How to Share the Gospel in Your Preaching - Radical

How to Share the Gospel in Your Preaching

Many preachers have had an Apollos moment, in which someone said something to them that decisively reshaped their preaching (Acts 18:26). For one preacher it went like this: A seasoned believer greeted him after a passionate expository sermon, asking, “How could an unbeliever know how to be saved from listening to your sermon this morning?” This preacher says that question went through his heart like a dagger, resolving to never to preach a sermon that leaves that question unanswered.

Christ is at the Center

We must never forget one crucial fact. For the apostles, preaching without sharing the gospel is an oxymoron. The center of the gospel is Christ Jesus

The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, “What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” (2 Corinthians 4:5). The proclamation of “Jesus Christ as Lord” is echoed in several other places in Paul’s letters. 

Preaching without sharing the gospel is an oxymoron.

For Paul “no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). You are only saved “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). And all of history is headed to that climactic point where “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). 

Paul’s assertion that he proclaims Christ as Lord is not incongruous with the claim that “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23). These are two ways of expressing the same reality. The former emphasizes the atonement accomplished by Jesus, and the latter stresses Jesus’ exaltation to the right hand of the Father.

How to Share the Gospel in a Sermon

How should we then preach to placard Jesus Christ as crucified, especially to the lost person (Galatians 3:1)? How should we share the gospel in preaching? 

Generally, a carefully selected unit of scriptural text will do one of two things (sometimes both). It may highlight a mark of human fallenness (that is fixed by a particular benefit of Christ). At other times, the text may highlight the solution but not necessarily the problem. 

So, taking time to ask several simple questions can be a real help in deciding how to proclaim the core facts of the gospel and invite a response from a lost person without making it feel forced or mechanical. These questions include the following:

  1. What mark of humanity’s fallenness does the text highlight?
  2. What are some of the ways this mark of fallenness is seen in our culture? 
  3. What are some of the ways people try to fix the problem? 
  4. What facet of Christ’s cross addresses that mark of human fallenness? 
  5. What aspect of Christ’s redemption does the text highlight? 
  6. What are some things in the human experience that prove we need this particular aspect of Christ’s redemption? 
  7. How do people suppress their need for Christ’s work in this area? 

Laboring to articulate the answers to as many of these questions (and more) as are relevant to your particular text can prove very valuable in determining how to naturally go from your text to sharing the gospel boldly and compellingly

Here is an example. Take a couple of verses like Philippians 2:19–20, “But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.” Paul brings up a very specific fallen condition in verse 20, which is the universal human tendency to be ardently devoted to self-interest. 

Virtually no human being is a stranger to self-interest and selfishness. Furthermore, almost every human being knows how enslaving self-interest and selfishness can be. No human is a stranger to the hurt that self-interest often causes; most people have been wounded by someone’s reckless pursuit of self-interest, and most people have hurt others in pursuing self-interest. 

A good way to share the core facts of the gospel while preaching from this passage can be to show that the tendency to be self-absorbed is inherent to all of us. Timothy did not become “genuinely concerned for the welfare of the Philippians(Philippians 2:19–20) on his own. Only through faith in the Son of God, he saw the ultimate example of self-giving love (Philippians 2:5–9). 

More than that, he was wonderfully emancipated from the pitiful life of looking only to one’s interest (Philippians 2:4). The preacher can then invite the hearers to turn to faith in Jesus who delivers, not only from the shackles of selfishness but every sin and ultimately from the just wrath of God that is coming against all “those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth” (Romans 2:8).

Jones Ndzi

Jones Ndzi is the pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Mebane, North Carolina. He was raised in the North West region of Cameroon in Africa. He holds degrees from the University of Dschang, Cameroon; the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary; and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a PhD in biblical theology. Jones previously served in pastoral ministry at Trinity Baptist Church, Douala, Cameroon and Immanuel Baptist church, Louisville, KY. Jones is married to the love of his life, Nicoline, and they have five sons.


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