How Can We Answer the Calling to Be ‘Sent Out’ and Share the Gospel?

“The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.” Acts 15:3

At the core of the gospel is the mission of being sent. This is not an optional activity; as believers, we should find ourselves in a constant state of sending or being sent. Fortunately, this is not a dull task, as a great joy comes with being sent. There is likewise great joy in hearing the reports from those who have gone out and shared the good news of Christ with others. From the beginning, the Church has been commissioned to joyfully send those called to share the gospel to the ends of the earth. But why are we sent, and what does that look like for those of us who are not missionaries?

When the Church was young, no one seemed to know for sure exactly what this would look like. This early group of believers was filled with great joy when hearing of the Holy Spirit doing a work they didn’t know was possible – that non-Jews were accepting the Messiah and becoming part of what had until now been a Jewish church. The belief and worship that had separated the Jews from other nations for centuries would now unite all people to the one true God! When God grabs the hearts of those we least expect, this is a cause for celebration and rejoicing!

The Party of the Pharisees

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” Acts 15:5

Sending out was essential to the growth of the Church, as was sharing the good news that all of humanity had an eternal hope in Jesus. However, as with all new things, not everyone was so sure about this.

Throughout the New Testament, we often view the Pharisees as the ‘bad guys.’ They oppose Jesus regularly. Yet these particular Pharisees are a little different than what we may think. While Jesus was teaching, the Pharisees were generally those who opposed him because they did not accept him as Messiah.

In contrast, these Pharisees are believing Jews who had accepted the Jewish Messiah yet couldn’t imagine leaving behind the traditions that had defined their people for centuries.

According to their thinking, surely followers of the Jewish Messiah should keep the Jewish law….right?

This kind of debate still happens in churches worldwide today: are our traditions and ceremonies what define us as a people and as a church? Or are we defined by Jesus and Jesus alone? Our ‘Pharisees’ are church members who claim belief in Christ but don’t seem to truly enjoy what Christ teaches us.

Far too often, these debates about how to share the gospel and what the gospel means lead us to painful arguments and divisions. The Pharisees were right in that these ‘Old Covenant’ laws were part of God’s covenant with Israel and held deep meaning.

But that covenant and that meaning had now been fulfilled and expanded. Through the work of Jesus, that contract was completed, and a whole new chapter was opening.

In the Church age, these rules and regulations are no longer required. The law had only pointed to Jesus, and now that He had come and left us His Holy Spirit, Jesus would inwardly change us forever, renewing our hearts and minds, making his dwelling within us. Yet some tried in vain to embrace the new while still grasping the old.

This wrong view of traditions would continue to trouble the church, and it still does today. Let us rejoice in the good work God is doing in and around us and reject any teaching that adds requirements to the true freedom of the gospel.

Joy in a Simple Faith

After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.” Acts 15:7

“Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” Acts 15:10-11

One great joy in being sent is the beautiful simplicity of the gospel we preach and that it applies to everyone.

As we seek to send and be sent, it is easy to overcomplicate what Jesus taught and what it means. However, we find our freedom not in a complex faith but in returning time and time again to sit at his feet and learn from him. We share this beautifully simple message with a hurting and dying world. To be a follower of Christ, we must simply believe. We tell others what Jesus has done for us and who he claims to be in his word. That is enough.

Jesus taught us that if He sets us free, then we are free indeed (John 8:36). He teaches that his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Jesus does not give us more rules to follow and more obstacles between God and us that we will never overcome. He offers us a freedom beyond our striving, found only when we rest in Him.

This is why Peter stands so strongly on his conviction that the gospel does not require extra rules, futile attempts at ‘doing better,’ or a heavy burden to carry. Peter accurately points out that no one has been able to keep up with the law of Moses.

Not even Moses.

This is because we were never designed to. The law was given to show us what God desires and point us toward the only one who could ever live up to it – Jesus. We are clean only because we are cleansed by our faith in Him, not by our deeds. We preach a gospel as simple as accepting that Jesus did what we could never do. There is no extraordinary path leading to salvation; just believing Jesus is who he said he is and that he did what history proves he did.

As we fall short time and time again, we must return to rest in the grace of the one who never fell short and never will.

We are all called to send and be sent, each of us. Through our prayers and resources, we support those who are vocationally sharing the gospel, and in our personal circles, we share the gospel as we have opportunity. A life devoted to sending and being sent is a joyful life as we watch God move in ways we could have never have planned or imagined on our own.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/DjelicS

Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and member of the worship team at matthias lot church in St. Charles, MO. He spends his free time hanging out with his family, exploring new places, and writing about the experiences. Connect on Facebook or at

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