Heavens Light 9-25-09 The Gospel – The Message of Jesus Christ – The Gospel and Evangelism

The Gospel – The Message of Jesus Christ

The Gospel and Evangelism


Acts 1:8

but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;

and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,

and even to the remotest part of the earth. NASB


Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

To be sure, this is not to say that people don’t make a conscious choice to believe in Christ and that we don’t try to persuade them to believe, of course we do. People must make a conscious choice to be saved and respond to the Gospel in repentance and faith. Of course they must and this is the response we seek from them when preaching the Gospel to them. It is important to recognize however (not for the hearer but for the Christian witness), that if and when they do respond with true repentance and saving faith, they have done so by the power of God through regeneration and primarily because of His choice for their salvation. The outworking of His election then does have a moment in time and space when it comes to fruition and someone believes and is saved. This conversion is what we seek when sharing the Gospel even though we realize it is a supernatural work that God must perform in the hearts. So we seek to sow the Gospel seed, and expect others to water somewhere down the road, but it is God that causes the growth and brings to life. We may see one come to faith and repentance, and we may not.

1 Corinthians 3:5-7 – 5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. NASB

Further, in sowing this Gospel seed we should seek to accurately and vividly portray the Gospel in the most serious yet amiable way that we can. After all, a right response to Christ’s Gospel call is the most important decision that anyone will ever make. It will either be the “fragrance of life” to them or the smell of death, but they must either repent and believe, or perish. There is no middle ground with Christ. Either He is Savior and Lord, or we are at enmity with Him. In His words, either we will repent, or we will perish.

Luke 13:5 – 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” NASB

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 – 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? NASB

But as a Gospel witness, even though we seek a human response to our fervent efforts to persuade men of their lost condition and need to repent and believe, we also realize that this ability only comes from God through regeneration and effectual calling, so we are able to be both bold and patient with our hearers knowing that God will work His own will in His own good time. We can be bold because we carry the very words of life and we have direct orders from the Sovereign of the universe to do it. We carry the message of the triumphant King coming in to conquer what is rightfully His, and we are ambassadors sent to warn and encourage our subjects to surrender and be blessed or to resist and be destroyed. However, surrender or resistance is not in our power to grant, but we only come as a messenger of the good news of free forgiveness for rebellion and gracious lovingkindness and blessing to all who will surrender.

Our job is to be faithful to the message of the King and a good ambassador of His Kingdom. A godly Christian example and clear presentation of the Gospel are the most effective tools we have to point people to Christ, but only He can give them a “new heart and a new spirit.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 – 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. NASB

Another important thing to remember is that God does all good things in His own good time. Therefore we must be patient in seeing others come to Christ. Many times God uses several people and different means to bring people to Himself and we are just one of these tools in the hands of God to help get them there. Therefore it is important to be patient and loving as we witness, hope and pray for the salvation of those to whom we preach. Consider these words again from J.I. Packer….. “if on the other hand, you meet a person who is not thus prepared, a person who as yet has no conviction of the truth of the Gospel and perhaps no idea, or even a false idea, of what the Gospel actually is, it is worse than useless to try and stampede him into a “snap” decision. You may be able to bully him into a psychological crisis of some sort, but that will not be saving faith and will do him no good. What you have to do is take time with him, to make friends with him, to get alongside him, to find out where he is in terms of spiritual understanding, and to start dealing with him at that point. You have to explain the Gospel to him, and be sure that he understands it and is convinced of its truth, before you start pressing him to an active response. You have to be ready to help him, if need be, through a spell of seeking to repent and believe before he knows within himself that he has received Christ, and Christ has received him. At each stage you have to be willing to go along with him at God’s speed, which may seem to you a strangely slow speed. But that is God’s business, not yours. Your business is simply to keep pace with what God is doing in his life. Your willingness to be patient with him in this way is the proof of your love of him no less than of your faith in God. If you are not willing thus to be patient, you need not expect that God will favor you by enabling you to win souls.” With this knowledge then of the Sovereignty of God and of the inevitable human response that is necessary for anyone to be saved, let us draw several conclusions from what we have learned.

God is Sovereign – People come to faith by the effectual calling of the Spirit of God because they have been elected by God. God is Sovereign in who the elect are, and He in His own time and in His own divine method saves those whom He has chosen.

Universal Call – We have no ability to discern who the elect are and are not, therefore we are diligent to preach the free offer of the Gospel to all people in hopes that they are elect and will respond, regardless of race, class, gender or any other distinction. Their salvation remains in God’s effectual call, not our ability to wrangle them with fine sounding words or skillful apologetic arguments. These may help, but in the final analysis it is the effectual calling of God that brings people to conversion.

Prayer Prayer is a vital part of evangelism as salvation requires the hand of God to move upon an individual and regenerate their soul and give them the ability to grasp the Gospel. God in His sovereignty then, has been pleased to allow us to participate in people’s salvation through prayer and preaching. Praying for the salvation of those to whom we witness is important and necessary.

Gospel content – Our methodology is not the primary issue in evangelism but rather the content of the message of the Gospel itself is primary because it alone is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” The content of the Gospel message is a matter of grave importance so that we clearly articulate the Apostolic (of Jesus and the Apostles) message of the Gospel.

Human Response – It is of utmost importance that we stress upon people their responsibility to repent of their sins and make a conscious choice to trust in Christ as their righteousness before God. Their must be a public conscious response to Christ of which baptism is the crowning event of ones public confession and identification with Christ as both Savior from death and Lord of our life.

Christian Duty – It is our responsibility to be a witness of the Christ and His Gospel, but it is not our responsibility to somehow change people’s hearts. That is God’s work. Therefore let us simply present Christ and Him crucified, and do this to the best of our frail ability and leave the results to God. This should allow us to be bold, patient and faithful in our proclamation of the Gospel as we confidently rest in the fact that God’s Word will accomplish that which He sent it for.

Important things in sharing the Gospel

There are no magic bullets when it comes to sharing the Gospel. It is simply a matter of us being a faithful ambassador of the message of Christ. However there are many guiding principles that can help us to be as effective as possible.

1)      Simple Message – Communicate the simple truths of the Gospel clearly.

God – It is a message about the One true and living God and His claim on our lives as our Sovereign Creator and Righteous Judge.

Man – Man was created by God, in God’s image, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But man sinned against God by disobeying His holy law. Man therefore separated himself from God’s holy and satisfying presence, and incurred His wrathful displeasure. This is why there is death and suffering in the world.

Christ – Christ’s death was the substitute payment for the penalty that we deserved for our sin. His death is God’s only provision for the forgiveness of man’s sin and the appeasement of God’s wrath against him. His life provides a perfect righteousness for us in the sight of God.

ResponseWe are called to respond to this good news in repentance and belief – turning away from our sin and self-sufficiency toward God, and trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the substitute penalty that we deserved for our sin.

In one sentence, “Man has been separated from God (the Creator and sustainer of life) because of sin, and sin is why there is death in the world, and Christ is God’s provision to atone for man’s sins, and man can simply receive God’s provision through repentance and faith.”

Romans 3:21-24 – 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; NASB

2)      Gentleness and Respect – It is important to be a witness with Christian character and integrity. You carry the words of eternal life to dying sinners and you represent the King of virtue. As a witness of Christ therefore, we are to be a witness of Christ’s character to others as well as a witness of His message.

1 Peter 3:15 – 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; NASB

Matthew 5:16 – 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. NASB

3)      Old, Old Story – The Gospel never changes according to the shifting winds of culture or modernity or fads of any kind. It is a message about the historical facts of Jesus Christ and what He HAS accomplished through His life, death and resurrection. Redemption has been accomplished by Christ. It is therefore the fulfillment of the exact requirements of God to meet the demands of His own justice, and Christ performed that perfectly. It ever remains therefore, the unchanging power of God for all who receive it with authentic, persevering faith.

Romans 1:16-17 – 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” NASB

4)      Personal Savior and Lord – Jesus is a personal Savior and Lord for every individual who believes. This means that each person must come to Him personally and be saved by Him for their own personal sins. Each person must submit to Jesus as Lord, in repentance from sin and personal trust in Him alone as their righteousness before God to be saved. 

John 3:36 – 6 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” NASB

5)      A Right Response, Faith and Repentance – It is of utmost importance that we stress upon people their responsibility to repent of their sins and make a conscious choice to trust in Christ as their righteousness before God. Their must be a public conscious response to Christ of which baptism is the crowning event of ones public confession and identification with Christ as both Savior from death and Lord of our life.

6)      A Message about God – Many people in our era and culture have no fundamental understanding about God, or at best, a flawed view of God which is defined by much error. To make this matter worse, many in our “postmodern, pluralistic” culture, people have re-defined God to fit there own criteria of what they want God to be like, rather than who He really is according to reality. Therefore it is important to give people, to some degree, a fundamental and corrected view of God in order to lay a foundation for the Gospel message.

Acts 17:24-25, 30-31 – 24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; 30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” NASB

It is important then to stress that people are estranged from God personally and need to be

reconciled to Him personally.

7)      Nothing More Important – The Gospel is good news of great joy, but it is also a serious matter of utmost importance. Undoubtedly we will meet with much resistance if we are faithful to the true Gospel. But we should not let this discourage us. We will need much courage to proclaim the Gospel regularly and accurately. We must ask the question to ourselves, Which matters more – our reputation or their salvation? It is a serious matter of utmost importance and a supreme act of love for neighbor to tell people the Gospel.

 Luke 13:5 – 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” NASB

8)      Keep Learning – A brand new Christian can tell someone the Gospel, but a seasoned and experienced Christian can do it with much more accuracy and clarity. More than this, many will meet us with a variety of questions which need sincere and truthful answers. These answers can give much aid to people who are coming the Christ. Therefore it is important for us to be able to meet these questions with Scripture and explanations from the Bible that address people’s most troubling doubts, fears and objections. This usually accompanies people in the early days of embracing the Gospel message.

Colossians 4:4-6 – 5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. NASB

9)      God is Sovereign – It is our responsibility to be a witness of the Christ and His Gospel, but it is not our responsibility to somehow change people’s hearts. That is God’s work. Their salvation remains in God’s effectual call, not our ability to wrangle them with fine sounding words or skillful apologetic arguments. These may help, but in the final analysis it is the effectual calling of God that brings people to conversion.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 – And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.


Let us therefore be kind, straightforward and gentle in our witness to others. We can be both

bold and patient as we depend on God to change their hearts.


This teaching is a part of a 18 month series called “The Savior, The Cross, and The Gospel” ….


See the Outline here….. http://www.abqhcf.com/lessons/08-09/handouts/abc/Brochure-08-09.pdf


This teaching can be heard on audio here:  




If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. 





If you have comments or questions, please do respond to shaan@heavenslight.org

If you would like to be added or add someone to this email list, just reply with “sign me up” and the address you want it sent to. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life


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