The Gospel is for Sharing. - 10/20/19
The Big Idea
The gospel is for sharing.
What does scripture tell us?
This is a long selection of verses so select the link below to read the full passage.
What do we know?
We last talked about what is the gospel. For there to be good news there had to be bad news, and what was that? Sin entered the world. But, God promised a way that He would redeem us. That way is Jesus. Through Jesus’ sinless life and sacrifice, He took away the sins of the world. Those who believe in and have faith in Jesus are given the free gift of eternal salvation.
Jesus is the standard God sees when He looks at those of us who call Jesus Lord. This is because Jesus is our salvation, sent from God to redeem us from sin. This is the gospel - the good news.
What do we usually do with good news? We share it, right? When you get an A on a test you thought you would not do well on, you are excited. Your excitement can’t be contained so you have to share it. What if your favorite donut place is giving away free donuts for the day? You want your friends to know about it, and maybe, go and share some time eating free donuts together.
Is the gospel greater news than free donuts? You bet it is!
What the gospel means to you
We are all changed by the gospel but how the gospel changes us looks different from person to person. God didn’t make us like He made other things, nor did He make us all to be just like each other. We are individuals. We celebrate as individuals redeemed by God by celebrating God when we share His gospel.
Sharing the gospel is also an individual experience. When we are changed by the gospel, it is going to mean something to you when you tell others the gospel.
What does the gospel mean to you? When you are talking about the gospel, sharing the truth is important but so is what it means to you. The gospel isn’t just some words you repeat to others and boom they’re saved. The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16) that you have heard, believed, and are preparing to share that others may believe.
Does the gospel feel like the greatest gift you ever got? Then that’s what it means to you. Do you feel like you do not deserve the salvation you received? Many of us do and that is why the gospel is so graceful because the God who gives it is full of grace!
How you can share the gospel
Sharing the gospel can be the greatest thing you ever do. It can also be the most nervous you ever get. When we get nervous, or scared, coming up with something to say can be hard. When we prepare to share the gospel it doesn’t have to be an hour speech. What we want to say to people is the truth we know.
So how do we simplify the truth without losing the truth? How can we share the gospel without worrying we will forget something? As in all things we rely upon God through prayer. What we can do is be prepared, as we are told in 1 Peter 3:15, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you”.
One way to prepare is by creating a couple tools - a gospel statement and a gospel story. Both of these are brief ways to share the gospel and allow more conversations to happen.
Our gospel statement is a short summary of the gospel that you prepare and memorize. It helps you to get a gospel conversation started. Some examples of a gospel statement are:
The gospel is the good news of what God has done in Christ to secure our salvation.
The gospel is the good news of what God has done through Jesus to redeem us.
The gospel is the truth of God’s desire to be with His creation and sending Jesus to accomplish it.
Do you notice something in each of these examples? Jesus is in all of them. The gospel is not the gospel without the person of Jesus. The one “must” in our gospel statement is that Jesus is in it. It’s Jesus who completes the gospel.
Can you have more than one gospel statement? You sure can. Having more than one gospel statement is a good idea because you can have a statement that benefits the different types of people you will meet. We all want the nice, kind person to walk up and ask “Will you tell me the gospel?” but we would all like to win the lottery too. Sharing the gospel with people comes with recognizing how they feel at that moment. What you say to someone who is sad could be different than someone who is angry. Someone who is skeptical will be different than someone who is interested.
What about the gospel story? We’ve talked about how the gospel is more than Jesus’ time on Earth and that it covers the whole story of redemption God has provided. This could turn into a long story, however we can still be brief by including only these key elements of the gospel: Creation, Sin, Jesus, the Cross, and the Resurrection. This allows us to focus on what is the core of the gospel message we want to tell:
Creation - God created all things and called them good. He created humans, Adam and Eve, who were to be over all that God created
Sin - Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the tree of good and evil. The fruit of the tree was not sin but ignoring God's instruction was. Since that first sin, all of humanity has been convicted with sin.
Jesus - Throughout scripture we are promised a redeemer that would make things new. This is Jesus. Jesus came to Earth with one goal - to make a way for us to be with God. He showed us through His life how we were to
Cross - The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross took away our sin. Our sin could not be forgiven by just anyone but only by God the Son.
Resurrection - Jesus rose from the dead, fulfilling the promise to defeat death once and for all.
What does a gospel story look like put together? Here is an example:
“God created a perfect world. When God created Adam and Eve, he created them in his image. He also gave them the ability to choose. When God gave Adam and Eve their instructions, He gave them the option to obey or not to obey. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the tree God told them not to eat. By listening to the lies of the serpent, they chose at that point to disobey God. From then on we as humans have received the curse of sin. But God promised one day that He would send a way that sin would be crushed forever. His promise is Jesus.
Through Jesus’ sinless life, He showed us how we are to live out a life that honors Him. When Jesus went to the cross and sacrificed Himself, He did so that we can have our sins taken away. Walking out of the tomb on the third day, which we celebrate as Easter, He showed the world that He was God and we could fully trust all He had taught and proclaimed.”
This is only one example but it shows the key elements.
As a follower of Jesus, we have a mission to share the gospel. Our preparation to go and tell the gospel is important because it will help to make the gospel clear to those we tell it to. Even though we will tell the gospel, not everyone will believe it, so be prepared for this. In Mark 4, Jesus tells us a parable how not all the seed we scatter will produce a crop. That seed is the gospel message. Our role is to know it and share it. Jesus will do the rest.