You may have heard the saying, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” The point is that we are so loving with our actions towards other people they will be able to see the gospel portrayed through us. While there is something right about our love being gospel motivated, the problem is created when we do not articulate the source of our hope and love. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14 ESV) Therefore, in order to evangelize and call lost people to repent and believe, we ourselves have to understand and be able to articulate the key elements of the gospel. As we carry out our visitation each week and we seek to develop relationships with our lost family members and neighbors, we need to know how to share the gospel with them. To be sure, there are no shortage of “methods” you can use to lead someone to Lord, but what you will see, is that all of these (if they are faithful to Scripture) will contain these four elements. The beauty of the gospel is that while it is the most profound truth in God’s revelation, it can be understood in such simple terms; God, man, Christ, response.
The gospel begins with God, just like everything else in creations\w finds its beginning with God. He is the almighty, eternal creator of all things. He is holy, good, and right in everything he does. Everything ever created was, is, or will be was created by God. Genesis reveals that God’s original creation was good. He created, not out of need, but out of the overflow of his character.
Chief among God’s good creation was man and woman. God created them in his image with the specific role of bearing God’s image and spreading his glory across the world. God gave them a command to not eat of a specific tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or they would surely die. Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, broke this commandment and therefore earned the punishment of death. This is what we call sin, anything that is done against God’s law and character. Because God is completely holy he cannot be in the presence of sin and must punish sin. This is man’s greatest problem.
God the Father, in the overflow of his love, created a way in which we can be forgiven of our sin. He sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, as the one who would make a way back to God. Jesus is the eternal Son of God who was born of a virgin becoming the Son of Man. This means that Jesus is both God and man, and during his life on earth he obeyed God’s law completely. He was then killed as though he was a sinner and bore the punishment of God that we deserve on the cross. God did not leave him here but raised him from the grave three days later, proving that he had secured victory over sin and death.
Now that Jesus’ victory over sin and death is secure, we have a response to make, because we have to respond to this reality. We either respond by faith, trusting that Jesus has taken the punishment that we deserve and making him Lord of our life, or by rejecting him as king and seeking to live for ourselves. Those who put their faith in Jesus are then united with God by the presence of the Spirit of God and given eternal life and those who reject this good news will be forever expelled from God’s presence.
For most of you reading this, you know these things and I praise God for that. First, when we read and hear the gospel presented we need to rejoice for this is the source of our hope. Second, we need to take this same gospel to a lost and dying world who will have no hope apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ.