Acts and Romans and The Good News

Something I find interesting is that when we think about sharing the gospel we are much more guided by the book of Romans than the book of Acts. A few reasons I find this interesting:

  • Acts records actual gospel sharing, I mean in many cases it gives the actual quotes of those proclaiming the gospel, it seems to me that we would want to look at those instances where the gospel is shared as a primary focus when thinking about how we should share the gospel.
  • Romans is written to Christians, not lost people. These people have already surrendered their lives to Christ when Paul is teaching them what we tend to try and teach lost people.
  • Romans never states “this is what you should explain to lost people.”
  • Acts doesn’t necessarily explain this either but it does say “this is what we told lost people and they repented and believed by the thousands.” (Obviously not an actual quote from Acts)
  • Generally the Romans approach focuses on Christ’s death as a substitution for our punishment (not to say that Paul necessarily focuses on this in Romans, it is just the pieces that we pick out), and generally the accounts in Acts focus on the resurrection of Christ and his role at the right hand of the father to judge and forgive.

About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

8 responses to “Acts and Romans and The Good News

  • Ben Plummer

    This is an interesting blog. Do you think following “the Romans approach” is misguided? Perhaps I’m kinda prejudiced on this one, because I got saved by reading the book of Romans, so you should probably take my comments with a grain of salt. Anyway I guess I’m wondering why couldn’t Paul be sharing the gospel with the Romans? If Paul is actually writing a gospel treatise in Romans that doesn’t necessarily mean that his target audience can’t be the church. Peter talks about stirring up the church by putting them in rememberance. In the light of that, what’s better suited at firing up believers than the message of Christ’s substitutionary death, resurrection and session at God’s right hand. Granted, that message saves the lost, but it’s also pretty good at sanctifying the found. The fact that too often we just preach Christ crucified and not Christ risen and reigning is depressing and wrong. But if we were faithful to our Romans approach we wouldn’t make that mistake because Paul hits the Romans with those issues as well.

  • Dan Allen


    My point was more focused on the fact that Acts is largely ignored when discussing sharing the good news. Obviously all of Scripture is truth and the good news is present in Romans as well as Acts so it’s not to say that “the Romans approach” is wrong or misguided but that ignoring Acts may be misguided. I find it interesting that no one ever mentions Jesus dying for your sins when they proclaim the good news in Acts, but in modern circles we would consider that to pretty much be synonymous with the gospel.

    Thanks for the comment!


  • Ben Plummer

    Thanks for the clarification. I suck at comments.

  • randijo

    great!!!! thank you for these insights!

  • Alan Knox


    Yes, I’ve wondered why the evangelism methods promoted today don’t look or sound much like what we read in Scripture. Does anyone in Scripture ever use the promise of heaven or the risk of hell in evangelism?


  • Stephanie

    Is our faith in Christ less genuine when we repent to escape hell, and knowing we are promised an eternity in heaven? Is our focus becoming less and less on Christ and more and more on ourselves? Do we rejoice more in what we have been saved from instead of rejoicing in our actual Savior?

  • norma hill

    I think this also has to do with our western rationalistic approach. We feel that the theology/doctrine/theory is more important (intellectual, and therefore superior) than the story (little kid stuff). We do this as we share the gospel, and then we continue to do it as we disciple (or preach to/teach the new believers…). We often prefer to study and quote the epistles; rather than learn about, quote, and *follow* Jesus Himself from the gospels, or examine and follow the life of the early church from Acts.

  • Dan Allen


    That is a great question. I might just write a post about that!


    I agree that we (at least I) like to look at things in principles rather than life. Life and stories are much harder to understand than principles and rules and structures, at least for me this is true.


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