One of the things I’ve learned in my experience in Baptist life is that Baptists as a convention of churches are at their best when they are focused on reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus in all places both local and global.

I think the same is true of us individually as followers of Christ. When we are living on mission—taking advantage of every opportunity to share our faith and tell the Good News with people we encounter about the saving work of Jesus, we are doing well since we are fulfilling the Great Commission Jesus has given to each of us.

However, for many Christians, finding the courage, confidence and motivation to share the Gospel with others is a tremendous challenge. For me, it’s very easy to get busy and be so consumed with everything going on in my life that I tend to get distracted or forget to watch for or create opportunities to share. I must be intentional.

One of the things that has always helped me to be more focused on sharing the Gospel with others are the words of Paul in Rom. 1:14-16. In this passage, he makes three great statements about the importance of proclaiming the Gospel— “I am obligated” (v. 14), “I am eager” (v. 15), “I am not ashamed” (v. 16). That first phrase from Paul has always helped me with the motivation to share Jesus with others. Most Bibles in English render the translation of the single word in Greek using the word “obligated.” That tends to miss a bit of the nuance of how that word was used in Paul’s day. Most commonly, the word referred to being in debt, or having an obligation to pay someone an amount you owed. Thus, the word “debtor” is also a good translation.

Two principal ways a person can be in debt to another come to mind. The first is to pay back what you have borrowed from someone else. The second is for a third party to give you money to be given to someone else. The latter seems to be what Paul has in mind. Paul is not in debt to the Romans as though he needed to pay them back for a loan. Rather, Jesus had entrusted him with the Gospel to share with the Romans.

Paul often spoke of being entrusted with the Gospel (1 Cor. 4:1, Gal. 2:7, 1 Thess. 2:4, 1 Tim. 1:11, Titus 1:3). Paul is in debt to Jesus who has entrusted him with the Gospel to be shared.

Jesus has entrusted us with the priceless message of the Gospel. The one thing that gives forgiveness, restoration, hope, salvation and life abundant and eternal. May we all be faithful stewards and messengers of what God has entrusted us with to be shared with the world.

I am excited for the upcoming Advance Conference which is always a great event to encourage us in our commitment to the work of evangelism. The conference this year is March 4-5 at Oklahoma City, St. John Missionary. I hope you will join me there!


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash