Lesson 8 was all about obeying, and being “doers” of, God’s Word. Today, we’re taking a look at one way of “doing” the Word: having beautiful feet that take the good news of the gospel to a lost and dying world.
Questions to Consider
1. What is evangelism? In your own words, give a brief definition of what evangelism involves and why we evangelize. Briefly review lessons 7-8 (links above). Describe how knowing and loving God’s Word (lesson 7) leads to obeying God’s Word (lesson 8), which leads to sharing the gospel with others.
2. If evangelism is sharing the gospel with others, we want to be certain we’re sharing the complete and true gospel. Briefly review my article: Basic Training: The Gospel and the Scriptures it contains.
3. Study the Matthew 28 passage. This passage of Scripture is often called The Great Commission. Break the passage down into three parts, and exposit each part:
The Preamble (18): Describe Jesus’ authority, motivation, and reasons for giving the instructions and promise that follow.
The Prescription (19-20a): What are the four verbs (action words) in this passage that Christ instructs us to do? Explain how Christians in general, and you personally, can carry out each of these actions.
The Promise (20b): What promise does Christ make to us as we carry out The Great Commission? What are some of the things He does not promise us? Explain why His promise to be with us is the perfect promise – the one we need the most – as we share the gospel with others.
4. Examine Acts 1:8 (and read verses 1-7 for context) and Romans 10:13-15. In your own words, set the scene for Jesus speaking the words in Acts 1:8. How is verse 8 an explanation of the word “go” in Jesus’ instructions to the disciples in The Great Commission? Who will empower them to carry out The Great Commission? Relate this empowerment to the authority Jesus spoke of in Matthew 28:18. How are they to make disciples? Think of a witness in a courtroom. How were the disciples witnesses of Christ? Where are they to “go therefore” to find these people to witness Christ to and make into disciples? How does Romans 10:13-15 also explain the “how to” of The Great Commission? Why are the feet of those who bring the gospel “beautiful”?
5. Look at a 1st century map containing Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. Think about what you know (or search a concordance) about the disciples’ relationship to each of these places. Was Jesus just naming random places for them to go preach the gospel? What was the meaning the disciples would have mentally attached to each of these places that told them about the people they would be reaching in each of these places? Explain the expanding geography of the gospel: Jerusalem→Judea→Samaria→ends of the earth.
How can you make application of both of these points (the meaning of each place and the expanding geography of the gospel) to your own life and to your church? How can you take the gospel to:
“Jerusalem”– The people and physical location closest to you: members of your own household, family, closest friends. Your neighborhood, community, town.
“Judea”– People who aren’t quite as close, literally or figuratively: acquaintances, co-workers, extended family, cashiers/bank tellers/service people/your child’s teacher. People who live in farther away areas of your state or country.
“Samaria”– Remember the Jews’ and Samaritans’ attitudes toward each other? Explain how The Great Commission involves going out of your way to take the gospel, not just to the people you like and have much in common with, but to our enemies, or to people who look, talk, and act differently than we do, and are from different backgrounds and cultures.
“The Ends of the Earth”– How can we reach “the ends of the earth”? Have you ever seriously considered working in full-time, vocational missions, either as a field missionary or on staff with a support organization? Give it some thought. But even if God has not called us to vocational missions, we can still “hold the rope” for those who go. What are some ways you and your church can support missionaries, missions organizations, Bible translators, indigenous pastor training programs, etc.?
6. Study the 2 Corinthians passage. What is the message Christ has entrusted to us? What does it mean that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, that we are ambassadors for Christ, and that God makes His appeal through us?
7. “Put flesh on” The Great Commission by reading the story of Philip (Acts 8) and/or the story of the woman at the well (John 4, especially v. 28-30, 39-42). What catches your eye about the way s/he shared the good news of Jesus? In what way did s/he set a good example for Christians today of sharing the gospel? What was the effect on the person(s) being shared with? How do these two stories demonstrate that God can use our circumstances, skills, and personalities as tools for sharing the gospel?
Read one of the articles below, choose one of the resources or practical suggestions for sharing the gospel, and implement it this week.
Suggested Memory Verse
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.”