The natural result of Christ-centered and others-oriented hearts is the desire to joyfully communicate gospel truth with fellow believers and with unbelievers. A God-centered gospel presentation brings about gospel comprehension. This results in gospel transformation, which in turn produces gospel communication. The full fruit of progressive sanctification is made known when a believer and a church actively engage in gospel communication. Sharing the joy and truth of Jesus with others is a necessary manifestation of the believer’s faith. Arriving at this stage in our flow of ministry development brings the description of followers of Jesus full circle.
Gospel communication can take place in a variety of ways and a variety of contexts. The following verses of Scripture present some of the ways believers can engage in gospel communication.
Matthew 5:13–16 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 28:18–20 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Acts 4:29–31 “29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
Colossians 4:2–6 “2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Deuteronomy 6:4–9 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Romans 12:6-8 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 15:14 “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”
Ephesians 4:15–16 “15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
2 Timothy 2:1–2 “1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Timothy 3:16–17 “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
Hebrews 3:12–14 “12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
Hebrews 5:12 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food…”
Hebrews 10:24–25 “24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
1 Peter 4:10-11 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
As we steadily grow through our knowledge of God and the Bible, experiencing transformation in attitudes, motivations, and actions, we will start to take ownership of the precious truths of God. We will be consistently filled with the Spirit and the word of Christ will dwell in us abundantly (Cf. Ephesians 5:18-21; Colossians 3:15-17). Our hunger for God and His righteousness will become insatiable. We will display perseverance as a general characteristic of life because we have heard the teaching of Jesus Christ and have put it into practice. As “engaged” members,we are established in the faith and have been tried and proven in the fires of life and ministry (Cf. James 1:2-5). Through these experiences we have developed as servant leaders and have shown ourselves to be lovingly committed to ministry in and through Nor’wood Bible Church. We can be greatly aided to engage in gospel communication by the following studies and books. (More could be given, but this is a start.)
- Foundational Truths (Nor’wood Bible Church)
- Empowered for Ministry – A Study of Spiritual Gifts (Nor’wood Bible Church)
- Doctrines of Grace (Nor’wood Bible Church)
- The Reason for God (Tim Keller)
- Christ and Culture (D.A. Carson)
- The God Who Is There (D.A. Carson)
- Desiring God (John Piper)
- The Pleasures of God (John Piper)
- Chosen for Life (Sam Storms)
- Convergence (Sam Storms)
- A Praying Life (Paul Miller)
- If You Bite and Devour One Another (Alexander Stauch)
- Don’t Waste Your Life (John Piper)
- The Trellis and the Vine (Colin Marshall & Tony Payne)
- God Is The Gospel (John Piper)
- The Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Mark Dever)
- The Church (Mark Dever)
- The Explicit Gospel (Matt Chandler)
- What is the Mission of the Church (Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert)
- This Momentary Marriage (John Piper)
- Love and Respect (Emerson Eggrichs)
- Shepherding A Child’s Heart (Tedd Tripp)
- Age Of Opportunity (Paul Tripp)
True discipleship has not been achieved if the student of Jesus and the Bible is isolated and self-contained. Sharing the joy and truth of Jesus with others is a necessary manifestation of our faith as believers. Believers are loved by God, and as a result love God. But this is not a private experience; we are empowered by the Spirit of God to love others.People who are filled with love desire to benefit the ones they love. Those blessed with great riches of transforming truth desire to share those truths with others. Our loving heart as followers of Jesus will be seen in our desire and efforts to share the gospel of justification with unbelievers, as well as our desire and efforts to share the gospel of sanctification with fellow believers. So the proper goal of a believer is to lovingly and prayerfully bring the word of God to others—others meaning: unbelievers through evangelism and missions, new believers through sharing the basics, and other believers through growth in fellowship and mutual ministry. This entails time and personal connection with people, where there is an intentional focus on communicating sound doctrine and sharing life and ministry so that an example of godliness can be established. (Godliness is not legalism, but the whole of life immersed in the reality of God.)
Training to Communicate Truth
The following are some of the ministries where members of Nor’wood Bible Church can receive help in developing as gospel communicators. In each of these areas training is provided to help people develop skills in leading a group or class and communicating truth. Members can start as assistants or helpers and then embrace the opportunity to lead or teach.
- Sunday School Teachers or Helpers (Please see Michael Hill – Elder of Children’s Ministries)
- Preschool Junior Church (Please see Michael Hill – Elder of Children’s Ministries)
- Christianity Explored – group leaders or assistants (Please see Mark Landess)
- Small Group Ministry – group leaders or assistants (Please see Mark Landess – Elder of Small Group Ministries)
- Musical Worship (those interested in communicating truth through music should see Chris Gaona – Elder of Musical Worship Ministries)
Establishing Others in the Faith
We want to see each of our Engaged members of Nor’wood Bible Church take a new or needy follower of Jesus under his or her wing to help them get their footing on the basics of the Christian faith with helpful gospel communication. The following are recommended resources to help accomplish this goal.
- Just for Starters (seven foundational Bible studies from Matthias Media)
- Christian Living for Starters (seven foundational Bible studies from Matthias Media)
NOTE: These are basic studies and each session can easily be completed in less than an hour.
- Six Steps to Reading Your Bible (Matthias Media)
- Six Steps to Encouragement (Matthias Media)
- Six Steps to Talking about Jesus (Matthias Media)
- Gospel-Centered Ministry – Justification & Sanctification (Nor’wood Bible Church)
- Foundational Truths Study–(Nor’wood Bible Church) exposing and describing foundational biblical truths and teachings that undergird the Christian faith
As a congregation engaged in gospel communication, we pray for and long to be a church blessed and strengthened by crossing the boundaries of ethnicity and economics.
Galatians 3:28-29 “28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
We believe God is sovereign and the Creator of all such distinctions. To show bias or partiality would be to sin against God and others (James 2:1-13). We know that cultural diversity would bring strength to our local church and broaden our gospel influence in the community. To keep ethnic and economic boundaries from surfacing and restricting gospel communication, we will need to resist the tendencies of the flesh to be partial and seek to be humble and loving toward all people.