Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples. – Acts 14:24-28
The foundation of the Christian faith is the grace of God in Jesus Christ who offers forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation to everyone who believes. Whether we point to John 3:16 or Ephesians 2:8-9, the Good News has to do with God’s grace to you and me, and all people. It is Good News indeed when we hear that our sins have been forgiven, that we have the gift of eternal salvation, and God’s favor.
But there is something even deeper about God’s love and salvation that will eventually work itself into the heart of the believer. It will begin to matter to us that others do not have this grace we have received. It will become important to us that someone shares the Good News with people, and that they repent and believe the gospel.
As time goes on, we may even pray for the opportunity to share the gospel with others. Even those who are not particularly gifted as evangelists will sometimes wish to tell a friend or family member of God’s love and grace. The Good News is good news for me, to be sure. But it’s good news to hear that others are being brought to faith in Jesus. This is evidence of God’s Holy Spirit at work in our hearts.
I see the joy and celebration of Paul, Barnabas, and the Christian brothers and sisters in Antioch. This was the church from which they had been sent. And when they reported that God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles the people there rejoiced. It was not only a homecoming, but also a victory celebration. It was also a celebration of God’s work through the church at Antioch and the missionaries whom they had sent.
We rejoice when we hear that Eric and Linda Funke in Tanzania have made a new inroad, or that our missionary team in Kenya experienced God’s favor in their work there, or that our connection with LINC ministries in Houston have borne fruit.
The Good News is for us, and we rejoice when we learn that others have received God’s favor, for that is good news to the heart of a believer.