- Reflect & remember how the gospel has impacted your own life (v. 1).
- Know that God has entrusted you with the gospel message (v. 4). There is expectation that you share it. You are capable of sharing it.
- The gospel is able to stand on its own (v. 5). There is no need for us to change or update it.
- The gospel makes God glorious. Not you (v. 6).
- As you share the gospel, don’t attempt to force conversions. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job (v. 7).
- The gospel is best shared within the context of shared lives (v. 8). Invest yourself in other people.
- Live a life that builds gospel integrity (v. 9, 10). When our lives don’t mirror the gospel and God’s Word, we loose our credibility as we share.
- Sharing the gospel is personal (v. 12). Show people you genuinely care.
- Use the Bible (v. 13) It changes lives. Let God work.
- Rejoice when the gospel is received (v. 13). I have witnessed more applause for the service of the church florist than the repentance of a hardened sinner. This strikes me as inappropriate.
The gospel is the good news that the everlasting and ever-increasing joy of the never-boring, ever-satisfying Christ is ours freely and eternally by faith in the sin-forgiving death and hope-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ. – John Piper
In 1 Thess. chapter two, we see the heart of the apostle Paul regarding his desire to share the life-changing gospel of Christ. And why wouldn’t he? He understands and trusts the gospel to work as it is shared. May God grow in us the desire to share with others the redemption freely offered to us through the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross.
Not only does Paul demonstrate the heart of a believer willing to share the good news, he also gives us an example of how to live in order to present the gospel effectively.
In describing salvation, it has been said:
- I am saved. (Past)
- I am being saved. (Present)
- I will be saved. (Future)*
The above statement reminds us that salvation is a process that God begins within the individual through soteriological concepts like regeneration, conversion, and justification. We have spoken about these concepts in some of our recent discussions. For those who have trusted Christ for redemption, these are past events.
Today, we want to turn our attention to the latter two. The present and future aspects of salvation.
We live in a “fast food” world where we have been conditioned to have things in quick and easy fashion. We pull through a drive through at our local fast food restaurant and expect our food to be ready in the time it takes us to drive around the building after placing our order. Information is at the tip of our finger tips now. Rarely do we need to take a trip to the library to investigate a matter now. We simply ask Siri.
If I’ve come to know anything about salvation and the way God works in the lives of people, It is rarely as quick as pulling through our local Chick fil A or as easy as speaking a question into our phones. God’s timing is not our timing and we all probably wish that God would work a bit quicker in our lives than he often does.
With that being said, there are some things that happen instantly when a person turns to trust Christ as their Savior. That’s what we want to focus on below.
My wife says that I’ll be deaf in just a couple more years. I’m not really deaf, I just have the spiritual gift of selective hearing. If the children are getting a bit loud in the house, I have the ability to turn the TV up a notch or two and ignore the ever increasing background noise. If the children are calling “Mama” over and over, I have the ability not to respond. After all, they’re not calling me. Right? I have trained my ear over the last 19 years to detect the level of difficulty of the favor she needs by the tone in which she uses when she calls my name. The greater the difficulty, the more hard of hearing I become.
This week we’ll explore how people come to hear the gospel – which is the first step. Before people can understand and respond to the gospel, they must first hear it.
“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?” Rom. 10.14.
I been in many conversations with people and when the topic of predestination or election comes up, the respond, “I just don’t believe in election.” There are a couple of options on dealing with this theological topic, but the above option isn’t a very good one.
Why? The topic can be found all throughout the pages of scripture.
“And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power” Dt 4:37.
6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face.” Dt 7:6–10.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Mt 22:14.*
“So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.” Ro 11:5.
So our best option isn’t to simply not believe in it, but to approach the topic from a biblical point of view.
I. Our Need For The Gospel: Total Depravity
Before we dive into the gospel over the next couple of weeks, let’s take a moment and quickly discuss our own need for the gospel. Why did God send Christ to die in such a cruel way to secure our redemption? Why was the cross necessary?