After reading the first post in this series, I hope you are convinced that sharing the Gospel is a must! As Christians, “gossip” about Jesus should always be on our lips. Therefore, in this post and the next, I will share two, easy-to-remember storylines, which will help you share the gospel narrative with others.1
Both storylines I share will contain four simple words for you to remember, which will guide you any time you have an opportunity to share. If you can remember the four words, you can share the gospel.
I call the first storyline the “ground-level gospel” because it keeps the story simple, and very personable to the people we are sharing with. Though using scripture is always necessary, this method doesn’t go as deep into the history of the bible as the second method will. It is very simple and may have even been the method used by the person who led you to Christ. The ground-level is made up of the following four words: God-Man-Christ-Response
In this storyline for presenting the Gospel, you begin by explaining who God is; that He is perfect and holy, and that when He created everything in the universe He made it ‘very good.’
You can share as much or as little about the creation story, and the nature of God as you want, but the goal is to explain that because God is perfect and holy, He cannot associate Himself with the unholy. This will bring us to the second point.
Man, though he was created holy in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), chose to disobey God’s command and eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6). With this one action, sin entered the world and man lost his connection with God. The judgment came with the curses pronounced in Genesis 3:14-19, as well as eternal separation from God in this life and in the next.
It is at this point, you will begin to bring in the individual’s own life and sinfulness into the equation. You might ask questions, such as:
- What do you think sin is?
- Is God just to judge sin?
- Have you ever sinned?
- If you have sinned, why should God forgive you?
We must explain to them that sin is real, and all of humanity is guilty. We must also help them to understand that doing good in the present does not excuse our sinful past. For example, if I commit murder, it doesn’t matter what good I might do afterward, any good judge must hold me accountable to the law.
The scriptures can help make this point:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23
As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’” Romans 3:10-12
When you can bring their own life and sinfulness into the light of scripture, the discussion will show that there is a stark contrast between the holiness of God and their own sinful humanity. There is a great chasm which has been formed, and it would take a miracle for us to come back to God, but…
This is where Christ comes in. When you have a Holy God, and a sinful humanity, there has to be a major move on both sides in order to make reconciliation. The problem is that mankind could not make that move back toward God on their own. So when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and birthed by Mary, God actually took on flesh and became a man, and became the representative of both sides!
He is the [physical] image of the invisible God…” Colossians 1:15
Jesus, as a man, lived a sinless life according to the law of God, then when He died on the cross, it was in our place. He took the punishment from God for our sin and made a bridge to reconcile us to God.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
As God, in Christ moved toward us, we now have the offer of new life and righteousness through faith in Him, to every human being who will repent and believe.
At this point, we once again become personal. We must share with the person that though they can never erase their own sinful history, they must understand that Jesus stood in their place. He took their punishment and He is offering them a new life in Himself if they will believe.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
With these three things in mind — the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, and the atoning work of Jesus Christ — the person must then be given an opportunity to respond. Will they accept Jesus as their Savior and be reconciled to God through faith in Christ, or will they reject Christ as Savior and continue in life separated from God?”
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
We must ask the golden question: “Would you like to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord?”
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
All of our witnessing is in vain if we do not come to the point where we actually make them an offer to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. I know I am glad someone asked this question of me, many years ago, and I am sure you are, too.
if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:9-11
1 These two storylines do NOT originate with me. I have heard these two ways of sharing the gospel repeated in many teachings and writings by various pastors, especially during my time working for an Acts29 Network church, so it would be impossible for me to footnote any specific reference. Suffice it to say, (though I have not read it) I believe Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church has explained these two ideas in depth in his book, The Explicit Gospel, published by Crossway.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Anthony Scott Ingram