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Engaging with others about the Gospel

Updated: Jan 31

Below is the gospel Clearly defined. After we define the gospel, we will break down the 5 "gospel threads" (adapted from David Platt's 'gospel threads' book) and how to use them in everyday conversations to lead others to faith in Christ alone for salvation.

(This is also a preview of my 6 week basic evangelism class that I plan (Lord willing) to teach next Spring in 2024. Stay Tuned for the start date soon!)

Basic Gospel Threads Overview:

  1. The Character of God (Proverbs 17:15)- God is Holy & can't overlook evil.

  2. The Sinfulness of Man (Romans 3:12-23)- All humans have broken God's law.

  3. The sufficiency of Christ (1 John 3:5)- Christ, the God-man, died to pay for sinners guilt before God.

  4. The necessity of repentance & faith in Christ (Romans 10:9)- We must trust in Christ's work & turn from our sin and self.

  5. The urgency of eternity (Hebrews 9:27)- All people will stand before God accountable for their sins, which will be covered in Christ or paid in hell for all eternity.

***Start working on memorizing the verses above and practice explaining the simple gospel with friends and family using the scriptures and/or drawing the picture below.

The Gospel clearly defined:

The gospel is the announcement of the good news that the only true (1) God, the just and gracious Creator of the universe, has looked upon hopelessly (2) sinful men and women and has sent (3) his son, God in the flesh, to bear his wrath against sin through his substitutionary death on the cross and to show his power over sin and death in the resurrection from the grave so that everyone who (4) turns from their sin and themselves and trusts in Jesus alone as savior and Lord will be reconciled to God forever. This is an (5) urgent message as it is appointed unto man to die once and then comes the judgement in eternity.

Evangelism: "The proclamation of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit with the aim of persuading people to repent and believe in Christ." (Secret Church guide, Platt)

A Few reminders before thinking about Gospel threads:

  • Abide: Make sure you are trusting and abiding in God's Word regularly and seeking him in prayer (John 15; Psalm 1127:1).

  • Fear God, not man: The fear of man is one of the greatest hindrances to Biblical evangelism (Proverbs 29:25; Psalm 118:6; Isaiah 41;10; Hebrews 13:6; Galatians 1:10).

  • Go & Make Disciples: You don't need to seek some mystical inner feeling or vision on who you should share the gospel & disciple. All people need to repent and trust in Jesus and all believers are commanded to "GO & Make Disciples" (Matt 28:18-20) (click here for more more on the Greek of Matt. 28 ) and thus all believers should Go locally and globally and disciple as many as they are able to in connection with a Biblically faithful church.

  • Throw off anything that is hindering you & Confess: Unconfessed sin can cripple your effectiveness in evangelism and quench the Spirit's controlling influence in your life to boldly proclaim the gospel (1 Thess. 5:19; Acts 2:4; 4:8; Hebrews 12:1-2). Quickly confess your sins to the Lord (1 John 1:9) and to each other (James 5:16) and then boldly proclaim to others what the Lord has done in your life!

    • To the potential New Christian: If you are not a Christian believer now, then turn from your sin and your self right now and put your trust in the Lord and Savior, Jesus (romans 10:9). Now share this NEW reality with other believers & unbelievers right away! Share how God has taken away your guilt and given you a new life in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    • Current Believer: If you are already a believer but just confessed your sin: Rejoice! Your fellowship with the Lord has been renewed and you are growing in your walk in the light with Him! (1 John 2:1-6)

  • God changes hearts: The Lord changes hearts, yet uses His ambassadors to proclaim His message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20; Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25; John 6:44). Our job is to be faithful ambassadors for the truth of the Gospel announcement. We reason to the Glory of God and in the dependency of the Spirit (Acts 17:2, 26:29). God ordains the ends and the means of bringing sinners to salvation, which is his servants proclaiming and engaging with others about the truth of His Word & Gospel and demolishing arguments that set themselves up against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

  • Always point people to the Word of God & His gospel: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:14-17). Even in your reasoning with others (Acts 17:2), you want to point people to the Word, explain the Word, explain why only the Biblical worldview can account for reality and why Jesus and His Word is clear, authoritative and sufficient for life, salvation and godliness (2 Tim 3:15-17).

  • Gardening or harvesting: You are always either gardening/sowing or harvesting.

    • Harvesting- when the Lord uses your proclamation of the Word of God (Romans 10:14-17) to lead someone to faith in Christ.

    • Gardening- When you put a rock in their shoe and give them something to think about by weaving one or more of the gospel threads. (John 4:31-38; Col. 4:2-6). See below for more details.

  • Testimonies: Your testimony isn’t the gospel, but it should contain a clear gospel message with the gospel threads.

Gospel Threads

Using the Gospel Threads

Tips for explaining each thread:

  • Explain each portion of the thread with the scriptures. The Gospel is SO EASY to explain that a young child can learn how to do it. You can just read the scriptures above and draw the picture of the gospel threads above.

    • Memorize: Work on Memorizing at least one scripture that goes with each of the 5 gospel threads so that you can quickly find and explain those verses to an unbeliever.

  • Ask questions to get the unbeliever thinking about these Biblical truths.

1. God- The Character of God

  • God is the Creator (Gen 1:1)

    • Questions to ask:

      • What is your understanding of who God is? How do you know?

      • If God made us in his image, wouldn’t that mean that he has designed us for a specific purpose in life? Wouldn't that mean we can't create our own purpose bit thar we discover it? (To know Him ans make Him Known, John 17:3).

  • God is Holy (Is 43:15; 1 Sam. 2:2)

    • Questions to ask:

      • What is your standard for what is right and wrong?

      • How serious to you think it is very a creatureto rebel against a perfectly good, holy and pure God?

  • God is Just (Proverbs 17:15)

    • Question to ask:

      • Would God be just to overlook and not punish evil?

  • God is gracious (Titus 2:11-14)

    • Questions to ask:

      • If God is love, then shouldn’t we define love by the character of God himself?

      • Do you know of any other story where the hero dies for the villain?

2. The sinfulness of Man (Us)

  • We were made for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:7)

    • Question to ask: What is the purpose of life?

  • We have ALL Rebelled against our Creator and have fallen short of His Glory (Romans 3:12; 23 James 2:10; Ex 20)

    • Question to ask and terms to define more:

      • What is sin? Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude or nature.

        • Act- stealing, lying, murder, cheating, etc, (Ex 20)

        • Attitude- lust, coveting, selfishness, anger, jealousy (matt 5:22; Ex 20:17; Gal 5:20)- sinful/deceitful desires (Eph 4:22)

        • Nature “we were by nature children of wrath” and have deceitful hearts (Eph 2:3; Jer 17:9)

      • Do you consider yourself a good person? By what standard? Are you good compared to God’s perfection? Have you broken his Commands? (James 2:10)

      • We need to…“be perfect as [y]our heavenly father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 quoting Leviticus 19:2, be ‘holy’)---- Are you perfect like God is? According to what standard?

      • Would you like to look at how God describes the seriousness of human rebellion to Him?

      • What do you think is the ultimate problem of humanity and how can it be fixed?

      • What do you think is a just consequence for humans that rebel against a holy God? (Rev 20:11-15)

  • We are Separated from God (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:2)

    • Questions to Ask:

      • What causes separation between you and those you love? Can I explain to you why you have separation from your creator according to the Bible?

      • What do you do with your guilt for the wrong things you have done?

  • Dead: We are Spiritually Dead apart from faith in Christ (Romans 6:23)

    • Questions to ask:

      • If you can get into heaven by your good works, doesn’t that mean that God has compromised his own standard of justice and holiness?

      • Are all of your desires pure and in agreement with God’s character all the time? Why not? Can I share with you how God can give you a new heart and new desires? (2 Cor. 5:17)

      • Do you think it’s possible that human nature is the problem? Why do people still do evil things even when they have a lot of money or education?

3.The Sufficiency of Christ

  • Life (1 John 3:5)

    • Questions to Ask & more points to make:

      • Jesus lived a life of perfection because he is God (John 1:1) and that is what was required (Hebrews 2:17) in order for him to be a perfect sacrifice on our behalf.

      • Would you like to read and discuss together what Jesus actually taught?

  • Death (1 Peter 2:24)

    • Question to ask:

      • Have you had someone else pay a penalty that you owed? Jesus died in the place of sinners to pay the just penalty for your rebellion

  • Resurrection (Rev 1:18)

    • Question to ask:

      • Can I explain to you why I believe the resurrection is a true historical event and why it gives me hope for the future?

      • Can I explain to you why the 12 disciples of Jesus, along with myself, believe that following Jesus is worth everything it cost to follow him? (Phil 1:21; Rev 12:11)

“Jesus is the only way because he is the only one that answers the problem.” Greg Koukl 4. The Necessity of faith

  • Turn/Repent (Mark 1:15)

    • Scriptural point to make:

      • Repentance means putting off the old self (Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:1-17)

      • Former manner of life had- “deceitful desires”

      • Implication: sinful desires (lust, coveting, etc) should be put to death by the renewing of our mind (Eph 4:12; Romans 12:2) around the Word of God.

  • Trust (Rom 10:9; Romans 4:5 John 6:37)- you must put your trust IN Christ and not just trust THAT he can save you.

    • Questions to ask:

      • What do you think about what we have discussed so far?

      • Are you ready to trust in Christ and confess him as Lord right now? Ready to ask him to cleanse your sins forever and surrender your life to him? why or why not?

      • Can we talk some about the cost of following Jesus and what it means to trust him by faith alone?

      • Do you know what discipleship means?

      • Can we discuss Jesus’ Words on what is means to make disciples? (Matt 28:18-20) Explain.

5. The Urgency of eternity

  • Eternity is serious (John 3:16-18)- eternity in hell is a frightening reality for those that reject the cure for their guilt and rebellion to their Creator.

  • Life is short: We will only live once, die and then face God in judgement (Hebrews 9:27)

    • Questions to ask:

      • if you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven? Why or why not?


If are reading this and you are not a Christian and have more questions about Christianity, please get connected with a local church that teaches the Bible (not progressive) and check out this article on Why Christianity is the only worldview that makes sense of reality and humanity's ultimate problem and the solution.

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