Great News about the Good News
A common obstacle that keeps us from whole-heartedly participating in the Great Commission is that we simply don’t see the Good News as all that great. We see it as something to verbally agree with, but not something to consume our life.
What we need is for the awesome reality of the gospel and the incredible privilege of participating in the Great Commission to be heavy on our minds. So, here are three thoughts to help the weight of the Great Commission sink in.
When we look to ourselves, we will find ample reason to avoid engaging in Great Commission work. We’ll wait until we’re more qualified or have a better opportunity or don’t risk our reputation.
Instead, look to God. Remember that He is the One Who commissioned you. Remember that He is the One Who enables you.
Look to God. His glory is the primary motivation for this work.
The term used in Romans 1:1 is “euangelion.” This term is typically a Pauline word in the NT – 60 of the 76 NT uses are his.
In the NT this noun denotes the “good news” of the saving intervention of God in Christ, referring usually to the message about Christ and, by extension, to the act of preaching that message. But this word can also be traced to a Hebrew verb in the OT that means “bring good news” and is used to describe the eschatological victory of Yahweh (Joel 2:32; Nah 1:15; Isa. 40:9).
This means that when we participate in spreading the gospel, we are extending the salvific work of Christ to a world in desperate need. Christ brings victory to a world full of hopeless, defeated lives. This is the very epitome of good news.
It might sound too good to be true, but this gospel is not fake news.
Objection: “This message is unlike anything we have ever heard before. How do we know this is really true?”
Paul’s response: “No, it is not new. And you have heard it before. It is a message that was preached by individuals you consider to be very reliable! The Old Testament is witness!”
The gospel was preached and promised ahead of time by the prophets. Paul connects his gospel message with what God has said in the past (His Word) and what God promised to do in the future (His works).
Because the gospel is rooted and grounded in the words and works of God and was promised by the OT prophets, it is completely reliable.
When Paul says this gospel has the power to save all men from sin, that really does include your neighbor, your coworkers, your family, and that rough looking person you haven’t met yet.
Are we living like this gospel was given to us by God?
Are we living like this gospel is still good news?
Or are we living like this gospel is going to disappoint?
There’s no other way God intended us to participate in the Great Commission than joyfully and boldly, expecting great things in His name.