The Prosperous Believer.

What is the true center of global outreach? Are Christian training institutions central to Gospel work? Is the height of global influence found in evangelistic parachurch organizations? God intended individual believers in the local church to be the true center of global outreach. The front line of Gospel advancement is you!

For believers, your whole person is to be used for Gospel influence. This includes how you spend your time, as we have discussed. It also includes how you utilize your possessions and how you care for your physical body, as we will see in coming weeks. When you have been re-created in Christ, there is an eternal purpose behind everything you do.

Millennials are typically very passionate about having global influence. This generation is especially characterized by their love of being relational. These characteristics could be put to great Gospel use as young people are discipled by more mature saints in the church. This well-informed generation needs and welcomes the input of older saints to grow in acquiring wisdom so they can have a global Gospel influence.

Acts 2 shows an example of local believers who were excited to work together for the Gospel. As the result of the Holy Spirit's work through the preaching of God's Word, the church was birthed. Over 3000 households came to know Christ, an estimated total of 9000-10,000 individuals. Discipleship immediately started. We can learn several things by observing what this looked like in verses 41-47.

The Elementary Function of Simple Obedience in Doing Great Commission Work
  1. New believers showed their conversion by obedience. The first step in obedience is being baptized.
  2. They demonstrated a sincere, heartfelt devotion to learning, spending time together, and prayer.
  3. Believers helped to meet each other's needs as they had material ability. This was a natural use of their possessions which they recognized as ultimately belonging to God. These were not subjective, emotional decisions nor a system of economic socialism. Some in the church rationally and intentionally sold their discretionary property in order to provide a basic need for another saint. The way Christians cared for each other's needs drew more people to Jesus Christ.
  4. They worshipped together in unity.
  5. Christians found favor with other people in the community.

These things have a divine, intentional order. One step of obedience flows into the next. Because these believers' heart for the Great Commission started in their own city, people continued to be saved in Jerusalem. From there, they were able to go out to other regions, establish churches, and achieve global influence for the Gospel.

Application Points

  • Take some time to reflect on your eternal purpose. Why do you do what you do? God gives us many things to enjoy. Do you have an eternal purpose behind your activities?
  • Global Gospel influence starts locally. We know that spiritual gifts are given by God for believers to use exclusively in the local church. It is also the primary location for discipleship and training Christians to evangelize.
  • Does your heart for doing the Great Commission match that of the early believers in Jerusalem?
  • Our learning God's Word within the church should translate not just into kind and compassionate behavior outside the church walls. We must also have a clear and concise verbal witness (Romans 1:16, 2 Timothy 1:8).

Tools for Further Study

A Hymn to Encourage: "O Love Divine"

O, Love Divine, amazing love,
That brought to earth from Heaven above,
The Son of God for us to die,
That we might dwell on high.

He died for you, He died for me,
And shed His blood to make us free.
Upon the cross of Calvary,
The Savior died for me.

For us a crown of thorns He wore,
For us a robe of scorn He bore.
He conquered death and rent the grave,
And lives again our souls to save.

O, Wanderer, come; on Him believe,
His grace by faith receive.
Awake, arise, and hear His call;
The feast is spread for all.