Whole Counsel Theology

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The GOSPEL Presentation!

Given some of my experiences with people with whom I've shared the Gospel, I've found some common ways I've shared the Good News in the past to have run into some objections that I wasn't able to deal with properly. I've discovered some people who have denied that they are sinners, and therefore see no need for forgiveness. I've found people who flat out have denied the existence of God (or at least a personal God) and thus care nothing at all if He has a plan or not.

I have also been thinking -- when presenting the Gospel, would it not be best to start with God? Explaining who God is and then using the Law of God in some way to show us how we've missed God's standard and are justly condemned would help with those objections, and they would fit the whole counsel of God better.

That being said, I've spent the better part of the day writing a new Gospel Tract, and I'm simply calling it the GOSPEL tract! Like other presentations such as FAITH or GRACE, this one is an acronym as well. It stands for:
G - God
OS - Our Sin
P - Propitiation
EL - Eternal Life

The text of the completed tract follows below. Feel free to use it if you like, or to offer suggestions!

G stands for GOD

* The first thing we need to understand about the GOSPEL is who God is.
* God created everything in the entire universe for Himself.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” -- Genesis 1:1

* Human beings were God’s special creation to show His glory in a way unique from the rest of creation.
“So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.” -- Genesis 1:27

* Because God created everything, He has rights to all of creation, including people.
“The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the LORD;” -- Psalm 24:1

* Because God is creator, He’s worthy to receive all praise and worship from all creation. Everything gets its life and being from Him!
“Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.” – Revelation 4:11

*The purpose of everything and everyone in creation is to glorify God and live for Him.
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.” -- Romans 11:36

*However, have we glorified God as we ought?

OS stands for OUR SIN

* The answer to the previous question is a resounding NO. God requires us to be holy and perfect morally.
“Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” -- Leviticus 19:2b
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” -- Matthew 5:48

* We are required to do everything for God’s glory.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory.” -- 1 Corinthians 10:31

* Every person ever born has grossly fallen short of this standard. The Bible calls this falling short and rebellion against God “sin.” Sin separates us from God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -- Romans 3:23
“For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.” --James 2:10
“But your iniquities [sins] have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face
from you so that He does not listen.” -- Isaiah 59:2

* Everything we do good is stained with sin, so it means nothing to God, who demands perfection.
“All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.” -- Isaiah 64:6

* Because of our sin, we earn death and Hell for ourselves.
“For the wages of sin is death,” -- Romans 6:23a

* We are justly under God’s judgment because we hated the light of His goodness and righteousness.
“This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.” -- John 3:19-20

* No one is righteous, and no person seeks God on his own. No one does anything good. We are hostile to God and unable to submit to Him.
“as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; (11) there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. (12) All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.” -- Romans 3:10-12
“For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God's law, for it is unable to do so. (8) Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God.” -- Romans 8:7-8

* God’s righteous judgment and wrath will come on all godlessness and unrighteousness.
“For God's wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,” -- Romans 1:18

* Everyone apart from God is dead in trespasses and sins, under God’s wrath, unable to help themselves.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins[.] (3) We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also.” -- Ephesians 2:1, 3
*So how is there any hope for anyone, since we are all under God’s just wrath for our sins and unable to lift a finger out of our sin, seeing as we hate God’s righteousness?

P stands for PROPITIATION

* Propitiation means “to turn away wrath.” Jesus’s death on the Cross removed God’s wrath from all who believe in Him, everyone who ever has or ever will, and purchased for them all they need in order to have salvation! God’s wrath against them was poured out on Jesus instead.
* Jesus’s perfect life made Him the perfect sacrifice for sin and substitute for sinners. He never sinned, and always glorified God.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.” -- Hebrews 4:15

* Since we were powerless to get rid of our sin, God did it for all who believe. It was purely an act of His grace, something no one could ever earn or deserve.
“But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, (5) made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved!” -- Ephesians 2:4-5

* Jesus’s perfect life and perfect righteousness are also imputed to those who place faith in Christ. That is, believers are seen as having Christ’s righteousness.
“They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (25) God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. (26) He presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.” -- Romans 3:24-26
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” -- Romans 5:1

* Jesus dying for the people He bought proves once and for all His love for them! He is worthy of all praise and worship because of it!
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” -- Romans 5:8
“And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals; because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.” -- Revelation 5:9
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” -- John 3:16

EL stands for ETERNAL LIFE

* How does anyone get this eternal life and become a child of God? How can God grant eternal life at all? In addition to paying the price for redemption, Jesus also rose from the dead, demonstrating once and for all His power over death.
“God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this.” -- Acts 2:32
“because He has set a day on which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” -- Acts 17:31

* Because of His death and resurrection, God is just to give forgiveness of sin and eternal life. The price has been paid in full. The debt has been cleared completely. Where we were powerless, God was strong to overcome.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -- Romans 6:23

* Everyone who receives Jesus becomes a child of God, and this receiving, even the faith we need, is all from God.
“But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name,” -- John 1:12
“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift– (9) not from works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

* What we need to do then is confess Jesus as Lord (meaning He is the boss of our lives and we desire to live for Him now), and believe He is alive. We bank everything on Him, and believe that He is rich to those who call on Him.
“if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. (11) Now the Scripture says, No one who believes on Him will be put to shame, (12) for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is wonderfully good to all who call on Him. (13) For everyone who
calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” -- Romans 10:9-13

* Jesus guarantees that if anyone receives Him by faith, believing in Him, that person has eternal life and will not come under judgment. In receiving Him, we die to the sin we once lived in; it is no longer the ruling power in our lives. We repent (turn away from) our sin and believe this Good News (GOSPEL).
“I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.” -- John 5:24
“For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. (6) For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin's dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin,” -- Romans 6:5-6
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!” -- Mark 1:15

* When we do, God holds us fast in Him, and nothing can separate us from His love. NOTHING.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” -- Romans 8:38-39

*What then does someone need to do to know Jesus, be forgiven of sin, and live for God? What you need to do is pray to God, admitting that you are a sinner deserving of Hell. You need to confess (agree with) Him as Lord and, believe He is alive (was raised from the dead) and that His death covered your sins. You need to repent of your sins, and bank everything on Jesus, giving up any claim on your life by surrendering to Jesus and His authority. God WILL have saved you if you have done these things!
* If you have done that, it was only because God worked in you to make it happen! He sought you out and loved you, and you are now His child! Welcome to the family of God!

---====---- UPDATE ---====----
Some have requested it so I'll post it! The reason I didn't is because it is a personalized page; I plan to offer the tract to anyone who wants it and will personalize it to their needs (name, church, websites, etc.). So, if you want some of these tracts, email me through my blogger profile, and I'll send you a PDF version of them. Please be sure to include your personalized information corresponding to what I have below.

That being said, here is what it looks like for the tracts I'll be giving out:

Please contact me at rincrast@yahoo.com or visit http://wholecounsel.blogspot.com and let me know what God has done for you! Also, I would encourage you to come to church with me (or to find a good Bible-believing church) and talk to the pastor about you new faith and about being baptized. Church is critical for a Christian (yes, havnig received Christ, that is what you are now!) to grow in Christ and become more like Him. Start reading the Bible regularly as well; you’ll be amazed at how exciting it is now! The Gospel of John is a good place to start. I would also strongly recommend a book by Donald S. Whitney called Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, a book that has helped thousands grow closer to Christ. You can find it at www.amazon.com or at a local Christian bookstore.

You can get information about my church at http://www.newlifecalvary.org or by calling 317-881-5743. I look forward to growing with you in Christ, my new brother or sister!

Sincerely in Christ,
David Hewitt (actual tracts will be signed)


Tract by David B. Hewitt, http://wholecounsel.blogspot.com
All Scripture taken from the HCSB version of the Bible

___________________________________________-
UPDATE! 7/11/2006

Now you can download your own copy of it in PDF format if you like. You'll have to write in your own church information and sign them of course, but feel free to duplicate them as you wish!

Here is how it works. You'll need to make a double sided copy of it. Then, cut it in half the SHORT way. Then, take the P and EL section and place it OVER the G and OS section. The title page and back should be on the outside now.

Then fold them together and staple the left side of it in two places right along the edge. You would have created a four page document. It should also read in order of the presentation found here. :)

Click here to get yours!

I hope you find it useful in communicating the Gospel to people!

2 Comments:

  • hey david, this is thomas. i would agree with what you were saying. you said some people deny their sin, or some even deny a God. what i have noticed and what have been taught in apologetics is simple but seems effective. it has five parts. law, curse of the law, grace, gospel, faith. that is the main part, but before that i like to ask questions and things. if i come across someone not believing in God i would try and prove there is a God to them rather than starting with God for all of them. and if they say they have no sin you can attemt to prove bible and get them to believe Bible. then they cant deny sin. also what i learned in apologetics is to put illustrations in my witness to explain God's law and punishment. his love and grace. and faith. things like that. i have not witnessed a lot but it seems like a wonderful outline. just thought i would tell you. not that your one you just made is bad. just telling you. see you tomorrow

    By Blogger ginger, at Saturday, February 25, 2006 9:51:00 PM  

  • Thomas:

    Thanks for the thoughts! Another part of the reason I started with God is that, in knowing God's standard of perfection, we can then know why our sin is so bad. We've offended His absolute righteousness.

    The actual tract DOES have ONE illustration on the cover, but I decided to forego other pictures in favor of getting more Scripture in there. :)

    Thanks again!
    SDG,
    Dave

    By Blogger David B. Hewitt, at Sunday, February 26, 2006 6:20:00 AM  

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