Welcome back to week three of our bible study series titled Unscripted. So far, we have learned that conversations about the gospel needs to be unscripted and not lectures or sermons. Today we move on to staying on message.
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If you have come this far with us, you have some interest in or sense of responsibility for sharing the gospel. Otherwise, why would this study interest you? A legitimate question is, are you responsible to share the gospel with other people? If so, when did you become responsible for doing so? When did you become responsible for telling people about Jesus?
The answer may surprise you. It happens at the time of your conversion – and it happened to every believer (not just people like pastors or missionaries or verbal extroverts who really like to talk). Paul wrote: Ephesians 3:7
He traced his responsibility to serve the gospel to his conversion. Serving the gospel is an interesting concept. How can you serve the gospel? What’s the one thing the gospel, which is inherently powerful, can’t do for itself? The answer – share itself. The gospel has been committed to people like you and me. Believers are responsible to serve the gospel by doing the only thing the gospel can’t do for itself – sharing it with unbelievers.
Paul was a well-known missionary in the first century. His call to be a missionary (to go to new places with the gospel) was a subsequent experience: Acts 13:1–3
Or separate from his conversion as outlined in Acts 9:1-19. These were two distinct events. While you may not have had the second experience (being called to be a missionary), if you are a Christian, the first one (becoming a servant of the gospel) happened to you. When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior – when you received “the gift of God’s grace that was given to [you] by the working of His power” – you became responsible to “Proclaim … the incalculable riches of the Messiah” Ephesians 3:8
List several thoughts and feelings about your responsibility to proclaim the incalculable riches of Jesus.
I was trained to understand that once I accepted Jesus that I would be required to proclaim the gospel as outlined in the Great Commission. What I didn’t learn till later years was how to accomplish this.
You may not have realized you were given this responsibility at your conversion, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. You may have committed your life to Jesus as a young person, praying at Vacation Bible School for Jesus to save you. Perhaps you came to Jesus later in life – after years of rebellion against God.
You may have trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord without much biblical background or after years of study. No matter how or when you became a Christian, in the moment of your conversion you were given the responsibility to share the gospel with other people.
In the moment of your conversion, you were saved. Your sins were forgiven, and you received the gift of eternal life: John 3:16
Those results were desired and anticipated. But so much more happened! You were:
- Baptized by the Holy Spirit and experienced your initial filling by the spirit; 1 Corinthians 12:13
- You were given spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-12) Romans 12:3–8
- You were sealed by the spirit 1 Corinthians 1:13
- Made a member of the global church 1 Corinthians 3:10–12
- You became a part of the body of Christ, with certain functions assigned pertinent to your gifting, background and experiences 1 Corinthians 12:12–27
If you were a teenager converted at youth camp, all you thought happened when you prayed at the bonfire service was you were saved from your sins. But that was only one aspect of the myriad, mystical changes God accomplished in you that night. So much else happened, including your assignment to share the gospel with family, friends, and other people God brings into your life
Review the preceding paragraph. Which of the five results of your salvation currently moves you most powerfully? Explain.
I would have to say the spiritual gifts have always amazed me. I know that we receive them upon conversion. The reason they amaze me is that I took a spiritual gift test a few years back and then again recently and the results are different. I have since learned how to share the gospel with unscripted conversation and use my spiritual gifts being the hands and the feet of Jesus.
Discussion Topic Do you find it easy to believe you have been given these five gifts given at conversion? Why or Why not?
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Bible Reading Assignment
This week starting April 1st, you should have started with the book of Matthew reading Chapters 1 – 5. Next week starting April 8th, you should continue reading chapters 6 – 10 of the Book of Matthew