Wednesday, September 28, 2016

So what exactly is the Gospel, anyway?

Welcome back to my blog. I'm happy that you came to visit.

Teleios recently evaluated how often evangelicals share the good news of Christ (Gospel) and what makes people fear the process.  We surveyed attitudes toward sharing the Gospel among all attendees at one Sunday worship service a Midwestern Evangelical Church. Approximately 370 people participated.

Last week we discussed that although our survey indicated Bible-believing Christians may fear explaining the Gospel to others, our message really is good and true, and we actually benefit others when we share.

We also explored the fact that many Christians perceive they are sharing the Gospel with non-believers by non-verbal messages including: giving a video, praying, living a godly lifestyle, or inviting someone to church. However, we noted in Romans 10:14-15, Scripture indicates that to hear the Gospel the recipient must understand and believe the explicit message.

The question arises then, how do we do this? Rather astoundingly, after decades of teaching Sunday school and individual students, I have never encountered a single person who, when asked, could recite the Gospel plan of salvation in an efficient and coherent way, with or without my prompting. This supports what we noted last week and as our data indicate, that most people do not share because they do not know what to say. Therefore, how do we say it?

Although the gospel should be presented with compassion as well as truth (Proverbs 3:3) it also must be spoken clearly and succinctly so a person knows what to believe. Key gospel passages are Romans 3:23-26, 10: 9-10, and Ephesians 2:7-10, among others.

The Gospel message should contain generally the following information:
  1. Each of us has sinned and deserve God's righteous punishment.
  2. God, however, being loving, sent his Son, Jesus to die on the cross and take our punishment.
  3. When by faith alone we receive forgiveness by acknowledging His death for us personally, and believe that He rose again for us, we receive eternal life.

You see, it is that easy!

What does new believer need to do? Nothing, remember the Gospel message requires only belief. A person isn’t required to say a special prayer, go to church, or be water baptized; they simply believe!

However, the new believer should be able to repeat the Gospel back to you (Romans 10:10). If a person cannot articulate their new faith, then they probably have not understood.

What should you do after the new Christian acknowledges they believe? Good question! Since Christians are regenerated by the Holy Spirit at salvation (Titus 3:5, Romans 6:2-12) they are God's “workmanship” or product (Ephesians 2:10), not yours!  God causes them to grow and stand (Romans 14:4, II Timothy 1:12). It is not our responsibility! If a person truly believes they have become a new person and will show eventually others their new faith by their actions in obedient response to Jesus their Lord.

That said, however, it is gracious to engage the new Christian in Bible study to teach them about their recently acquired faith or at least to direct them to a Bible believing church or person who could instruct them.

I hope this information helps you. Indeed, sharing the Gospel is a privilege we have as a Christian. Our society needs to hear it!  The only way we will change our culture is to change hearts, and that by the power of God’s Spirit.

Thanks for joining me today. Please come back next week as we discuss additional fascinating findings from Teleios research.

WC Stewart

Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

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