Sharing the Gospel can be a daunting enterprise. If you are like most people you’ve probably thought to yourself, “I would love to lead someone to Jesus, but I’m not even sure what to say.” Sharing the Gospel is a point of confusion for a lot of Christians. Many Christians have a very vague grasp on what exactly the Gospel is, which makes actually articulating it to someone else almost impossible. As if that weren’t enough of an obstacle, the fear of social judgment or a lack of confidence in answering tough questions from unbelievers put the act of evangelizing the lost outside of the realm of possibilities for quite a few Christians. Crippling terror will seize many believers at the mere thought of sharing Christ with someone else.
Not to fear! Today we’re going to explore what the Gospel is and how we can share it with people in a way that isn’t unnecessarily awkward or complicated. This may just give you the confidence boost you need to step up to the plate when God opens the door for you to share the Gospel. Let’s get to it.
So What’s the Gospel?
The word “gospel” means “good news.” It refers to the message about Jesus’ incarnation, death, resurrection, and all of the implications for the world. The Gospel is a solution to the world’s biggest problem, and as such, it doesn’t make sense to discuss the solution without understanding that there is a problem.
God created mankind to be the objects of His love. The Lord designed us in His image. He created us to live in relationship with Him and to be the stewards of His creation. (See Genesis 1:26, 2 Corinthians 5:18.) We blew it on both accounts. In failing to fulfill our design, we have committed what the Bible calls “sin”. In the Bible, sin is the idea that humanity “missed the mark” of our original design. The biblical concept of sin also includes being bent or crooked, (the Bible uses the word iniquity to describe this state of being) as well as breaking a contract or covenant (transgression).
The Bible says that every single person on the planet has sinned (See Romans 3:23.) and that the result of our sin is death. (See Romans 6:23.) Sin has separated us from the God who created us to be His family. But God, in His perfect love and justice has intervened in history’s greatest act of kindness and mercy.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. – Galatians 4:4-7
God sent His Son out of His great love. Because of God’s enormous mercy and kindness, Jesus was punished in our place. Our sin was upon Him. In fact, the scriptures tell us that Christ became our sin so that we could become His righteousness. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21.) Our sin was punished in Christ’s crucifixion, and we stand guiltless before God. (See Colossians 1:22.) But it gets even better than that.
Not only has God removed our guilt because of Christ’s death, but Jesus defeated death—the very consequence of sin—through His resurrection. Christ has overcome sin and death and has torn the veil which separated humanity from His presence. He has reconciled us to Himself. This includes you and me, we used to be God’s enemies because of our evil thoughts and behavior. God has brought us near to Himself in Christ. (See Colossians 1:19-22.) Now nothing can separate us from the love of God. (See Romans 8:39.) You are united with Christ and you sit with Him at the right hand of God. (See Ephesians 2:6.) Now God has made His home inside of you, and you have become the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. (See John 14:23, 1 Corinthians 6:19.) You have been utterly transformed from sinner to saint, and more than that, you are the living representation of Christ on the earth. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.) God has given all of these precious blessings as a free gift; not because we have earned it, but because we have simply chosen to believe God’s promise and act upon it. (See Ephesians 2:8-9.)
This is unbelievable! You can understand why we call it “good news”. It’s great news! But how do we share it with others?
How to Share the Gospel
Let’s be real, you won’t remember all of those scriptures when you’re on the spot sharing the Gospel with an unbeliever. Moreover, the person you’re sharing the Gospel with doesn’t want you to give them all of those scripture verses. So how do you communicate these truths? Here are a couple of ways you can share the Gospel with someone without being too awkward, and I recommend using them in tandem.
One of the most user-friendly tools you have in your evangelistic tool belt is your testimony. Your testimony is a case study for the Gospel. When you share your testimony with someone, you are showing them what God can do for them, because He did it for you.
When you are sharing your testimony, start by briefly explaining what your life was like before you met Christ. Be honest about who you used to be. Were you trapped in your sin? Did you feel hopeless, lost or guilty? Were you searching for meaning in your life, but found only emptiness? Were you depressed, anxious, sick, or lonely? Perhaps you grew up in the Church, but encountered the real Jesus for yourself later in life? Whatever was happening in your life, be real about it, but don’t get too bogged down with the negatives.
Next, share what happened when you encountered Christ. Share what truths caused you to put your faith in Him. Did Jesus set you free through a power encounter? Did He heal you? Maybe you discovered a crucial piece of evidence that changed your mind about the whole Jesus thing? If so, share the details of what God did for you.
Now, what were the results were of putting your faith in Christ? Talk about the hope, peace, and joy you have found in Christ. Talk about God’s transforming power. How is your life different now because of Jesus? Next, ask if the person you are sharing with would like to know the Jesus that changed everything for you.
The 4 Spiritual Laws
The “4 Spiritual Laws” approach is a fantastic and easy way to articulate the Gospel to someone who doesn’t quite understand it. This method of sharing the Gospel was first pioneered by Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru). For decades, this approach has helped people understand and accept the life-changing Gospel of Jesus.
Here are the 4 Spiritual Laws in order:
- God loves you and created you to live in relationship with Him.
- Mankind has sinned, and our sin has separated us from a relationship with God.
- Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for sin. Through Him alone can we know God personally and experience His love.
- We must personally receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Then we can know God, and live in fellowship with Him.
I use the 4 Spiritual Laws as a roadmap for conversation when I am sharing the Gospel. If I am in a conversation with someone, I will usually start with my testimony, then ask “Has anyone ever shared the Gospel with you?” Often my interlocutor will say “no”. I will share the 4 spiritual laws, then ask if hey would like to receive God’s free gift of salvation.
I have personally led many people into a true relationship with Jesus using this method. Here is a video that describes the 4 Spiritual Laws in detail.
The 5th Spiritual Law: A New Creation
I like to talk about this point because we often forget it; it is important that we understand what happens within us when we put out faith in Christ.
Several years ago, I was kicking a soccer ball around outside my house. A group of young kids—about 6 or 7—came and wanted to play with me. I started playing with them and began to talk to them about Jesus. I shared the Gospel with them; that Jesus had died for their sins, that he rose again, and because Jesus has forgiven their sins, God wants to adopt them and become their Father. They accepted Jesus right there. About 5 or 6 kids entered a brand new life with Christ that day.
One of the young boys looked up at me with eyes super wide and said, “I feel like I’m in Heaven.”
I was stunned by the profundity of this young boy’s statement. It was true. When He accepted Jesus, the Kingdom of God entered him and he became a citizen of Heaven. Heaven’s King adopted him into His family and he became a son of God. He was exactly right. This little boy understood better than most what the Gospel had done in him.
More Than Just “Saved”
I don’t think the Apostle Paul would have used “saved” as the primary metaphor for what happens when we put our faith in Christ. Of course, salvation from hell, salvation from sin, and salvation from the power of the devil is a major part of what Christ has done for us. Jesus Himself used the term as part of His own job description. (See Luke 19:10, John 3:17.) But, when the Apostle Paul talks about the Gospel he seems to focus on reconciliation with God, a fundamental transformation of our identity, adoption into the family of God, and union with Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Here, Paul uses reconciliation as the paradigm through which we are to understand the Gospel. First, God has made us into a new type of creature. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17.) Our old identity is dead. It has been crucified with Christ (See Galatians 2:20.) and buried in baptism. (See Romans 6:4.) The Lord has made us one spirit with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17.) and made one flesh with Him! (See Ephesians 5:31-32.) Then, the Father has raised us up with Christ in resurrection life, and seated us with Him in heavenly realms! (See Ephesians 2:6-7.) Jesus has brought us into right relationship with the Father through His atoning work on the cross. The Father has adopted us into His family (See Romans 8:15.) and we stand in His presence, holy and blameless without a single fault. (See Colossians 1:22.)
This is better than simply receiving our “fire insurance” from Jesus. We aren’t just saved; we are united with Christ! If we skip this bit, we are missing the best part! We must understand that the forgiveness of our sins was the means to the end of being reconciled to God as brand new creatures, united with Christ, and heirs of God. Not only do we not have to go to hell, but we also get to become one with Christ.
Starting a Gospel Conversation
There are so many ways to share the Gospel of God’s amazing grace with those around us. This just happens to be my favorite. So now all you need to know is how to start the conversation. Here are a few tips:
- Be nice.
- Introduce yourself.
- Have a real conversation. (Ask them appropriate questions about themselves and engage in real conversation.)
- Ask if they need prayer. (Miracles are a great spiritual icebreaker.)
- Ask if they have ever heard the Gospel before.
- Share your testimony and the 4 Spiritual Laws.
- Ask if they would like to receive these promises of God, lay down their old lives, and accept the new life which God has for them.
There are people in your life that no one else can reach. I pray that the Holy Spirit will equip you to share the Gospel with those around you. May God fill you with courage and strength by the power of the Holy Spirit to speak His word with boldness. And may He confirm His Word by stretching out His hand to heal and perform signs and wonders, that the name of Jesus would be glorified.