growth group week twenty:
Being a witness of jesus (part 2) 

Week 20
Day 1: Titus 3-Philemon
Day 2: Hebrews 1-2
Day 3: Hebrews 3-4
Day 4: Hebrews 5-6
Day 5: Hebrews 7-8

Memory verse:

Romans 1:16
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

Focal passage: Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46–49; Romans 1:16; 10:9-17

Last week we saw how we are to live our lives in such a way that people see Jesus when they look at us. We looked at Acts 1:8 and saw that we could not do this without being filled with the Holy Spirit. Now let’s turn our attention from living out the gospel to the actual message of the gospel. The message that we preach through our lives is just as important as a message we preach through our words. We will be witnesses of Jesus Christ both through our lives and our words. As we continue to look at the great commission passages, we learn that it is impossible to be a witness of Jesus without using words. Last week I referred to something called a silent witness. This is a term people use when they want to emphasize the importance of us living out the gospel before people. Which is hugely important and must be done as we saw in week 19. But just as important as that is, it is impossible to be a witness of Jesus Christ without sharing the clear message of the gospel. Let's look at the great commission passages together and see what they say.

In Mark 16:15  Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. From this passage we see that the clear commission is to go and proclaim the message of the gospel to every living creature. Based on this verse we understand without question that the purpose of the church’s existence on the earth is to go and preach the gospel to every man, woman, and child. Clearly, Jesus’ commission for us is to share the message of salvation with those around us. And ultimately, as the body of Christ, His church, we are to share that message with every person on the earth today. Let us live our lives for the glory of God as we declare the gospel to those around us.

Jesus defines the message that we are to preach as He declares in Luke 24:46–48  46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,  47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  48 And you are witnesses of these things. Here in this passage we see the gospel defined by Jesus. The two main elements we see, besides the death burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), is that we are to preach repentance and remission of sins. These two main elements must be at the very center of the message that we share with people. First, that man can repent, which means to turn to God. And secondly, that when man repents and turns to God he will receive the forgiveness of his sins. This is the heart of the gospel message, repentance and forgiveness. This was the message throughout the entire New Testament. In week two of this discipleship program we looked at the gift of repentance and we saw that from the teachings of John the Baptist to those of Jesus, Peter and Paul, the message of repentance was consistent. This was the message of the early church and should be the message of His church today. Nothing less than repentance and remission of sin can bring about salvation which is the only hope for the transformation of a person’s life which will result in a transformation of a society. This is the hope for our world let us shout it from the rooftops that Jesus is risen from the dead and that they can repent of their sins and turn to God and find the forgiveness that their hearts long for. Let us remember that man is longing for a right relationship with God and through repentance and forgiveness, that relationship can be found. In the book of Romans the apostle Paul declares in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because he recognizes that it is the power that brings people to salvation. Without proclaiming it there is no hope for men to be saved. Men must hear the gospel and respond to it to be saved. We see this very clearly as Paul goes on to say in Romans 10:13–14 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Here in this passage Paul makes it abundantly clear that man cannot call on the name of the Lord to be saved unless someone shares the gospel with him. The word preacher here in this passage does not refer to a Pastor but someone who simply proclaims the message of the gospel. As we have seen in these great commission passages, this is the calling of every believer to be a witness of Him both through our lives and our words. I pray God uses you greatly as you seek to be His witness and bring the hope that is only found in Jesus to your friends and your family and to the lost world around us.

  1. Do you believe your life's purpose on this earth as a Christian is to be a witness of Jesus Christ? If so, share with the group how that has changed the way you live your life and go about your day.

  1. Do you regularly share the gospel? Share an experience that you've had in sharing the gospel with someone. If you've never shared the gospel with someone, ask the group to pray for you that God would give you the boldness this week to do so.

  1. Will you commit to the Lord and be accountable to the group to share the gospel with one person this week? If so, is there someone specific your group can be praying for?

  1. What is your definition of the gospel? What is your message that you share with people when you share the gospel? 

Action steps:
Pray for one another that God would open doors and give you an opportunity to share the gospel this week. Step out in faith and share the gospel with someone this week.