Does saved by grace mean we dont have to evangelize?

We are saved by grace through faith in Christ (Acts 15:11; Ephesians 2:5-8; 2 Timothy 1:9). This means that God has given us something we do not deserve – eternal life, if we believe God and trust in the saving work of Christ on our behalf.

But does being saved by grace through faith in Christ alleviate the need to evangelize? Are we required to evangelize?

Christ made it clear we are to make disciples as we go throughout the world. We can only do that by sharing the gospel.

Matthew 28:19-20

19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Let us see what else Scripture says about sharing the gospel.

Acts 10:42

He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

Acts 14:21

They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,

Acts 16:10

After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Acts 28:31

Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:15

That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.

As you can see, there are many examples of how/to evangelize, how to share the gospel. In fact, it is clear Paul was sent to evangelize – to share the gospel.

1 Corinthians 1:17

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Not only that, but we have a great detailed example of Paul sharing the gospel, evangelizing, in Athens, Greece.

Acts 17:16-34

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.” 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

In fact, Paul was quite clear that people need to be sent to evangelize.

Romans 10:13-15

13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

So yes. Even though we are saved by grace, we are commanded to share the gospel. We have no idea who is called by God when, so we must take every opportunity to evangelize,. Not only does this ensure we are in obedience to God, making disciples as we go. But both sending people to evangelize and actually evangelizing are ways to express love for God and love for others. We also need to actually send people to share the gospel, as an extension of the command to make disciples.


2 Responses

  1. And each Christian disciple must as 2 Peter says: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..” (3:18). Not just mental knowledge, but growth (epignosis) a precise or further knowledge, thru deeper acuaintance with; true knowledge of the Person of Jesus Christ, Lord & Savior! – Fr. R.

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