I was sitting in the conference room, alongside my classmates, absorbing our seminar for the day about preaching the Gospel. We reflected on Gospel truths, and were challenged to think critically about how to communicate those truths clearly.
Yet, our trainer didn’t merely present the material, he didn’t stop in the simplicity of Gospel truths, rather, he pressed us deeper into the Gospel by proposing, to us, a question:
“How has the Gospel affected you today?”
In that moment, I recognized the deep value of what he was teaching us. I felt convicted and compelled. I was reminded that sharing the Gospel isn’t limited to a script or a process, it is reflected in an overflow of our own hearts.
See, it can be easy for us to skip by simple truths we know. It can be easy to have head knowledge and, out of familiarity, prevent it’s soaking into the depths of our heart. But how can we communicate what we believe about the work of Jesus, without it affecting us first in our daily life?
First, we need to know it. The beautiful, amazing good news that we can receive is God’s promise to make right everything wrong in us and the world, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in us, and Christ’s imminent return (Lon Allison, 2014). In all the corruption, evil, and wickedness we experience, there is a promise for it all to become right. The Gospel is not just a ticket we punch for heaven, it is an invitation to the fullest life possible here and now, that means it influences us daily.
Second, we see it’s relevance to us, today. We see that in our loneliness, he brings intimacy; in our guilt we experience forgiveness; in our chaos, He brings order; in our search for happiness, He gives joy. When we are overcome by fears and anxieties, He stands over us and speaks peace. In our doubts and feelings of insignificance, God ordains purpose for our life. Within our suffering, He reassures us with His presence, healing and promises. These are a few of God’s wonderful provisions for us, which we do not earn or deserve. They are His gifts of grace toward us each and every day.
Third, we declare it. In 1 John we read “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3). The apostles were sharing the Gospel out of what they had tangibly experienced. They saw with their eyes, they touched with their hands and they told others all about it.
In the same way, we encounter Jesus and then go out, sharing those truths with others around us. Psalm 71:15 says, “my mouth will tell about Your righteousness
and Your salvation all day long, though I cannot sum them up.” Our everyday lives aren’t meant to be lifeless or without purpose. The God who created the universe has made a way, through Jesus, for relationship with Him. May our mouths be full of praise for all He has done for us, that we would faithfully declare His Good News to those around us.
J.I. Packer writes that “the task of the church is to make the invisible kingdom visible through faithful Christian living and witness-bearing” (Concise Theology, p.194). As the body of Christ, we have been given the privilege of making Jesus known to the world - to our own world; our communities, our people. We need to pursue our relationship with Jesus, be faithful in our character and live with purpose in what He has given us to do. Taking time to reflect on what He has done for us, because it makes a difference in our lives, today. Let us be affected deeply by the Gospel, so that our message is an outpouring of the fullness of our hearts.
How has the Gospel affected you today?