What is the gospel and how we can share it with others?
Gospel simply means ‘Good news’ and is shorthand to refer to the good news about Jesus Christ.
Read the following story of the Apostle Paul sharing the gospel in Athens.
Acts 17:16-34 (Paul preaching the gospel in Athens)
What do you note about how Paul shared the gospel with the Greeks?
‘It was said of Christ that after His resurrection, when He went to heaven in victory and power, the whole angelic host came out to welcome Him. The Archangel, the head of the parade, was the spokesman. He said, “Lord, You have finished the redemptive work on the cross. Is it enough to save the world?” The Lord answered with a note of victory, the same loud cry which came from the cross, “It is finished.” And He concluded by saying, “I came not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved. I shed my blood for the ransom of many.” That is the plan of salvation. He gave His life that sinners might be saved.
The Archangel seemed to be satisfied with the answer, but another question came up as to how the world might know of this Gospel, to which the Lord answered, “I have told my disciples, ‘Go into all the world and tell the Gospel to every creature.’”' But the Archangel queried again, “The world does not know. Suppose your disciples become busy with their own work and Peter goes back to fishing or Levi goes back to the customs office and they forget to preach the Gospel. What will you do?” There was a pause. The Lord looked straight into the face of the Archangel and said with determination, “They must, for I have no other plan.”’
[Taken from www.moreillustrations.com ]
What strikes you about this story?
Do you think God was wise to not have a plan B?
The following Creation — Fall — Redemption — Restoration outline can help us be ready to share the gospel with people who are open to hearing the message of Christ. As it is an outline it can be used to share the gospel in just a few minutes, or if you have longer you could expand on each of the topics.
Creation: In this part of the story we share that God made a perfect world where the fullness of his love was experienced by all and humans had the joy of loving him and each other. There was no suffering, no death and no brokenness at all. It was a beautiful world that fully reflected God’s goodness. Humans were made as the pinnacle of this creation as they were made ‘in God’s likeness’.
Fall: In this section we share that humanity rejected God by rebelling against him. This had disastrous effects on humans’ relationship with God, with each other and on the world. Shame entered the world, as did death, decay and suffering. Humanity hid away from God in fear and started accusing, blaming and hating each other. All the brokenness we experience in the world today is due to this turning from God; this ‘fall’ from perfection.
Redemption: Though God would have been just and right to wipe us out as a result of our rebellion, he doesn’t, and instead comes after us. He sent many prophets to tell the world that a rescue was coming and finally the rescue came – God’s Messiah, his Son, Jesus, who suffered and died and rose again to make a way for humanity to be forgiven and restored to right relationship with God, each other and the world.
Restoration: This part of the story is about our future hope. Although we are able to have a restored relationship with God now, through Jesus Christ, the fullness is coming in the future. We are currently in a time where God is being patient and waiting for everyone to take up his offer of a new life with him. In the future Christ will return, destroy all evil and completely transform us and this world to a state of perfection. At that time, we will perfectly experience God’s love and perfectly love him, others and this world.
What parts of the Creation — Fall — Redemption — Restoration outline do you feel most confident to speak about and which do you find more difficult?
How do you think you would feel if someone asked you to explain the gospel to them? Do you feel ready?
What stories do you have of recent opportunities you have had to share the gospel?
The following exercise can help you gain confidence in sharing the gospel with others.
Get into pairs in your Missional Community and set a timer for 5 mins. Then take 5 mins each to share the gospel to each other using the Creation — Fall — Redemption — Restoration outline.
Once you have done this, set the timer to 2 mins and see if you can reduce the message down to fit this reduced time.
If you’re feeling like a real challenge (and a bit of a laugh), you can reduce the timing down to 1 min and have another go.
Spend some time as a whole Missional Community praying for opportunities to share the gospel with People of Peace.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’
Other Bible passages:
Got other suggested resources? Tell us about them using the Feedback Form.