Guests: Leslie Bumgardner and Neal Matson
In II Corinthians 5:14 Paul states that the love of Christ is what compelled him to share the gospel with others. This motivating principle is still true today. Only those who have come to Christ themselves and have a loving relationship with Him are truly motivated to lead others to Him. Because Jesus had brought so many positive changes into his own life, Paul felt that he was “in debt” to everyone who had not yet heard the good news. (Romans 1:14)
This same concept is echoed by Peter who states that we are to minister to others “as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (I Peter 4:10) A steward or manager is one who is responsible for the affairs of another and who must be certain that the best interests of the owner are served. This is precisely our position with reference to the gospel. We have been given a great treasure, the most valuable commodity in the world, and the Owner’s command is that we share the treasure with everyone who will receive it.
Key Passages and Questions
- Witnessing Cross-Culturally — Acts 10:1-6
- What characteristics and practices on Cornelius’ life made him receptive to the gospel?
- Why did it take divine intervention to establish contact between Peter and Cornelius?
- What cultural barriers do we need to overcome today in order to effectively spread the gospel to the world?
- Working for Children and Youth — Mark 10:13-16
- How important is it to the Church to “pass the torch” of the gospel, and a commitment to it, to the next generation?
- In what ways should the home, Church, and school cooperate together for the spiritual development of their young people?
- What factors are causing many young people to leave the Church today?
- Witnessing to Intellectuals — Acts 17:16-28
- In what ways did Paul seek to build bridges and identify with the philosophers in Athens?
- Did he change his basic message in seeking to reach these intellectuals?
- What strategies would be useful now to reach the intelligentsia?
- All Things to All Men — I Cor 9:16-22
- Why was Paul’s practice of preaching in the synagogue, when beginning his work in a new city such as Corinth, a good strategy?
- What groups in our society today especially need to be reached?
- Based on their needs and special characteristics, what would be effective means of witnessing to them?