Telling someone the gospel may be harder than we might have first thought. Maybe you have been in conversations and someone ask you to tell them the good news of Christianity and then you find yourself completely tongue tied and you just don’t know where to start. Or maybe you are in a Christian setting and the leader has just set an activity where you have to try and explain the gospel to another person and you just cant keep a coherent presentation. If this is you and in the past it has been me and I have to keep refreshing my memory so that I don’t forget the essentials of the gospel and not make it into what I want to make it but rather to proclaim the historical gospel message. In this presentation there are five points which you can remember but also there are many helpful presentations out there that really makes it easy for beliviers to know how to share their faith. E.g. http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/
This summary is taking from a book called evangelism explosion which aims to equip churches with how to train laymen to be effective evangelist and disciple makers. I want to emphasise that the power is not in the system or in the methodology but in the the Holy Spirit, so let your confident be in him; but it is helpful to know how to rightfully handle the word of truth and share your faith with great clarity.
I have personally summarized and included additional points which I thought would be helpful.
Heaven is a free gift- Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
It is not earned or deserved- it is completely free because "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes will not perish but have everlasting life", (John 3:16).
Is a sinner- The bible teaches us that all of us have sinned and that we have all fallen short of God’s standard. To get into heaven we would have to be perfect as Jesus once said “You therefore, must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”, and Romans 3:23 says that “but all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".
Cannot save himself- Because we have all fallen short we can not save ourselves so the bible says that, “For by grace you have been saved through faith….not because of works lest any man should boast”, (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Is merciful- therefore doesn’t want to punish us even though we are guilty for breaking is commandments, hurting him and hurting one another. But God is just and Holy and must deal with sin. But he loves us very much and this is the dilemma, either God gives us what we deserve for our sins or he finds a way in which he can forgive the guilty without himself being a bad judge. Since we don’t have the solution, God came up with the solution which sinners like me and you can be forgiven even if don’t deserve it. Romans 3:25-27
Who he is- the infinite God-man. According to the bible, Jesus Christ is God, the second person of the trinity, the creator of the universe. The bible says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us”, (John 1:1,14). God came down in human flesh.
What He did- He paid for our sins and purchased heaven for us, which he offers as a gift. The bible says that one day, we will all be judged. All our sins and everything we have ever done will be on display and if we are found guilty then we will go to hell. The truth as we have already seen is that there is no one good and we are all guilty. in the old testament God’s provision for sin was described in all the foreshadowing and types where a lamb would have to be sacrificed but the bible tells us that this could never really take away our sins or the guilt of it. In the new testament a phrophet named John the Baptist announced that God’s perfect Lamb had finally come which was Jesus. Because we were “all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord laid on him all of our iniquities”, (Isaiah 53:6). Therefore Jesus Christ became our substitute, Jesus willingly took my place so that I don’t’ have face God’s judgement and have fellowship with Jesus and God because my sins separated me from them and now that my sins is been dealt with by Jesus on the cross, I can come freely and know the one who created me. Jesus purchased a place for us in heaven. It is a free gift, give to us in love. Jesus was then raised from the dead after he suffered for us so that we can know that his sacrifice was accepted and that we are truly forgiven. This is known as the resurrection. But gifts are to be received so how do you receive it?
What it is not- mere intellectual assent nor temporal faith. May people believe that Jesus Christ lived and died and rose again. And they suppose that this is faith. But this is merely an intellectual assent to certain historical facts. Other people think that they may have faith in Christ, but when you ask them what they really mean they are only trusting in Christ for the temporal things of life, such as health, or their children, or their finances or strength or guidance. But what the bible means by faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation- resting our hope of eternal life in Christ.
What it is- trusting Jesus alone for salvation. People can only trust in two things either on our own efforts or the efforts of Jesus Christ. So the motive for living a Christian life is gratitude for all what God has done for us in Jesus. The bible says that, “the love of Christ controls us”, (2 Corinthians 5:14).
And then you can close off by asking them if they would receive this gift of eternal life and repent of their sins and trust Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.