Day #6 Live with a Mission: Proclaim
Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
I once went on a week long trip to Daytona Beach with other college students during Spring Break—no, not that kind of spring break trip— it was with a campus Christian group! What I didn’t realize when I signed up for the week at the beach (or I blocked out of my mind) was the fact that we were going to walk up and down the beach and talk to students about Jesus while they were partying with their friends. I think it hit me while we were driving somewhere through North Carolina and it was too late to turn back. Truthfully, I felt sick for the rest of the drive.
The first thing I did when we reached the hotel was pull aside a friend of mine and desperately tell him, “I don’t know what I was thinking— I’ve never talked to anybody about Jesus— help me learn how—please!” So we sat on the balcony and he taught me how to simply explain how I could tell someone how they could believe in Jesus and be forgiven. When I went out on the beach and talked to people, although I’m sure I looked every bit of the scared, new Christian, freshman that I was, I learned to share my faith with others. I’ve talked to lots of people since that week, but there are two things that have not changed: I’m always nervous, and the simple message of the gospel has never changed.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2 that “when I came to you brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” He goes on to tell us that he decided this so “that your faith might not rest on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.”
We should be glad when we read 1 Corinthians 2 because Paul encourages us that we don’t have to be the best speaker or most convincing apologist for Christ when we speak— we just have to know the gospel and trust the Spirit of God to demonstrate the power of God to the person we are talking to about Christ. It actually helps people when we don’t try and dress up the gospel with fancy words because it shows them the power of God in action—a power that is necessary in order for them to hear and believe. The Spirit of God must open eyes and shine the light of the gospel into their hard hearts. Without the power of God in action we have no power to change a person’s heart when we speak to them no matter how clearly or persuasively we speak.
Trusting in the power of God, it is still important to learn how to talk about the gospel with others. There are lots of ways to communicate the simple truth of the gospel, but let me encourage you with what I try and remember in four words: God, Sin, Jesus, Faith. God created all things and has made them for his glory. Sin entered into the human race and has brought death and pain and separation from God. God sent his Son, Jesus so that men and women might be reconciled to God and forgiven of their sins by his death and resurrection. When we trust in Jesus by faith, this work that Jesus has done is applied to us and we are forgiven and set free from sin.
If we are prepared to share the gospel, often we are more ready to open our mouths (even though we are nervous) and begin to proclaim the gospel to friends and neighbors in a simple, understandable way.
Live with a Mission Today: Can you explain the message of the gospel in 60 seconds or less? Take some time to write out briefly what you would share with someone if you were asked how they might become a Christian. If you use the four words above, what is a bible verse that you could add to each word that would help to each truth using the Word of God?