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The Necessity Of Gospel Ministryy

Acts 8:25
After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages. (NIVUK)

The apostles had learned a lot from Jesus in less than three years, but their training was not finished. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth, reminding them of what Jesus had already taught them (John 14:25-26) and showing them how to apply it in gospel mission (Acts 1:8).

Jews regarded Samaritans and Gentiles as less important to God. But Peter and John went to Samaria when they heard that Samaritans had believed in Jesus through Philip's preaching. When the apostles laid their hands on the new believers, the Holy Spirit filled them also (Acts 8:14-15). God was showing the apostles that it was right for them to expect God's Word to work powerfully wherever they preached about Jesus irrespective of their religious background.

Encouraged by that, they continued to minister in Samaria. As they made their way back to Jerusalem they stopped in the villages en route and told more Samaritans about Jesus, who died as God's sacrifice for their sins and rose to life again. The Holy Spirit was teaching them that preaching the gospel outside the church is a normal activity of the Christian Church; not just meeting the needs of people who already believe.

The gospel is God's powerful message about Jesus (Romans 1:16). It leads people to conviction of sin, repentance, faith, baptism and discipleship (Acts 2:36-38). And yet today's church is often preoccupied with people already in the church while ignoring Christ's commission to communicate the gospel with those who do not yet believe (Matthew 28:18-20). The apostles learnt that those ideas are wrong. God does not only work within the context of church. So wherever the Lord has called you to live, work or travel – share the gospel with whoever you meet and see what the Lord will do (Romans 10:17).

Saving God. Thank You for the gospel message which the apostles learned was for everybody in every culture. Forgive me if I retreat into the church fellowship and ignore my responsibility to share the message of Jesus with unbelievers. Please help me to be wise and winsome as I speak about Jesus, and help me to live in such a way that provokes questions about what I believe. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams