Sitting down for coffee, my heart broke as a dear friend shared about a recent struggle. She talked about her disappointed hopes and her anxiety moving forward. For years, I had prayed that this friend would find freedom in Christ.
During a pause in the conversation, I knew I had an opening. I should say something about Jesus or faith. I should tell her that she didn’t have to be afraid or alone. I should ask her about her beliefs or share my own.
Before I could gather my thoughts, she asked about my weekend plans. The moment had passed. How had I missed it?
I wanted to share the gospel. I knew she needed to know the truth. But I wasn’t prepared, and the words didn’t come.
Sharing the truth about Jesus sounds simple, but sometimes it can also feel overwhelming.
Maybe you can relate.
We can’t predict the day or hour when God will give us an opportunity to share, but we can be ready when it comes. By remembering four simple truths, we can approach gospel conversations with confidence. God doesn’t require our perfection, but He does call us to be prepared.
1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “But in your hearts, revere 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.”
Think about someone in your own life who desperately needs the gospel.
What are their interests, their hopes, their fears?
What might be a barrier to sharing God’s Truth?
How could you turn an everyday conversation toward spiritual matters?
God is our wise, holy, gracious, merciful, loving, eternal Creator. As the One who set the stars in place and determined the path of the earth, God knows everything and everyone intimately. He crafted a wonderful world and created us to enjoy it forever with Him (Genesis 1:1, 27; Psalm 139:7-12).
We owe our very existence to Him, and we were made to love Him, worship Him, serve Him, and live for His glory (Acts 17:25-27; Romans 11:36). We are absolutely dependent upon Him, and He has absolute claim over us, His creation.
Reflect on the truth you know about God. How would you personally explain God and His attributes to a friend or family member?
Like every human before us, we have rebelled against our Creator and His authority. Doubting God’s goodness, we reject His commands and hurt people around us by demanding our own way (Romans 3:10-12).
Our selfish ambitions, moments of pride, failure to forgive, and desperate lies all separate us from our perfect, holy God (Isaiah 59:1-2).
We see the evidence of sin in the broken world around us. We are all guilty because we consistently fall short of God’s standards (Romans 3:23). We stand ashamed in the depth of our sin – the bad things we do and the good things we fail to do (Romans 7:18). But the harder we try to dig ourselves out, the deeper we sink (Psalm 38:4). The ultimate consequence of our sin is death and eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). We need to be made right with Him (Romans 1:18)
Reflect on your own experience with sin. What consequences do you regret that you would like to help others avoid?
Caught in the cycle of guilt, shame, and condemnation, we stand helpless and alone. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that God, who is faithful, just, merciful, and all-knowing, offers us the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
His Incarnation – God the Father sent God the Son, holy and perfect, into this fallen world. Jesus reveals God’s nature and lived a life of complete obedience to God. (John 1: 14; Colossians 1:19).
His Death – Demonstrating God’s grace and love, Jesus willingly died on the cross in our place to bear the rightful punishment our sins deserved and give us right standing with God (John 1:29; Romans 5:8).
His Resurrection – Three days later, Jesus rose to life, proving He had conquered sin and death forever (Acts 2:24).
His Exaltation – Jesus then ascended into Heaven, where He rules as King and Lord of all (Ephesians 1:20-21).
Through Jesus’ death on the cross, the penalty for our sin was paid. Through His Resurrection, we find new life. Without the weight of sin, we find freedom. And without the fear of death, we look forward to eternal life in Heaven with the God who loves us deeply. Jesus freely gives His righteousness when we receive Him as our Savior and acknowledge Him as our Lord. (Hebrews 7:25).
Reflect on who Jesus is and what He has done.
Practice writing and speaking about His Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Exaltation in your own words.
When we reflect on the powerful love and sacrifice of Jesus, we can respond in faith and repentance and experience true transformation!
Faith – Placing our full trust and confidence in Jesus. God’s gift of faith comes with His power for a new life (Ephesians 2:8). His people move forward as forgiven and eternally secure, depending on Him to lead according to His will for our lives (John 3:16).
Repentance – Turning away from sin to move forward with God and serve Him as Savior, Lord, and King. When we confess our sins to God in prayer, we experience God’s forgiveness. In this forgiveness, we find the freedom to live differently.
Transformation – Through faith and repentance, the Holy Spirit transforms how we think and act. Our perspective changes. Our goals are different, and our actions look more like Jesus’ over time. (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 1:13-14, 18-20)
Reflect on your own response to the gospel. How did God transform your life? How can your story offer hope to others?
Spend some time reflecting and praying through the gospel message. Ask God to give you clarity and wisdom. Pray for opportunities to share. Ask God to prepare people in your life to receive His good news by faith. Practice speaking these four truths in simple language:
The truth about God: We are totally dependent on God, our holy Creator, who has an absolute claim on us.
The truth about sin: Our sin separates us from God, and we need to be reconciled to Him.
The truth about Jesus: Jesus Christ, the only God-Man, has provided the only way for us to be reconciled to our Creator God.
The truth about our response: Though we can’t control how someone will respond to the gospel, we can be prepared to share when God gives us an opportunity.