** This series of posts is designed to help Super Summer Students transition back into normal life after a glorious week. These posts should be helpful to any Christian wanting to grow and work through basic issues of Christian living. **
A key focus that we had in the Blue School at Super Summer was evangelism, sharing the message of Jesus with those who need to hear it. If you are a Christian, you probably already have had plenty of people tell you that it is your job as a Christ-follower to tell the lost world about Jesus. Those people are right. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus told his disciples that he has all the authority in the universe and that he commands us to go and make disciples out of the nations. Part of that process is us telling people about Jesus.
Generally, when we discuss the issue of sharing your faith with another person, one of two reasons surface as the things that hold you back. Some people will say to me that they do not share Jesus with others because they are afraid. They fear what others will think of them, that they may be hostile or judgmental. This is what the Bible calls fear of man. We will not address that particular point today, though if you would like a resource to help with the issue of fearing man, I recommend reading the following: Edward Welch. When People are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1997. 239 pp. $14.99.
Maybe, if I get time, I will return to overcoming the fear of man as an issue for our discussion. But for now, I recommend you read Welch.
The other reason that many people struggle to share their faith is a simple lack of understanding the message of Jesus Christ or how to present it. This issue is something that we worked to address in our Blue School at Super Summer.
One thing that I am convinced of is this: If you truly know the content of the biblical gospel, you will be able to present it to someone else. I do not think you need a slick strategy or a lot of clever arguments to share the gospel. If you will just honestly talk to someone, and if you truly understand the gospel, you will be able to tell others about Jesus.
In Blue School, we used a particular outline to help students to share Jesus with the lost. There are many different outlines that could be used, but this one seems to me to be easy-to-remember, honest, and complete enough. It comes from a little booklet or gospel tract produced by the folks at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. The tract is called Experiencing God’s G.R.A.C.E. The booklet uses the letters G.R.A.C.E. to help readers remember five key points of the Gospel:
G – God. God is Creator, holy, just, and loving. Because he made us, he has the right to command us to follow him and to do with us whatever he wants. He is perfect, and he sets the standard we must meet.
R – Rebellion. All mankind has rebelled against God by sinning both by nature and by choice. That puts us under God’s wrath and earns hell for us if things are not changed.
A – Atonement. Jesus Christ, God’s Son—God in flesh—came to earth and lived a perfect life. He then died as a sacrificial substitute, taking the punishment we deserve for our sins even though he never sinned. Jesus provides what we need to be made right with God by fulfilling all God’s law, paying the penalty for our sin, and offering us his perfect righteousness to make us able to enter into God’s presence.
C – Conversion. To be converted is to be changed. When we turn away from our sin and believe in or trust in Christ, we are truly converted, changed from children of God’s wrath to God’s very own children. When we believe in Jesus and trust him, we are saved.
E – Eternal life. If we trust in Jesus, God forgives us of all our sins and begins in us a new life that will last forever. We will live with joy in this life, enter God’s presence when we die or Christ returns, and be resurrected to a glorious new life with God forever.
If you would like to see the G.R.A.C.E. tract, you can see a PDF copy, listen to an audio reading, or check out a video presentation of it. I believe that, if you are struggling to know how to share your faith, looking at this booklet and working through it will be a great help to you.
The point is not that you memorize or even use the G.R.A.C.E. outline. The point is that you rightly present to a person who God is, what we have done to earn his wrath, who Jesus is, what Jesus did to make us right with God, and how we, by simply trusting Jesus and turning from sin can be saved from our sin and granted eternal life. Use whatever outline you need to , but share. Tell the truth, and then leave the results to God.