Summary: The importance of sharing Jesus with others
I) The Gospel Is For Everyone!
Let's be honest, folks. How often do you share your faith with others? To me, I find it to be the highest privilege to carry the gospel to the unsaved. It is not my effort that saves, it is instead the Holy Spirit that convicts; but while that is true we should have a burning desire to seek out and witness to the lost. We are saved unto good works, and there is no higher calling from God than to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
In Romans 1:14, Paul writes that he is debtor to the Greeks and "barbarians", both to wise and unwise. Paul makes it clear that the Gospel--the Good News of Christ--is for all people. It doesn't matter if your home is in the White House or the outhouse, if you work in the world of high finance or shoveling manure in a barn, if you fight disease in the world of medicine or if you fight the forces of evil in the military, the gospel is for you.
How important is it to carry the gospel to others? Mega-important. God uses people to carry his message. While our Facebook ministry is growing, and there are internet ministries galore, it still takes people that God has gifted--saved, members of the body of Christ--to do those things.
Paul writes here that he is "debtor". The Koine Greek word for "debtor" appears seven times in the Greek New Testament, and refers to either someone that owes a debt, but also in one instance it is rendered "sinner". Think about that for a moment. Do you consider yourself in debt to your fellow man because of what Christ has done for you? It is because we are sinners, and Christ paid our debt. While it is true that our salvation is free, it is because our sin debt was paid in full by Christ and we have received the righteousness of God in Christ (Rom 4:23, 24). Because our sin debt is paid in full, we should feel a burden to those that do not have a saving relationship with God through Jesus. We should feel that we owe them.
If you were really hungry, starving in fact, and found an unlimited source of food, wouldn't you share it with others that are starving too? It has been said that witnessing is "one beggar showing another beggar where the food is".
We all have someone that we know that we have a soft spot in our heart for that has been through hard times. It might be any sort of problem--financial, marriage, health or employment problems. Often it is because we can relate since we have also gone through the same circumstance.
But look at how the Apostle Paul has expanded the scope of who he is in debt to. "Greeks" would not have just referred to those of Greek descent, but also anyone who was highly educated. It was a reference to the high mined, sophisticated elite. And the next term, "barbarians", was a reference to everyone else. John MacArthur notes in the MacArthur Study Bible that the Greeks would call anyone speaking a language other than Greek "barbarians". The reason why is that anyone speaking another language it sounded to the Greeks like they were saying "bar-bar-bar"--thus, barbarians. The Greeks used this as a derisive term.
Paul also states that he is indebted to the "wise" and the "unwise". Perhaps a better way to state this would be those that have "common sense" and those that are "foolish" (NASB). I know a woman that used to be a school teacher and also earned a degree in law. She was very book smart, but had no common sense. Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge, and this woman could not have poured water out of a boot if the directions were on the bottom!
But you see, salvation is for all people. It is for the book smart and the illiterate, the wise person and the fool. It is important to remember that we are all in a state of spiritual ignorance prior to coming to faith in Christ!
If you want to share your faith with someone, don't look at their pedigree or even their lack of one. Just remember that they are all in the same boat as you were once in--unsaved and blind to the truth.--JH
II) Let's Get Gung-ho!
15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
Funny how words can be completely mistranslated from one language to another. The term "gung ho" is a term that was borrowed by a US Marine from the Chinese Industrial Corporation in the WWII era. He noted that in Chinese it meant "Work together-Work in harmony". Strange enough, the actual meaning is not the same as what the Marine had intended, it became a catch phrase in the Marines for someone that had a real passion about his job.