The Progress of the Gospel

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

–2 Corinthians 5:20

In the introduction to Colossians, Paul reminded us of what an amazing thing the gospel is. We see the power of the gospel to produce fruit in our lives. We see the uniqueness of the gospel, how it’s unlike any other religion. Finally, we are reminded of the progress of the gospel–that is, how the good news is spread. Colossians 1:7 says, “You learned [the gospel] from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ.”

Paul was reminding the Colossians that they heard the good news from a fellow native of Colossae, somebody they might have grown up with. God used an ordinary person just like them to spread the message of the gospel. Epaphras wasn’t on the payroll of any missions organization; he was a layman who took seriously the mandate to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ.

That’s always been God’s plan for spreading the gospel. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” God has entrusted you to faithfully deliver His message of reconciliation. Yes, God has a unique role for pastors, evangelists, and missionaries. But the primary way He delivers His message of forgiveness to the world is through you. You are God’s last hope to reconcile the world to Himself.

You may be familiar with Dwight L. Moody, the great nineteenth-century evangelist who founded the Moody Bible Institute. But you might not know about Edward Kimball. He was a carpet salesman who taught a Sunday school class at his local church, where a teenage Moody was one of his students. Kimball was concerned about Moody, so one day he went to the shoe store where the young man worked and talked to him about his need for Christ. That day, Moody trusted Christ as his Savior. Kimball was a layman, but he was faithful in his calling to share the gospel. And the young man he led to Christ went on to share the gospel with thousands and thousands of others. That’s evidence of genuine faith. Like Kimball and Moody, we ought to be so overwhelmed by the grace of God in our lives that we can’t help but share it with others.

Is Christ central in your life? If so, there’s going to be visible evidence: genuine love for other Christians, hope that sustains you in times of trouble, and an unquenchable desire to share the message of Christ with other people.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Evidence of Genuine Faith” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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