Summary: Share the Gospel - At the heart of the Gospel is the truth that Jesus Himself said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are not saved by being nice people or by our works, we are saved when we repent and place our faith and trust in Jesus.
We are continuing in our series on Dynamic Disciples or Dynamic Discipleship and this month our focus is on Evangelism.
The Dictionary defines Evangelism as the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.
Evangelism is a word that was first used in the 1620s. Previously in Medieval Latin there was the word evangelismus and in Late Latin there was the word evangelium both come from the original Greek word euangelion (yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on) which occurs 76 times in the New Testament.
Euangelion means “the good news - the gospel”
When we speak about sharing the Gospel, what is it that we are talking about?
The Gospel includes the entire Word of God, the whole Bible - it is not limited to only how a person can become a follower of Jesus.
Most of us would say that the core of the Gospel is the fact that Jesus was real, that He lived, died to pay the penalty for our sins, rose from the grave, ascended into heaven and one day He will return.
At the heart of the Gospel is the truth that Jesus Himself said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The Apostle Peter in Acts 4 spoke these words: “Jesus Christ... There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved...We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:10,12,20
We are not saved by being nice people,
we are not saved by our works,
we are saved when we repent and place our faith and trust in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
As disciples of Jesus - He wants and expects us to tell others about who He is and how they can be saved.
This morning, I want us to consider two days in the life of the disciples Peter and John.
Two days where Peter and John are engaged in Evangelism and clearly proclaim the message of the Gospel.
The first day I want us to consider was a typical Sabbath - well as typical as it got for the disciples.
I’m sure this Sabbath began like many others.
I can picture the Apostle Peter laying in his bed as the early morning sun begins to creep across the floor of his room.
Peter cracks open one eye, to check its actually morning.
Maybe outside a rooster crows.
Perhaps Peter still has a bit of an issue with the sound of a rooster.
Peter knows that Jesus has forgiven him, yet I wonder if every time Peter heard a rooster if he remembered the night when he denied Jesus three times.
In the Temple in Jerusalem, there were three services on a Sabbath, 9.00am, 3.00pm and Sunset.
I don’t know if Peter rolled over and went back to sleep, or if he decided to have a lie in,
or if he jumped out of his bed and set off to do something he needed to do that morning,
but Acts 3 tells us it was at 3pm in the afternoon that Peter and John set off to the temple.
You know the account of what happened that afternoon, as Peter and John go through the gate called Beautiful, there is a crippled man begging.
Peter looks at the beggar and says “Look at us” - Silver or Gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you - in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk”.
Then Peter stretches out his hand, helps the man up, and the man’s ankles and feet become strong and he starts jumping, and leaping and running around praising God. And the people who are there and see this happening are seriously surprised.
Peter opens his mouth and asks them “Why are you surprised?”
Then he explains how the man was healed in Jesus name, who Jesus was and why the people needed to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus.
Then Acts 4 records while Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees.
They didn’t like the way Peter and John were teaching the people about Jesus and that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead.
They arrested Peter and John and put them in prison until overnight.
The next day the council of rulers, elders and teachers of religious law met together in Jerusalem.
Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, Alexander, pretty much everybody who was anybody was there.
Peter and John were brought in and one of the council members asks them about the healing of the man by the Beautiful Gate - “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”