How Do You “Share the Gospel” if You Don’t Know What It Is?

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What is the gospel?

It is a question we all need to spend some time working on answering.

It isn’t steps of salvation – that is our response to the Gospel.

It isn’t just dying and going to heaven (although eternal life is part of the gospel).

But what is it?

Is it penal substitutionary atonement?

Or is it something else?

What is the gospel?

The more books I read the more complicated it seems to get and yet, somehow, for hundreds of years the church grew exponentially with an uncomplicated gospel.

I heard someone say there was an inverse correlation between how much theological education a person has and how much evangelizing they do. I don’t have the stats on that but I can believe that to be the case…that the more theological education you have the less likely you are to reach the lost.

Maybe it is because we learn so much nuance that it becomes nearly impossible to explain to a beginner and the people who need to hear it most are the uninitiated!

And if anyone is fascinated by nuance it’s me! But nuance and niche theology can become an idol and if our salt is becoming less salty because we have gone in so deep that it takes a PhD to decipher our conclusions.

We have a responsibility to be clear on the core tenants of our faith…to go back to the Bible, read it and determine what the gospel is really all about.

I will share my view on the gospel soon…stay tuned!

In the meantime, how would you define the gospel? What makes the good news good news? What makes salvation in Christ more significant than learning you are cancer free or that you won the lottery?

3 Responses

  1. Hm, where have I heard that before? 😉

    The gospel is simple: Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 
    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 

    The response to that message is also simple: And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 

    What happens next is also simple: So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 
    And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 

    Everyone had the same message – until there were some that did not – and are called to account for that!

    In our time, we are so used to “little” differences, without recognizing that “little” differences can become “big” differences over time.

    1. Well said, Rudy. The mysterious/controversial part, however, is “the gift of the Holy Spirit.” What IS that gift? Is it the H.S. Himself? Or something the H.S. gives?

      Matt, what is the basis for saying, “We are supposed to share the gospel”? (Multiple choice: Matt. 28:18-20? 1 Pet. 3:15? Other?)

  2. In the words of John the Apostle (and Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” That is the good news I share with others.

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