The Gospels are not the only place in the New Testament that present an expectation of missions involvement. Paul’s life and instruction reflected this expectation too. No one person championed the causes of missions in the epistles like the Apostle Paul. While the Book of Acts is a transitional book, missions is clearly a central theme. Tweet “In essence, “Acts is the story of God’s mission.””
The sudden transformation in Paul’s life, when he encountered Christ, is evidence of the call on his life. Before Christ, he persecuted the church, seeking to destroy it. After his encounter with Christ, he did all he could to build the church by making disciples of all nations. In his dedication to this purpose he often traveled in order to do his part in taking the gospel to the nations. Paul’s many missionary journeys to various cities such as Corinth, Ephesus, and Colossae demonstrated an understanding of his responsibility to take the gospel to all people. In 1 Corinthians Paul stated that when he came to the city of Corinth, he had decided to know nothing among them except “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” This practice of Paul is one of the clearest examples of missions in the book of Acts.
In 2 Cor. 4:3, Paul said, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” Paul’s life was completely focused on the gospel. In 1 Cor. 9:23 Paul wrote that he did all things for the sake of the gospel. Paul understood why he had been saved, and as a result of this understanding he was committed to preaching the gospel to the world as well as visiting house to house to teach the truth of God’s Word. For example, in Acts 20:20, Paul stated, “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house.” He proclaimed to Timothy that God desires all people to be saved. Students of Scripture can summarize Paul’s post-conversion life as being focused on making disciples in fulfillment of the Great Commission both in public preaching and in private discipleship.
As Christians study the book of Acts as well as the epistles they should see a clear focus on missions, especially demonstrated by the apostle Paul. This commitment Paul modeled provides an example for all believers to follow in their efforts to be committed to missions.
Corwin, Moreau, and McGee, Introducing World Missions, 52.
1 Cor. 2:1-2 (ESV).
2 Cor. 4:3 (KJV).
1 Cor. 9:23 (ESV).
Acts 20:20 (ESV).
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