In my sermon this past Sunday I challenged us to remember our purpose. An integral part of that is our mission to share the gospel with others. The 9 Arts we have been practicing these last few months are practical, Biblical ways to remember this mission.
This sense of mission coursed through the apostle’s veins. It preoccupied them everywhere they went. And there is a reason for it. They knew the message of the gospel applied wherever they went and to whomever they were with.
We are given a great example of this in Acts 17:16-34. Here Paul would preach the gospel to the Athenians from a very unique launching pad (Verses 22-23). He took his stand in the Areopagus, sometimes called Mars Hill (named after a Roman god). It was a prestigious place to be because it was considered to have special jurisdiction in governing matters of religion.
In his sermon Paul pointed out the fatal flaw of their religion by reminding them of their own acknowledgment of something missing in their own religious expression. He “observed” (The Art of Noticing?) that among all their idols they still had an altar with the inscription, “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” As if they had everything they could think of covered with a god but still they knew in their hearts that they were all not enough. They were still missing something.
And Paul went on to explain to them what in their hearts they knew was missing was actually the only thing they really needed. And he tuned into man’s innate knowledge of his need for God (Verse 26-29). And with that confidence Paul proclaimed how God is “declaring to men everywhere to repent!” Why? Because of who Jesus is—the judge of the world! (Verse 31).
Here is the point. Jesus is necessary for everybody. If Jesus isn’t needed by everybody He is needed by nobody. For there is no partiality with God—not in judgment, not in salvation. Jesus Christ is God’s gracious gift to mankind to be saved and live in relationship with the Father. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6)
The 9 Arts we have been studying these past few months are so powerful because they are practical ways to carry the gospel everywhere we go, sharing a message that applies to everyone.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I be generous and indiscriminate with the sharing of your gospel.