I’m not sold on the title of this post, but I think there may be something to the idea of a more natural approach to sharing the Good News. Alan at The Assembling of the Church wrote a really interesting post, Paul Came Out Running, about how the Bible says that Paul immediately started sharing the gospel after surrendering his life to Christ on the road to Damascus. He explains that education, work, or any other reason we might put things off are bad excuses for ignoring our call to share the Good News. This sparked a chain of thoughts in my mind:
- Why would someone want to wait to share the Good news?
- Probably because he wants to make sure he is sharing accurately and effectively
- If he has surrendered his life to Christ then that would assume he knew the truth well enough to give his life up for it.
- This would only leave effectiveness as a reason to need an education before sharing the gospel.
- Do you need an education to be effective in sharing the gospel?
So this post is an answer to that last question. I believe, based on my experience and examples in Scripture, that the answer is no. An education may help you better articulate the details of the Christian faith which can be an encouragement and maybe help win debates, or answer tough questions, but there is something very powerful and true when someone shares the gospel naturally(organically) and from their personal experience with God.
I’m not a big advocate of experience as a basis for truth, but the bottom line is that it is our experience with the Holy Spirit that opens our eyes and reveals the truth of the Gospel to our dead hearts, breathing life into them and making us new creations. Paul had an experience on the road to Damascus. This experience was real and changed his life. When we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Christ it is because we have an experience with God, not because we figured it out, or because someone convinced us, just because God worked in our hearts.
So, having said that, there is nothing more real to that person than the interaction they have with the Holy Spirit, so why not share that with people? Why not say “hey this is the truth of the Gospel, and I know it because the Spirit of God changed my heart.”
I just want to add a brief story: When I was about 16, God changed my life, his Spirit opened my blind eyes and he changed me in an amazing and irreversible way. At that very time I started telling my friends about it. I just told them what was happening in me, what God was doing in me, and how amazing it was. During that short time of just purely expressing what God had done in my heart 5 of my close friends surrendered their lives to Christ. Since then I have gone to Bible College, learned philosophy, learned apologetics, learned rhetoric, and have studied many complicated and difficult topics within Christian theology. Since that time I have won many debates, many arguments, and left many people speechless with my sound reasoning for God and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Since that time none of this has ever changed anyone’s heart. With all that knowledge and education I still find that simply sharing how amazing God is through the way he has worked in my life has impacted people in a much greater way then any of that other stuff.
What is your story? How has God worked in you? Experience is very subjective, but the bottom line is that if you have surrendered your life to Christ then you have experienced the work of the Holy Spirit,and that, and nothing else, is what brought life and renewal into your heart!