Read Romans 1:1-5
We, as followers of Christ, often feel timidity or fear when we think about sharing our faith with our neighbors. We have that coworker, classmate, next-door neighbor, or friend who doesn’t treasure and trust Jesus. They haven’t repented of their sins, and some of us feel that burden. We’ve said foolish things that misrepresent our God, but we’ve also been silent when the time came to speak the mighty truth of the gospel. But, evangelizing our neighbors isn’t all that we’ve been commanded to do. Paul says in verse 5 that he, through Christ, has “received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.”
Wait. He has received grace and apostleship to do what?! To bring about the obedience of faith. Paul’s statement here resonates with the Great Commission; “…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded.” Observe means obey in that verse. Remember, you also have received grace. This same grace works to bring about the obedience of faith in other people for the glory of God in Christ throughout the globe. To bring a person to obey God is a difficult thing, a monumentally impossible thing. But this obedience of faith is brought about by grace. It is not something we can do, but it is what God does. This makes the reason and the promise of the Great Commission all the more important to cling to in this impossible endeavor. Jesus is King, and his kingdom has no end. Therefore, we go. Consider the promise that He is with you. This promise is like a cathedral bell, ringing throughout the whole Bible. This promise dispels fear (Isaiah 41:10).
As you meditate on these truths,
1) Pray for boldness and the power of the Holy Spirit within you to proclaim the gospel
2) Pray for intentionality in your relationship with your neighbor. Specifically, the faithfulness to disciple and not just evangelize, to seek their worship of God through faith in Christ.
by Joseph Strickland