How to Share the Gospel
Do you know the gospel? Truly know it?
Do you know it well enough to share the good news with others?
There’s a simple way to test your answers. Ask yourself, “When did I share the gospel with someone this week, and how did the person receive it?”
If you’re not thrilled by your answer (or perhaps you’re even a tad embarrassed by it), then this page is for you.
God’s Word instructs His people to, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Sadly, too many professing Christians do not feel particularly prepared to do this. They feel so ill-equipped that they regularly avoid sharing their reason for hope. This need not be you! This short tutorial will help you immensely.
Let’s begin with the nuts-and-bolts basics. What, precisely, is the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Well, believe it or not, the good news can be boiled down to just one, two, or three words.
The Gospel in One Word
The name “Jesus” actually means “God is salvation”. It is in the Person and work of Jesus that the salvation of God is found.
The Gospel in Two Words
This keeps things simple while building upon the previous text box. This saving work is found nowhere but in Christ Jesus.
The Gospel in Three Words
“God Saved Me”
Applying the gospel personally helps drive home that you belong to the kingdom of God and have become a subject of the King.
The Five-Fold Gospel
It’s true that sharing the truth of the gospel can be done in just three words or less, or by using an outline that involves merely three aspects of the biblical narrative. However, offering a full and logical defense of the Bible’s message of salvation will generally require more.
This is where the Five-Fold Gospel Presentation taught by Household of Faith in Christ can really be useful. To apply all of what God’s Word says about the truth of the gospel requires an understanding of the five cornerstones of the biblical salvation story. Some might call these “five aspects” or “five categories,” but Household of Faith in Christ calls them the “Five Folds” of the gospel. These five are:
Because all humans are made in the image of God and are designed for an intimate relationship with the eternal LORD, all of us have immense value. This includes you, and everyone you know.
However, being an image-bearer doesn’t make the creature exactly like the Creator, of course. Still, bearing God’s image makes everyone spectacularly special.
The Lord Almighty made all that is, and as the crowning touch, He did something unique with humankind among the rest of creation.
This specialness of all humans is why murder is so strictly forbidden, for instance.
It’s also why people should treat one another with respect and love, endeavoring to reflect the glory of their Maker.
What’s more, God has told us how to reflect His holiness by providing humanity with words describing how to live blessed lives and how to avoid living cursed lives.
So, if no one has told you lately, let us remind you. You are special. You bear the very image of God.
Here comes the part nearly everyone surely knew was coming.
While you have immense value, and while you are special, it must also be added – in case no one has told you lately – you are a sinner.
This might be hard to comprehend right after hearing that all humans are special, as the crowning achievement of God’s created universe. Yet, our horrible sinfulness is true. All the people of this world are what the Bible calls “slaves to sin” because all people share in what’s called Original Sin.
Every single man, woman, and child is now a fractured image-bearer with a broken human nature. This marred human condition goes all the way back to The Fall, with Adam and Eve sinning while in the Garden of Eden.
Since all human beings are connected back to the first man, Adam stands as a representative of the entire human race. This means that, with him, all stand guilty because God’s perfect holy standard has been broken.
The beautiful intimate relationship with the eternal LORD has been dramatically damaged by the kind of offense that demands a righteous response if God is, indeed, a just and holy God.
The truth is humanity owes an incredible debt for being guilty of cosmic treason. As traitors, the death penalty is what’s in order.
This fact is difficult to hear, to be sure. Who wants to hear that we all deserve to die? As far as problems go, this would be as big as they get.
Is there any solution to this problem?
Yes; there is!
This is the solution!!!
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, and He actually, in history, became a man Himself in order to live the perfect life that we all fail to live, and thus to serve as the suitable – i.e. perfect – atoning sacrifice on our behalf.
The sin debt is too great for any one of us to pay, but it is not too great a payment for the God Who “took on flesh.” No matter what the sinner does, without Jesus, the sin is always there. No matter how many times the sinner might attempt to make a payment, the payment can at best attempt to clear their ledger; it doesn’t add any merit to their ledger.
Wondrously, this is not the situation for Messiah Jesus. He is absolute sinless perfection, owing no debt. Therefore, His payment (His lifelong obedience, all the way to His bloody death on the cross) is categorically meritorious.
Christ offered Himself as the substitute for His people. Even more, Christ raised Himself from the dead, demonstrating assuredly that He is precisely Who He says He is. As God incarnate, He is Lord over even death, and thus the source of everlasting life. He does for all who follow Him what they are unable to do for themselves.
For those who believe, Jesus personally deals with their disobedient record of rebellion and shares with them His perfectly obedient record of righteousness.
In response to this amazing gift of grace, repentant sinners cease all effort to save themselves, and instead rest upon the finished work of the flawless Savior, Jesus.
Out of gratitude for what Jesus Christ has done, they seek to honor and follow Him obediently. This obedience isn’t performed to earn what they have already been given, but it is an acknowledgment of what the Lord has gifted to them.
Unfortunately, this obedience is not lived out perfectly in this life. However, the process of living increasingly holy lives is made possible by Christ sending His Spirit to reside within His people.
His Spirit brings fruit in the form of many spiritual rewards, and even practical rewards.
The previously broken relationship with God is restored as the person trusting Jesus, having been spiritually reborn, is free from slavery to sin.
Thus, set into right relationship with God, the Christian is able to better pursue right relationships with others, and even experience an ever-improving right understanding of self.
In the end, those who are faithful in trusting and serving Christ will spend eternity with the Lord in glory.
This is when things will be as they were intended to be at the very start. The beauty and security of living within God’s blessed presence, the way it was in the Garden of Eden, will be the experience of God’s people forever.
The magnitude of this blessed experience will far outstrip even that of Eden. In glory, there’s no more death, no more crying, no more pain, no more anything that’s wrong because there will be no more sin.
At first, Adam and Eve were both “able to sin” and “able to not sin.”
Following The Fall, all people became “unable to not sin.”
Then, for Christians, the ability “to not sin,” is restored, though wrestling against sin remains a reality until heaven.
In the final state, those who are glorified will forever be “unable to sin.”
This is what awaits! This is an exceptionally good reason to have hope!
In practice, the Five-Fold Gospel Presentation brings the advantage of providing five different entry points for sharing the gospel with others. Thus, it allows the bride of Christ to naturally bring up these truths in a wide variety of social situations without struggling to force them into conversations.
If you’d like greater detail or additional examples of how this works in practice, please reach out to Household of Faith in Christ. We’d be honored to help you proclaim the good news even more amazingly well than you do already. Or, if you haven’t been in the practice of proclaiming the message of the kingdom of God, we’d be honored to help you start. You can do this!