The first century followers of Jesus Christ were gifted with the indwelling Holy Spirit and granted boldness to proclaim the good news of a radical new way of life as well as a hope-energized future. They spoke to believers and non-believers simultaneously; they did not separate one group for evangelism and one group for edification. In the book of Acts there are 37 synonyms describing this communication, and it can be condensed into six major categories:
- Witness (martureo) – Our everyday conversation needs to be intentional, well-crafted, and prayed over.
- Proclaim (euaggelizo, kerusso) – To announce freely and wholly the complete essence of the gospel. To display the providential arrangement of God’s redemptive plan.
- Convince (didasko) – This is the idea of investigating and reasoning together so as to make a full and clear discovery.
- Expound (paratithemi) and Exhort (parakaleo) – To place or to come alongside so as to motivate through encouragement, or to admonish with gentleness and humility.
- Confirm (episterizo, katecho) –This refers to the process of continual strengthening. It even means to indoctrinate or catechize.
These early disciples spoke boldly to the natures of reality, humanity, the cosmos, and truth, to what is good and beautiful, and to the Christ who is all and in all. They told, as should we, the full message of this new life (Acts 5:20).