been restored and the offended party now has good relationship with the offender. The two parties have laid aside the offense and now move forward in love for each other. Therefore, God used the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to reconcile me to Himself. Now, I can go out immediately after I am saved and begin the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus meant that I can share with others what I did to receive the free gift of eternal life. I can share the Good News, because I personally received the Good News and know the Good News. The new believer may not know much about the Bible, but every new believer truly saved knows the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They had to hear it and believe it. Therefore, they know enough to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so enjoy the ministry of reconciliation. Each believer has been gifted with the ministry of reconciliation and each of us should fulfill that ministry. We each have been entrusted with the word of reconciliation and so we must share it with other people.