by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Christians are to take the gospel into the world and share the message of the cross with the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). We must be wise and careful with the Scriptures as we go.
We are to “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). The message of God pre-dates mankind, so we must be very careful with its message (Psalm 119:89). The Scriptures are sacred and inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
A herald carries an official proclamation from the king and cannot change the message, or he will suffer dire consequences (Galatians 1:6-9).
When we carry the pure message of God, we must be wise and judicious in our choice of words. We must be prepared to reach people where they are in their state of spiritual knowledge.
Being aware of the false doctrines that exist in the religious world is beneficial when we spread the true gospel. When we determine someone’s doctrinal background, we can be better equipped to teach them God’s holy Word. We can better understand their perspective on the Bible.
It is a duty and responsibility for every Christian to teach others the gospel./1
However, many step out to teach others about salvation and they do not have a broad knowledge of the subject.
For example, they spend most of their time debating baptism for the remission of sins and the one church. However, they may not have adequately prepared the soil. Accordingly, they face nothing but opposition and their window of opportunity may close permanently.
Teaching the gospel begins with an understanding of sin (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23), and extends through the shed blood of Christ (1 John 1:7), grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), faith (Hebrews 11:6), sanctification (Ephesians 1), justification (Romans 5:1), reconciliation (Romans 5:9-10), and the purpose of the new birth (John 3:3-5).
An immersion in Romans will lead to more success in personal evangelism. The fifth chapter of Romans is the heart of the story of salvation.
We cannot teach them everything initially, but we can be wise and expose them to the narrative of salvation.
Someone who gains a fuller perspective on salvation is more likely to remain in Christ. So teach the lost the gospel message in its richness, so they will truly understand what they are accepting.
1/ Richard Mansel, The Most Important Question” (Winona: Forthright Press, 2009). You can purchase the book from the publisher, http://forthrightpress.com/books/