The Essential Gospel
|Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. (Acts 8:35)|
Every now and again, stories have appeared in the news about people who pose as physicians but actually are not licensed to practice medicine. Their actions can even sometimes prove fatal for the people they are supposed to be "treating."
In the same way, I believe there are some preachers today who are guilty of spiritual malpractice. They are not accurately presenting the gospel message.
If a presentation of the gospel does not contain the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then it is insufficient. Every effective gospel presentation, whether it is a sermon given from a pulpit or part of a private conversation, needs to ultimately come down to this: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for our sin. He paid the price for every wrong thing we have ever done. And then He rose again from the dead.
That is the essence of the gospel. That is the message we need to bring to people.
If you want to be effective in sharing your faith, your message also should be centered on Scripture. That is why the Bible says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
When we commit Scripture to memory, when we know the Word of God, we have a well to draw from when someone asks us a question. And as we prepare to respond, we pray that the Holy Spirit will bring the right passages to mind.
When Philip shared the gospel with the man from Ethiopia, Acts 8:35 tells us that "Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him." Philip knew Scripture. And he was able to present the gospel accurately.