3 Essentials in Sharing the Gospel

Everyone who comes to faith in Jesus has a different story. Your spiritual journey probably started differently than others at your church. I often think of my testimony as being quite ordinary and not as remarkable as those dramatic tales of conversion that feature supernatural healing or include miraculous signs and wonders.

“No one would ever come to Jesus because of my testimony.”

At least that was what I thought until a conversation that took place after I shared my testimony in church several years after becoming Christian. A guest at one of our midweek services for young adults thanked me for sharing my “ordinary” tale of coming to faith in Jesus.

Just like me, this other person was quite self-sufficient in life before taking interest in Christianity. We often think that those in good physical health and free of any financial woes have no compelling reason to pursue any sort of faith.

What I did not know then, which I have now come to realize, is that the spiritual and soulish part of me was desperate. That was a reminder that when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus, we need to trust that God is doing the work to make our ordinary extraordinary.

We read in Acts 10 an example of how a Roman centurion and his entire household of Gentiles (non-religious) came to faith in Jesus through these essentials that we can keep in mind when sharing our faith.

1. Find the Need

“About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.” (Acts 10:9-10 NIV)

Peter received an amazing vision when he was hungry. What he was experiencing may be physical hunger, but God allowed him to get a vision of those who are starved spiritually. We often see Jesus meeting a physical need (healing, provision, etc.) before revealing His offer for spiritual freedom.

A practical way to share the love of Jesus may be to first find, and meet, the physical needs of an individual. Is it a new student on campus looking for community? Is it a new parent looking for family support? Even a self-sufficient young man like me had spiritual needs that were not satisfied. It was my exposure to an authentic Christian community that helped me recognize what I was missing in relationships.

2. Eliminate Judgement

While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.” (Acts 10:27-28 NIV)

Up until this point in the history of the early church (Acts 10), the religious Jews had nothing much to do with the non-religious Gentiles. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual matters, as it had never occurred to Peter that a Roman centurion would take any interest. Meanwhile, God had already been working in Cornelius’ life. It took a supernatural vision for Peter to come to terms with God’s heart for those that he had considered unfit (unclean) to come to Jesus.

We must never allow our own biases or judgment to exempt us from the opportunity to share the story of Jesus with them. Who are the most unlikely to take interest? A university professor? A successful businessperson? A celebrity or influencer on social media?

Jesus was most dissatisfied with the behaviour of the religious groups. He offended them by associating with what would be considered the unchurched crowd then. The religious spirit is always quick to disqualify those that do not conform to Christian standards, without providing the opportunity for God to make the transformation. Thankfully, Jesus did not leave us to work this out all on our own, but He sent us a Helper.

3. Rely on the Holy Spirit

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” (Acts 10:44-46 NIV)

One can think that God works in mysterious ways but there is often a pattern when it comes to people coming to know Jesus. The Holy Spirit always initiates a desire in our hearts for something deeper. When we exhaust the physical desires of the “flesh,” our soul cries out for spiritual meaning and purpose.

We read over and over evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in the book of Acts (of the Apostles). The book might as well be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit because He is the one working in the hearts and minds of individuals and groups to reveal Jesus.

As we purpose to meet the needs of others, without prejudice or judgement, we must fully rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to ultimately do the transformative work in their hearts to bring repentance and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.