One of the pleasures of our current study in 2 Corinthians is having the opportunity to remind ourselves how central the Gospel is to the Christian heart and life. And no wonder, the Gospel is the greatest news ever entrusted to the hands of men! The Good News is that God has provided for the salvation of sinners in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and He freely offers that salvation to all who will accept it. The Gospel offers life to people bound for death. It is, then, a message of the greatest importance. What news can compare with it?
As we have seen in 2 Corinthians, Paul realizes the great responsibility of carrying such a life-giving message, but he never lets the weight of that responsibility keep him from sharing it. "Who is adequate for these things?" he asks. But he provides the answer as well: "our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of the New Covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:5-6).
We, too, are adequate in Christ. While some Christians can't stop sharing the Gospel, most Christians do so cautiously, even rarely -- not because they don't care, but because they fear rejection, or don't have the confidence to get it right. They worry about all the potential questions and challenges that may come their way. But that thinking is going right back to our own adequacy -- the very thing that cannot succeed even if we are brave and brilliant. No one is adequate, but God always is. The Spirit of God applies the Gospel message to the heart of the hearer, not us. If we have the basic content of the Gospel right, we cannot "fail" when we share it. The response is God's business, whether the hearer is softened or hardened in the exchange. Leave the results to God.
What is the basic content of the Gospel? Follow the Romans road!
- Romans 3:23: "all have sinned and fall short..."
- Romans 5:8: Even in our sin, God loves us and Christ died for us.
- Romans 6:23: We have earned death, but eternal life is God's free gift.
- Romans 8:1: "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
- Romans 10:9-10: We receive this salvation by confessing Jesus as our Lord, and believing from the heart in His resurrection.
That's it! You can use any Bible anywhere to share the path to salvation in Christ. You may even want to memorize these simple verses.
So let's commit to seeking the salvation of others. Pray for individuals you know. Pray for opportunities to lead the conversation to Jesus Christ. Any conversation that even touches on spiritual matters can be turned to the Gospel with these simple, non-threatening questions: "Has anyone ever shared the Gospel with you?" "What do you understand the Good News to be?" Whatever the answer, you can share what the true Gospel is and point the sinner to Jesus. Determine to share with at least one person in the days ahead.
Yours in Christ
Originally printed in The AFBC Pony Express. Vol. V, No. 2, February 2012.