May 08, 2020 | Spiritual Disciplines | Witness by Jim Gillespie
[The following is an excerpt from the training booklet, Equipping Evangelism]
Tell The Truth
The first and most important step in sharing the Gospel is to tell the truth.
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. - Romans 1:16
The Gospel is a statement of the truth. It is not a sales pitch or an idea that we must convince people to believe. We do not need to defend it; we are only commanded to present it. Sometimes we make things more complicated than they really are. The Gospel can be summed up in a simple statement of what the Bible says is true.
Here is a summary of what we believe:
- We believe the Bible is true.
- The Bible says there is one true living God who has created everything including us.
- He created us in His image to have a relationship with Him forever.
- The Bible says that because of our thoughts, motivations, and deeds, which are against God, we have broken our relationship with Him.
- The Bible says because we are the ones who broke the relationship we cannot fix it; we have no hope in having a relationship with God by our deeds.
- We need someone to pay for our sin.
- Because God loves us so much He made a way for us to have a relationship with Him.
- He sent His Son who was all God and all man, who was born of a virgin, who lived a sinless life, died an atoning death, and three days later He rose again in a faithful resurrection and offers us salvation as a free gift.
- The Bible says that if we place our trust in Jesus to pay for our sin we can be reconciled to God forever.
This is the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). Evangelism is just telling people the truth and that truth is enough; we don’t need anything else.
What Evangelism is Not
So, if evangelism is telling the truth then a good topic to tackle next might be considering what evangelism is not.
Evangelism is not Apologetics
We have not been commanded to ask and answer questions about theology or cultural events, or to disprove a worldview. We have been commanded to proclaim His Gospel. Sometimes instead of just talking with someone we try and prove how the Bible is true and what he or she believes is wrong. This almost always brings the conversation to a point of unnecessary conflict. We do not need to know what people believe, or even why they believe what they believe, to share truth. We only need to know what we believe and then present that to them in the most loving way possible without compromise.
One of the greatest fears for most people in presenting the Gospel is that they will be asked a question to which they do not know the answer. Evangelism is not about knowing everything; it is about knowing someone, Jesus.
Evangelism is not Silent
Sometimes we can tell ourselves that all we need to do is invite people to church or live the Christian life in front of them. Both of these things are great and biblical, but they are not evangelism. Evangelism is presenting the truth of the Gospel to others in order for them to either receive or reject Jesus as their Savior.
Evangelism is not Complicated
The truth of the Bible is something you have personally experienced. You know the Gospel because you have experienced it in your life. As we live our lives we find ourselves in conversations all the time, from everyday superficial meetings to talking with friends and coworkers or deep conversations with family and loved ones. All of these conversations are opportunities to bring God glory and praise by telling them the truth about Jesus.