Sharing the Good News
The “good news,” is the message of salvation through faith in Jesus. This message was different than how Judaism was being practiced during Jesus’ time, as it emphasized a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus rather than strict adherence to the law. The Pharisees were highly respected scholars within Jewish society and held positions of power and influence. However, Jesus often clashed with the Pharisees because he saw them as using their interpretation of the law as a way to gain power, status, and control over other sincere followers of Judaism.
The apostles believed that this message was of vital importance and needed to be shared with as many people as possible. They primarily spread the Gospel through word of mouth, using their own experiences with Jesus and the teachings he had shared with them to share the Good News with others. They also wrote letters, many of which are included in the New Testament, to encourage and instruct the early Christian communities. In addition to sharing the Gospel with individuals, the apostles also preached in synagogues and other public places, seeking to bring as many people as possible to faith in Jesus. The apostle Paul, was a self-described “pharisee of pharisees” and an extreme persecutor of Christians. However, as horrible as his actions may have been prior to his dramatic conversion experience on the road to Damascus, he was a truly devout and sincere believer. Because of his sincerity and devotion to truth, the Apostle Paul is considered one of the greatest missionaries in Christian history. His tireless efforts to share the Gospel with the Gentiles have inspired countless believers to follow in his footsteps.
The apostles were present at key moments in the early history of the Church, such as the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon them and they began to speak in tongues, and the Council of Jerusalem where they made important decisions about the Church’s teachings and practices. One of the most well-known apostles was Peter, who was considered the leader of the group and was later appointed as the first Bishop of Rome, also known as the Pope. Peter is known for his role in spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles and for having been handed the “keys to the kingdom”, with the power to lose or bind as needed. Another important apostle was Paul, who was originally a persecutor of Christians but had a dramatic conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Paul went on to write many of the letters in the New Testament and is considered one of the greatest missionaries in Christian history.
The apostles played a vital role in the early Church not only by spreading the Gospel, but also by establishing the Church’s structure and leadership. They appointed leaders in the various Christian communities and established the practice of ordaining bishops, priests, and deacons to serve in these roles. They also passed on the teachings of Jesus to future generations. The work of the apostles in spreading the Gospel and establishing the Church laid the foundations for the Church’s growth and continues to inspire and guide Christians today.
The legacy of the apostles lives on to this day, as their message of salvation through faith in Jesus continues to be shared with people all around the world. The Church they founded has continued to thrive and grow for over two thousand years, making it one of the oldest and largest religious institutions in the world. The impact of the apostles on the Church and on history cannot be overstated. Without their tireless efforts to spread the Good News and establish the Church, Christianity may not have survived and flourished as it has.
The apostles faced many challenges and obstacles in their efforts to spread the Gospel. They faced persecution and even martyrdom for their faith, and they had to navigate the complex political and cultural landscape of the Roman Empire. Despite these challenges, they remained committed to their mission and continued to spread the Gospel wherever they went. By the year 312 AD, the Gospel had been spread throughout much of the Roman Empire, and Christianity had become a major religion. The emperor Constantine had converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the empire, which helped to protect and support the Church. The Gospel continued to spread beyond the Roman Empire, eventually reaching every corner of the globe.
The role of the apostles in the founding of the Church cannot be overlooked. They were the foundation upon which the Church was built, and their impact continues to be felt to this day. Their message of salvation through faith in Jesus has touched the lives of countless people throughout history, and it is a message that is still being shared with the world today. The apostles’ devotion to their mission and their tireless efforts to spread the Gospel should serve as an inspiration to all Christians and a reminder of the power of the Good News to change lives and transform the world.