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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

How to Share Your Faith—Without the Awkwardness

When the gospel comes across as a presentation instead of a conversation, it can feel awkward. So why not make it more conversational?

In conversations, we tend to make a point, explain what we mean, and often use an illustration to help someone “see” what we’re “saying.” We can do this with the gospel to show how it perfectly diagnoses the problem with the world, the problem with us, and why the only solution is Jesus.

Here are four steps to consider.

#1 Highlight The Love of God

The main point: God loves you and created you to be with Him forever.

Digging deeper: God’s love is unique. Its most unique attribute is that it is undeserved. We’ve done nothing to attract God to us, but His desire is to love us anyway. His love is giving, pursuing, enduring and meets us right where we are. You don’t have to clean yourself up, “get right” or “find religion.” God is ready to love you – now. Everybody comes to God imperfectly and encounters His perfect love.  

Illustration: Have you ever heard a young dating couple say “I love you” to each other, but then the relationship fizzled out? Have you ever heard anyone say, “I love her because…” and then list a lot of great qualities? That’s what we tend to think of when it comes to love; something we need to qualify for; something that we can fall into and out of. But God’s love is not like that. In fact, the Bible says God is love. You never have to ask, ‘does God love me?’ The answer is always and emphatically, yes.

A verse to cite: John 3:16

#2 Reveal The Problem of Sin

The main point:  Our choices have led to a broken relationship with God - the evidence is everywhere.

Digging deeper: No one really needs to be convinced that the world is broken. And it only takes an ounce of humility to realize we’re broken, too. We think the world should be safer, cleaner and healthier – but why? Likewise, something inside each of us tells us we ought to be better friends, parents, spouses, workers than we currently are – but why? The answer is sin. It’s a word everybody hates, but nobody can avoid. Everywhere we look there is evidence that everything has fallen short of where it should be.

Illustration: Have you ever wondered why no teacher or parent ever had to show you how to be selfish, lie, or put yourself first? It all comes very naturally. Yet somehow, we also naturally recognize these things are wrong – like we are falling short of some standard. The Bible tells us that’s exactly what is happening. Because of our sin, we have fallen short of God’s standard of perfection.

A verse to cite: Romans 3:23; Isaiah 53:6a

#3 Discuss The Penalty for Sin

The main point:  Only one consequence makes sense – eternal separation from God.

Digging deeper: What happens if we sin against our eternal God? Only an eternal consequence would make sense. And that’s exactly what the Bible tells us: our sin has earned us death and eternal separation from God. He is the ultimate eternal authority, we are ultimately accountable to Him and our sin has ultimately separated us from Him.

Illustration:  Just like you are accountable to other authorities in your life (parents, teachers, bosses and lawmakers), it only makes sense that you are accountable to God - the ultimate authority who created you. And in the same way that there are consequences for disobeying temporary authorities, there is a much bigger consequence for disobeying our ultimate authority – God.

A verse to cite: Romans 6:23

#4 Share The Amazing Substitution of Christ

The main point: We must have help from outside ourselves.

Digging deeper: The brokenness in the world (and in us) reveals that the problem isn’t around us or even just in us. The problem is us. Like a passenger leaping from the safety of a ship into a roaring ocean, we find ourselves helplessly drowning in the consequence of our sin. There is no way back to safety unless someone intervenes.

Someone did.

Jesus Christ is the only historical figure to ever claim to be the Son of God (John 10:36) and to declare that He has the power to lay His life down and pick it up again (John 10:18). Jesus alone claimed He would defeat death. And then He did it. Why would He want to do that? Because He wanted to take our consequence upon Himself. Our debt is death. Jesus paid it in full. Now we have a choice to make.

The Bible tells us that if we trust that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, then we are accepting His payment for us. We are grabbing the life preserver that brings us safely back to God.

Illustration: Have you ever set foot on an airplane, bus, train or taxi? The moment before you got in, you believed you would be taken safely to your destination. But once the vehicle starts moving, you have now placed your full trust in that pilot/driver. That’s what it means to trust Jesus – placing your full trust in Him to bring you safely home to God.

A verse to cite: 1 Peter 3:18; John 3:16

Copyright © 2021 Brock Anderson, used with permission.

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