last sunday, i told you i have been feeling restless, feeling that God has something in mind for us as Threshold, and i asked you to pray for me as i listen carefully to God’s leading. to those who have been, i wanna say thanks. and please keep it up. i am beginning to sense something. something crucial.
in matthew 16, peter says out loud that Jesus is the Son of God. in return, Jesus said that this was the truth on which he would build his church, and the gates of hell would not stand up against its powerful advance. this means two things. first, the church stands on the gospel; and second, that the church must play offense, that is, we are to always be moving forward.
but what is the gospel? how many of us could write a good solid answer to that question if it were posed to us on an exam. or better yet, how many of us could answer that question verbally, especially if it were asked by one who does not know or accept Jesus?
that’s what i’m sensing – that not enough of us can. if we are gonna be an advancing church, standing on the gospel, then ultimately, there is no excuse for any of us at THD not to know it and be able to explain it.
“if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” – 1 Peter 3.15 NLT
in recent months, it has been my intention to say what the gospel is in every talk, every sunday. i may not always stop and say, ‘now here it is,’ but it’s in there. i thought for today’s post, though, that it might be helpful to lay it out using scripture, namely a handful of verses from the book of Romans.
there are five parts to this, as i will lay it out. it’s not the only way to do this, but i prefer it. i like it because each of the passages i will lay out here are all found in the same book of the Bible. i have them underlined in my bible with the corresponding number written beside each in the margin. if i have my bible in hand, it makes it very easy to walk someone through the gospel. now, i’m only gonna give you the references here. it’ll be up to you to follow each link in order to read the verses. better yet, go grab your bible and read/underline each one as you read through them. here we go…
1. God is there: Romans 1:18-20
2. We don’t care: Romans 3:10-12
3. We’re in trouble: Romans 3:23
5. The right response: Romans 10:9-10, 13
that’s it. that’s the gospel. it’s that simple, so don’t make it complicated. however, i will encourage you to read through all of romans 1-8 for the full context of the gospel.
1. is this how you have come to understand the gospel? have you taken the step outlined in part 5 and given your life to Christ? if not, the invitation is right there in front of you.
2. if you have received Christ, believed and confessed him, then you are obligated (back to 1 peter 3) to be ready to explain those five steps. so get on it. learn this. internalize it. create your own version, so to speak, using examples from your own life, and be prepared.
these are the basics. the very basics. the rock on which Jesus has built his church. the force behind the movement against which the powers of hell will lose. every time you speak it or share it, the church advances.
don’t weigh us down.