Summary: This sermon teaches you how to explain the Gospel to a friend.
How to Explain The Gospel to a Friend
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (NIV)
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way (NLT)
I remember being at university and a friend asking me what is this Christianity stuff all about anyway? I was really not ready for the question, and talked more about the Christian life than I did what the core of the Gospel is.
Bill Hybels tells of being on a sailing trip and getting to know some people who invited him to socialize with them on their boat. Just as he was about to climb down the ladder to leave, one of them, who had discovered that he was a minister, said “Bill, before you go, can you answer a question? What does it mean to become a Christian?” Bill knew he had about 45 seconds before he would lose the attention span of this group of friendly, but irreligious sailors
If you were Bill, what would you say? Could you communicate the central message of the Christian faith in a concise fashion? Most of us would feel uncomfortable. So today, we are going to look at how to communicate the Good News to a friend.
Today, we are going to try to obey 1 Peter 3:15 and be ready to explain the hope that we have.
The first point relates to GOD.
If we look at these points as part of a play, God would be the first character introduced-the Loving Father. There are three qualities we need to know about Him. The first is that:
God is LOVING.
In 1 John 4:16b it says:
...God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Most people would like to believe this about God, and few will argue with it. They say God is love, then quit, as if that is the end of the story. It is as though their image of God is of a kindly grandfather who pats us on the head and says, "1 don’t care what you do, you’re okay because I love you."
We know that this is an incomplete view of God because:
God is HOLY.
By "holy" we mean "absolutely pure." 1 Peter 1:15-16 says:
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Anything impure stands in -stark contrast to God, since He is without sin or impurity of any kind. The brilliant, shining light of His holiness exposes and rejects anything that falls short of His perfect standard.
God is JUST.
This means that God is a good and perfect judge.
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you ( 2 Thessalonians 1:6).
Not only does God’s holiness expose and reject anything impure or sinful, but His justice has to deal with it. He must punish rebellion, sin, and imperfection because a good judge does not let lawbreakers go without paying for their misdeeds.
The next point relates to US.
We are the next characters in this play-the Lawbreakers- who have rebelled against the Loving Father.
We were created good, but became SINFUL.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 ).
The human race was originally created good, but became sinful as a result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God’s law. But it did not stop with them. All of us continue to rebel against God and break His laws.
We deserve DEATH, both physical and spiritual.
Romans 6:23 says:
For the wages of sin is death. ..(See also Hebrews 9:22)
The debt we owe God requires payment, and that payment is our death. This death is not just physical, it is also spiritual. It is separation from God for all eternity in a place the Bible refers to as hell.
The next point is that:
We are spiritually HELPLESS, or "morally bankrupt."
Isaiah 64:6 says:
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our
righteous acts are like filthy rags. ..(See also Ephesians 2:8-9)
We have incurred a debt which must be paid, and there are no funds in our moral bank account to buy our way off death row.
So far, the news is entirely bad. But it is important to under- stand what we all face apart from Christ.