Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sharing the Gospel in 100 Words or less (Sort of)

Found this on Thirsty Theologian. 9Marks recently asked several pastors and theologians to share the Gospel in 100 words or less. I really liked Michael Horton's answer:
What is your greatest fear? If I were asking that question in many parts of the world, answers would probably cluster around basic needs such as running water, food, vaccines, and shelter. For most of us in the United States, though, our greatest fears are more likely to be things like the fear of loneliness, some cataclysmic event that throws me off the ladder of upward mobility, divorce, or the inability to find any ultimate meaning in life. None of these fears is illegitimate, yet none is ultimate. These fears haunt us only because we have the luxury of having them haunt us. Until we are confronted with the reality of God—in all of his blinding majesty, weightiness, and frightful claim on our lives—we are overwhelmed by secondary troubles. But when for some reason there is the slightest glimpse of God in his holiness, we either do our best to domesticate him, turn him into a pet by suppressing the truth, or run for the hills to escape the confrontation.
God should be your greatest fear. Yet there is no salvation from God's just judgment from anywhere else than God himself. Only the same God who fills us with fear is able also to give us peace. If we are to escape this judgment, it will only be the result of the greatness in God's heart and not something in our own. That God has moved toward us—even lunged toward us—not in judgment, as we should have expected, but in loving embrace and reconciliation, clothing us in Christ's righteousness so that we can be acceptable in his holy presence, is the good news that you are called here and now to embrace. Christ lived a perfect life in the place of sinners, bore their sins on the cross, and was raised again for our justification. This means that "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Not because of anything that you have done, experienced, attempted, or decided, but because of what he has accomplished for you, can you be assured of God's favor. It is good news, not good advice. It is not a call to self-improvement, but to die to self altogether and be raised a new person, in Christ. It is the free gift of forgiveness of sins, right standing with God, adoption as his heirs, and liberation from the tyranny of sin. As his ambassador, I am calling you in his name to be reconciled to God by turning away from all other saviors and lords and embracing Jesus Christ as your righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Come to him now. His love is greater than your enmity toward him; his grace is greater than your sin; his peace is greater than your fears.
Although it exceeded the word limit, I think he was right in spending more than 100 words. I get the concept of trying to convey as much with as little as possible, but when the greatest truth ever is being discussed, why hold back? Use as many words as are necessary to convey what is truly necessary.

share the gospel,