Sharing the Gospel

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      07/14/19
 
“Sharing the Gospel"
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16
 
INTRODUCTION: Paul writes that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). People cannot become followers of Christ unless they hear and then believe the gospel of Christ. As Paul says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14). Sharing the gospel must take place before believing the gospel is possible. The person who shares the good news of Jesus is the key to someone becoming a Christian. Paul writes, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15). A witness’ motives, character, and message are important when sharing the Good News.
 
A WITNESS MUST HAVE THE RIGHT MOTIVES.
 
*The preaching of the gospel was bold and effective at Thessalonica. “For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict” (2:1-2).
 
*Why was the sharing of the gospel fruitful? What were their motives?
 
  • Integrity. They were faithful to present a trustworthy gospel and refused impurity or deception. “For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel” (3-4).
  • God-pleasing. They aimed to please God and not people. “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” (4).
  • Christ-honoring. They were not after greed or glory. They had self- control because of the watchful eye of Christ. “For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others” (5-6).
  • Servant Leadership – They were gentle instead of demanding. Did not expect privilege because of status as apostles. Cared like a nurse for her own child. “Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children” (6-7).
 
A WITNESS MUST HAVE THE RIGHT MANNER.
 
*A witness’ walk must match his or her talk. Our behavior and character must reflect the spirit and conduct of Jesus Christ. What character traits does a good witness have?
 
  • Compassionate and caring. Tender like a nursing mother feeding and caring for her own children. “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children” (7).
  • Affectionate and giving.  “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (8).
  • Hard-working and authentic – “For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers” (9-10).
  • Encouraging and principled. “For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (11-12).
 
A WITNESS MUST HAVE THE RIGHT MESSAGE.
 
*The message of the gospel is built on the Word of God. It is God’s message and it has power to change lives. “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (13).
 
*The gospel message leads to opposition but creates believers who stand up for the truth and who endure persecution. Christians are not alone in their suffering but those who oppose the gospel will one day be punished. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last! (14-16).
 

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