Intermediate Edition

I.  Instructions


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Chapter 35  Part I


The theme of spreading the gospel pervades the NT and should be a key focus in our lives. This section largely looks at what we need to say and do, in advancing the spread of the gospel.

Tell People the Gospel

Tell people the gospel message about Jesus Christ

Then Philip began to speak, and, starting from this Scripture, he told him [an Ethiopian] the good news about Jesus.   Acts 8:35 ISV

[Paul:] Timothy, our brother, works with us for God and helps us tell people the Good News about Christ.   1 Thessalonians 3:2b NCV™

Tell all people, everywhere

Then he [Jesus] told them: Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world. … 20Then the disciples left and preached everywhere.   Mark 16:15, 20a CEV

Do not be ashamed of the gospel

[Paul:] For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.   Romans 1:16 NET

What Things to Explain

Explain who Jesus Christ is

Soon he [Paul] went to the Jewish meeting places and started telling people that Jesus is the Son of God.   Acts 9:20 CEV

Paul became wholly absorbed with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.   Acts 18:5b NET

[Peter, to a crowd of largely Jews:] Therefore let all the house of Israel know beyond a doubt that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.   Acts 2:36 NET

Tell people about Jesus’ death and resurrection . . .

[Paul:] I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: 4that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; 5that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles.   1 Corinthians 15:3-5 GNT

. . . and tell people about the results

What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace.   2 Corinthians 5:19 CEV

We are to tell others that because of Jesus Christ’s death, their sins can be forgiven and they can be at peace with God.

Tell people about the kingdom of God

From morning until evening he [Paul] explained things to them, testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets.   Acts 28:23b NET

Tell people about what God is like and what he has done . . .

Sing to the Lord! Bless his name! Proclaim his deliverance every day! 3Declare his glory among the nations and his awesome deeds among all the peoples!   Psalms 96:2-3 ISV

This illustrates that we should proclaim God’s salvation, glory and marvelous deeds to all people and nations.

. . . and tell what God has done for you

[Jesus, to a man he had healed:] “Return to your home, and declare what God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town what Jesus had done for him.   Luke 8:39 NET

Tell people how they should respond

[Paul:] To Jews and Gentiles alike I gave solemn warning that they should turn from their sins to God and believe in our Lord Jesus.   Acts 20:21 GNT

How to Spread the Message

Present the gospel accurately and plainly

He [Apollos] had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm he spoke and taught accurately the facts about Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John.   Acts 18:25 NET

[Paul:] We use no trickery, and we do not change the teaching of God. We teach the truth plainly, showing everyone who we are. Then they can know in their hearts what kind of people we are in God’s sight.   2 Corinthians 4:2b NCV™

Spread the gospel by the Holy Spirit

They [past prophets] were shown that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things now announced to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things angels long to catch a glimpse of.   1 Peter 1:12 NET

Spreading the gospel by the Holy Spirit involves relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5).

Spread the gospel boldly – with God’s help

So he [Saul] was staying with them, associating openly with them in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.   Acts 9:28 NET

[Paul, to the Thessalonian believers:] As you remember, we had been mistreated and insulted at Philippi. But God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble.   1 Thessalonians 2:2 CEV

Work hard at spreading the gospel message

[Paul:] So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. 29To get this done I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength which Christ supplies and which is at work in me.   Colossians 1:28-29 GNT

Note that here Paul is probably referring to his evangelistic work in spreading the gospel as well as to his pastoral work amongst Christians.

Supplementary Actions

Pray for your proclamation of the gospel . . .

[The early believers:] And now, Lord, pay attention to their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your message with great courage, 30while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God courageously.   Acts 4:29-31 NET

. . . and pray for others who proclaim the gospel

[Paul, to believers:] Be sure to pray that God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery about Christ, even though I am in jail for doing this. 4Please pray that I will make the message as clear as possible.   Colossians 4:3-4 CEV

Pray for the salvation of unbelievers

[Paul:] Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites is for their salvation.   Romans 10:1 NET

Act in the interests of others for the sake of the gospel

[Paul, to believers:] Just do as I do; I try to please everyone in all that I do, not thinking of my own good, but of the good of all, so that they might be saved.   1 Corinthians 10:33 GNT

Act in a way that is consistent with the gospel

[Paul, to believers:] Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that – whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent – I should hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, …   Philippians 1:27 NET

Conducting oneself “in a manner worthy of the gospel” – a manner consistent with its message – is an important aspect of “contending… for the faith of the gospel”.

Pray for persecuted Christians