So what are the basics of the Church? What are the essential components?
A professor of evangelism put it to us students this way.
“Evangelism pared down to its essentials is pretty basic. You need three things:
1) The Gospel.
2) Someone who needs the Gospel, and
3) Someone to share the Gospel.”
I would say that this is true not only of evangelism as a discipline but the Church as God established it. Any one of these eliminated and the Church has no reason to exist.
But there seems to be something missing. There was something missing prior to the first Pentecost as well. We have the Gospel. We know there are people who need the Gospel and we know we are here to share the Gospel. So why doesn’t it happen?
We chicken out. We lose courage. We get discouraged. We worry about how we will be seen. We worry about how people will react to us.
That has to change.
So God did…by sending his Holy Spirit in a powerful way to ensure the message of the Gospel was clear, empower the disciples to share the Gospel boldly, and worked on the hearts of 3000 people to receive and believe the message of Jesus as the Savior.
We need the Spirit to do the same in us and with us today as well.
The Spirit brings us back to the Gospel and ensures that it is communicated clearly.
Because it can honestly get lost in the clutter of church. The “customs,” the “rules,” the “rituals,” “the politics,” etc. can all get in the way, overshadow and clutter the heart of the Church’s purpose and existence: The clear message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.
Peter quoting the prophet Joel put it this way:
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)
There are not many ways to heaven. There are not multiple expressions of faith that lead to heaven. Jesus is as he said he is “The way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
This message of the Gospel of Jesus is the GIFT of the Holy Spirit to the Church. There is NO OTHER place that is designed and set up to simply proclaim Christ. The church wasn’t initiated to be a social club, wage social justice, or cure the ills of world conflict or homeless crisis. The church has two purposes: Preach the Gospel. Make disciples. Period.
It’s time we get back to the basics and ask the Spirit to kindle in us the conviction that “Salvation is found in no other name…” (Acts 4:12) and remind us that at the heart of what we are here to do for “every tribe, nation and language” is to share the message of who Jesus is and what he has done.
Apply: Where have you personally or in your observation of the Church noticed that it has drifted from its purpose to preach the Gospel and Make Disciples? How can you be part of refocusing the church on its mission: Preach the Gospel…Make Disciples?
Prayer: Spirit of God, clarify and make us confident always that there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Lead us to embrace the calling once again to share this message of grace and truth boldly and confidently. AMEN.