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Let Us Be Confident in the Gospel

Note: A piece prepared for a newsletter.
If Paul was writing a letter to the New Zealand churches today, he might write something like this: ἀλλὰπείθεσθῶσανἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ (alla peithesthōsan en tō euangeliō), which can be translated: ‘but, let us be confident in the gospel.’ This lack of confidence is because many Christians in NZ have lost their confidence in the gospel and have adopted a quietist approach to sharing Christ. They live out the supposed mantra of Francis of Assisi (which he never actually said): ‘preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.’ There may be good reasons for our reticence, with many New Zealanders very resistant to the gospel. One could imagine Paul becoming very testy if he was to observe our unpreparedness to open our mouths and share Christ. For what counts for Paul is that in every way, Christ is proclaimed (Phil 1:18).
Christ himself demonstrated the importance of sharing the message of God, even when the gospel was repudiated. He died bec…