September 9, 2010
Pastor Bob Hammond
First, Recognize That Christians are Commanded to be Prepared to Share the Gospel.
In 1 Peter 3:15, we're commanded to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
Understand that God's Words Are the Words That We Should Use to Share the Gospel
Too often, Christians fail to share the gospel because they don't believe they have the right words. In Hebrews 4:12, we read "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." We have the right words, because we have God's words! Let's not neglect to use the words of God when sharing the gospel and leading lost people to Christ!
Understand That When We Share the Gospel, We're Calling Unbelievers to "Repentance" and Faith in Christ Alone
When we share the gospel, our goal is not to coerce an unbeliever to blindly repeat a "sinners prayer." Rather, our goal is to lead an unbeliever to repent of his sins and to genuinely place his faith in Christ. Too often, we've overlooked to role of repentance in salvation. Indeed, repentance is mentioned 66 times throughout the New Testament.
- 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
- Matthew 4:17 "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
- Mark 1:14-15 14 ¶ Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Repentance simply involves a conscious decision to turn away from sin and to turn toward Christ. A true conversion follows repentance and placing one's faith in Christ alone for salvation!
Be Prepared to Explain that We Can't Earn Salvation Through "Good Works"
The Bible is clear that there's nothing that we can do to earn salvation. Importantly, we aren't saved by the works of Baptism or any church sacraments. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul emphasized, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Be Prepared by Learning A Simple Method to Share God's Words
"Romans Road" is a helpful method for using the words of God to share the gospel. This method focuses on using seven Bible verses to share the gospel message. Consider sharing these seven verses, in order:
1. Romans 3:23
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
2. Romans 5:8
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
3. Romans 5:12
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
4. Romans 6:23
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
5. Romans 10:9-11
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
6. Romans 10:13
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
How can I remember these verses?
Ask the Lord to help you memorize these verses. Consider writing each verse on an index card - with the goal of learning one verse each week for seven weeks. Meanwhile, make notes in your Bible to mark the "path down the Romans Road." For example, at Roman 3:23, write the reference for next verse to be read ("Romans 5:8") in the margin of your Bible. This will help you remember that Romans 5:8 is the next verse to be shared. Similarly, at Romans 5:8, write "Romans 5:12" in the margin of your Bible -- continuing through all seven verses above.
- Mark Romans Road in your Bible;
- Pray and ask the LORD to open doors to share the gospel;
- Remain sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit;
- Be prepared for spiritual opposition! And remember, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)