How To Share The Gospel
Do we know how to clearly present the gospel of Jesus to someone? Six scripture verses to share while witnessing.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook. I’m back again with you and the Word of God.
We’re looking at 1 Thessalonians, and I believe there’s a great deal of blessing there for you and for me, as God’s indwelling Holy Spirit enlightens our minds and guides us in the eternal truths of God. The Bible comes alive when you trust the Holy Spirit to enlighten you and to teach you. Jesus said, “when He is come He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
So as we talked together in these precious moments that we invest together you and I, let the Holy Spirit guide you and He may say something to your heart which I have not verbalized at all, but it’s yours because it came from Him.
Well, we are in the 5th verse of chapter 1, “our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord.” What’s the sequence there? It begins with what you say, not in word only, but it is in word, it’s in what you say.
Small thought here: Have you given any consideration to the importance of knowing what to say about the gospel? How to present it clearly? If I were to ask you… Imagine for a moment that you have come upon the scene of an accident, and I was the victim of that accident, and I was badly injured and thought I might be dying, and I looked at you. Imagine that I looked at you and said, “I think I’m dying, and I’m afraid to die. What can I do? Help me.” What would you say? Can you say clearly what the message of hope is in the Lord Jesus? You can’t say to that person “join the church,” you can’t say “be baptized,” you can’t say “go pay all your debts and make everything right.” No, because the person that we’re imagining now is badly injured and may be dying; can’t move, bones broken, blood flowing from lacerations and cuts. What do you say? You give some thought to that. Word is important. What you say is important. Be able to explain the gospel clearly.
I was greatly helped back in the 1940s by running on to the topical memory system that is put out by an organization called the Navigators. They have their headquarters in Colorado Springs. And I got a hold of this topical memory system. It – the beginning group is I think 108 different verses grouped together by topics. One is for assurance of salvation, one is for the matter of facing temptation, and another group of verses for answered prayer, and so on.
And then there was a group of verses that was called the gospel. I got hold of one sequence of those verses and have used them ever since, for nearly 50 years now. I have been using this sequence of verses when I talked with people about what we call the gospel. May I give them to you? I’ve used this sequence a number of times on the radio – I realize that – but now we’re talking about it, and perhaps I ought to share it with you once again because you may not have heard it before.
Get your pencil and a piece of paper, and you will want to write these down with the subtitles so that you understand them and recall them later on. There are six, I believe, verses that help you explain the gospel to anybody.
The first is called the “The Fact of Sin,” and the Scripture verse there is Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And the emphasis of course is on the word “all.” You see how many is all? They say everybody. Does that include you and me? Yes. So what is that? Identified you as being a sinner. “All have sinned.”
Now here’s the second verse. It’s called “The Penalty For Sin,” and the Scripture is Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.” I generally say, “You do your best but you fail now and then, isn’t that right?” and the individual says, “Yes.” But if you keep on doing your best but failing now and then, what does this verse say will happen? “The wages,” and that actually means “the bonus beyond what you deserve,” “the bonus that sin pays.” “The wages of sin is death.” Physical death, yes, but spiritual and eternal death as well, yes.
Then you’re going to the third passage, Hebrews 9:27, and the subtitle for that is “The Penalty Must Be Paid.” “The Penalty Must Be Paid.” Hebrews 9:27 is the verse, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27. You do your best but you fail, you come to the end of your life. What then do you have to face? God’s Holy Judgment. The penalty must be paid.
The fourth Scripture is, the subtitle is, “Christ Paid The Penalty,” and the Scripture for that is Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” What’s the penalty for sin? Death. What did Christ do? Died. For whom? For us. Christ paid the penalty. Romans 5:8.
Now, the fifth passage. The subtitle is “Salvation of Free Gift.” “Salvation of Free Gift,” and the Scripture is Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It’s a gift. Free. You can’t earn it, you can’t deserve it, certainly. God’s gift. Why? Because Christ paid the penalty and so God can give you His salvation.
Now, the sixth and last verse in this sequence. The subtitle is “You Must Receive A Gift.” In order to have a gift, you have to receive it, so “must receive the gift,” and the Scripture there is John 1:12. John 1, verse 12, “But as many has received Him…” See, God’s gift turns out to be a wonderful person, the Lord Jesus, who by His Holy Spirit comes to dwell in your life when you trust Him as Lord and Savior. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” What do you want to be? You want to be a child of God. How do you do it? You receive a person who comes in and brings His life with Him. And second, it said “believe on His name.” You trust Him to do in His name. Means people used to be named for what they do. There was Mr. Baker and Mr. Banker and Mr. Shoemaker and so on. My name is Mr. Cook. If you trusted me to do what my name means, what would you let me do? You let me do the cooking.
Well, His name is Jesus. Do you know what that name means? “Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins,” Matthew 1:21 tells us. And so you trust Him to save you. You want to become a child of God? What must you do? Receive Him and trust Him to do what His name means – to save you.
Now, those six verses. There they are: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9 and John 1:12. Back in the early ’40s I learned them backwards and forwards so that I could remember them without looking at the text, and I could put the Bible upside down to me so that the person with whom I was speaking could read the verse for himself. That’s always very good. Have the person with whom you’re speaking read the Scripture for himself or herself. In that way, the Holy Spirit of God could fasten in the mind more easily. And there’ve been many, many people led to Christ by that simple expedient. And it took longer for me to give it to you than it would for me to share it with someone else, because I tried to explain it as we went along. You understand that.
The gospel “in word.” Yes, please give some thought to knowing what to say about Jesus. The best way to know what to say about Jesus is to memorize Scripture about Him. John 5:39, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me,” said our Lord. The best way to know what to say about Jesus is to memorize Scriptures that speak of Him and of His blessed work. “In word” is very important. But then, Paul says, “not in word only” because if you stop there, if there’s nothing to back it up, oh boy, it isn’t worth anything.
Ollie Short, who for many years was my dear friend, still is and was the Food Service Director at the college before he retired. He came from Georgia and he had a number of quaint expressions that originated down South. And we were talking one day about someone who is saying some things that weren’t all of them entirely pleasant, and I didn’t know whether to take it seriously or not. Mr. Short looked at me and he said, “Oh,” he said, “Dr. Cook, he just running his mouth.” He just running his mouth.
Well, do you remember the politician who turned his mouth on and started making a speech and then went away, came back later, and there he was? Well, some people do that, of course. They talk but it doesn’t mean an awful lot. You better have something to back up your statement about the gospel, hadn’t you? Yes, I think we’d better. Our gospel says, “came not unto you in word only.” What you say is important, but, there’s something else. “But also in power.” “Not in word only but also in power.” Oh, the power of God, and that of course is that familiar word “dunamis,” the word from which we get “dynamic” and “dynamite.” “In power,” not in word only but in “dunami.” That’s the grammatical form of the word “dunamis” as used here.
Now that word is the, the best description of it, is that the power like the sun that never burns out. Power like the sun that never burns out. It just never quits, it doesn’t get stopped by anything, it can’t be extinguished. John says in his first chapter in his gospel, “The light shineth in darkness and the darkness is not able to put it out.” That’s part of what it takes to give out the gospel, and that of course comes from the presence and work of the Holy Spirit of God in your life. You shall receive power. Same word. After that the Holy Ghost comes upon you and “ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” Witnessing for Christ effectively depends upon the indwelling Holy Spirit working in your life.
We’ll come back to this the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, oh, may we speak Thy Word in truth and in power, in Jesus’ name I ask it, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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