Sounding Forth the Word

Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:8

Ways in which individuals and local congregations can spread the gospel in their area:

Open Assemblies (1 Corinthians 14:23-25)

  • This is typically the most consistently practiced method, yet one we sometimes forget in this context
  • Our assemblies should be open to visitors such that they feel welcome attending (James 2:2-4)
  • The benefit of having one visit the regular assembly is that he can be “convicted” and “called to account” (1 Corinthians 14:24) — this is done by the clear teaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 14:6-9)

Members Inviting (John 1:43-46)

  • Open assemblies allow a visitor to come who is unfamiliar with the church — but it can be very helpful for one to be invited by someone they know
  • Philip invited Nathanael to come see Jesus — he did not wait until interest was expressed; in fact, only the reaction was skepticism
  • Philip’s invitation came after he started talking about Jesus — we should try to work certain topics into our conversations that could provide an opening for us to offer an invitation to the assembly or a Bible study

Private Studies (Acts 8:26-39)

  • Private studies have an advantage in that they can be geared specifically for the individual — Philip started where the eunuch was already studying & addressed his question (Acts 8:34-35)
  • Regardless of the starting point, the primary goal is Christ — we want to lead them to salvation, not just satisfy their curiosity (2 Corinthians 5:11)
  • Philip made sure the eunuch knew he was interested in helping him (Acts 8:30)

Public Teaching/Lectures (Acts 19:8-10)

  • Private one-on-one studies can be effective, but public teaching can have a much broader reach — two years of public teaching in Ephesus resulted in “all who lived in Asia” hearing the gospel
  • To be effective, public teaching needs a location that is open & allows the truth to be taught freely, and regular meeting times so people can know when to come and plan on it — this is what Paul had when he met in the school of Tyrannus
  • Advantage over regular assemblies — for other religious people, it does not conflict with their prior religious commitments so they may be more likely to come

Seed Planting (1 Corinthians 3:6)

  • We can plant & water the seed, but God causes the growth
  • We scatter the seed wherever we can (Luke 8:5-8)

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