Sharing the Gospel Directly
In order to share the gospel, we must be acquainted with the core message of the gospel.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it reads “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” As its core, the message of Good News is one of substitutionary atonement. The acceptable sacrifice of Jesus becomes the meat in the gospel sandwich containing man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness.
Sharing the gospel also requires that we understand the gospel. The gospel is broken into two different scopes or perspectives: the personal and the big picture. The personal perspective, or what Chandler’s Explicit Gospel refers to as “The Gospel on the Ground,” is how the acceptable sacrifice of Jesus Christ directly impacts the lives of human beings. “The Gospel on the Ground” can be summarized in four sections: God, Man, Jesus and Our Response. The big picture perspective of the gospel, or what Chandler labeled “The Gospel in the Air,” is how the acceptable sacrifice of Jesus is the climax of the entirety of redemptive history. “The Gospel in the Air” can also be summarized in four sections: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Consummation.
Two quotes that would be helpful to commit to memory as you are seeking to explain the gospel are taken from Pastor/Theologians Mark Dever and Tim Keller.
In Mark Dever’s The Gospel in Personal Evangelism, he records his rendering of a gospel in a minute:
“Here is what I understand the good news to be: The good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know Him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him. In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and to and trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.”
In The Reason for God by Tim Keller, he writes:
“Religion operates on the principle ‘I obey – therefore I am accepted by God.’ But the operating principle of the gospel is ‘I am accepted by God through what Christ has done – therefore I obey.’”
Due to the nature of blogs (and their inherent length limitations), I won’t go more into depth about sharing the gospel directly. However, I have included some resources for individuals who desire to better understand the gospel and share it with others.
Resources on the Gospel:
Understanding the Gospel
What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughn Roberts
Sharing the Gospel
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever
Speaking of Jesus by Mack Stiles
Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
This blog is the second of three parts, be sure to also check out “How to Share the Gospel to your protégé parts 1 and 3”
Zach Middleton, Relationship Coordinator