Have you ever written out the Gospel in your own words?
I have to admit that, until last week, I hadn’t ever done this exercise. While I’ve written out my testimony before, I’d never even considered jotting down the story of the Good News as I would share it with others.
But my Bible study group challenged me to try this exercise, so I completed the assignment. And oh my, was I amazed by the wealth of spiritual truths I learned during the process!
Why you should write out the Gospel in your own words
We as Christians need to know what we believe
Many of us grew up in Christian homes - we had parents who were believers, and we attended church every time the doors were open. But because Christianity isn’t passed from one generation to the next like ethnicity is, we each need to know for ourselves what the Gospel is and why we believe it. If we can put it into our own words, it can help ensure that we’re walking in our own faith and not merely doing Biblical things because our parents made us do it or because it just seems like a good idea.
When we can present the Gospel in our own words, we’ll be more prepared to share it with others
I don’t know about you, but I struggle to share the Gospel with other people. Whereas I LOVE writing and feel like I can express myself well through written words, speaking aloud to others is entirely different. I have trouble thinking on my feet and don’t articulate things well at all. I often forget the exact word I’m looking for and have a hard time processing my thoughts.
So, if I practice writing out the Gospel in my own words, I’m giving myself a witnessing tool that will help me not feel as tongue-tied when I’m given the opportunity to share about my faith! The more familiar I am with the salvation story, the more prepared I’ll be.
There will be times when we need to preach the Gospel to ourselves
As Christians, we know that God is good. We know that He sent His Son to die in our place so that we could spend Eternity with Him. We know these truths, but especially during long, dark hallways, we will need to remind ourselves over and over again that God really, truly is good, and that He deeply cares for us and will be with us no matter what we’re going through.
If we have written out the Gospel in our own words, we will be all the more prepared to preach it to ourselves when the going gets tough. The Lord can use our familiarity with the Gospel story to encourage and equip us through the hills and valleys of life here on Earth.
How to share the Gospel in your own words
Develop a “John 3:16” version
John 3:16 is probably the most loved, most memorized, and most quoted verse in the entire Bible. And for good reason! It’s a short, clear Gospel presentation rolled up into a single verse.
When we write out the Gospel in our own words, a great place to start is by writing out our own short, sweet, “John 3:16” version. It doesn’t need to be overly wordy or complicated. Try something like this:
“We were sinners, which separated us from God. In His love for us, He sent His Son to die so that we who trust in Him could spend Eternity with Him in heaven.”
We all will encounter situations where we won’t have a lot of time to share a lengthy description of the Gospel, so we definitely need to be familiar with a quick option. The Lord can take something as simple as this and open someone else’s eyes to the truths that we share.
Work on a more in-depth option
Once we have our short version written out, the next step is to expand it in more detail. There are so many rich truths wrapped up in the full Gospel story! While we could never hope to touch on all of them in a single sitting, we should take time to round out and expand our short version.
Just for starters, we could write about Adam’s original sin; the sacrificial system of the Old Testament; the prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming; and the numerous Gospel strains seen throughout the New Testament. There is an endless list of excellent points we could choose to include in our own retelling of the Gospel.
Include your personal salvation story
So, how do we know which to include? One great place to start would be sharing about our own salvation story. For example, I was saved after learning about the Old Testament sacrificial system and how it was unable to truly save but instead pointed toward a coming Savior. Because of this, I try to show the parallel between the Passover and the Cross.
Perhaps you learned the Romans Road growing up, and it holds special meaning for you as a result. This would be an excellent thing to use as you write out the Gospel in your own words!
Remember that it won’t be perfect but that God can and will use it for His glory
I struggle with wanting perfection. Whether it’s in my writing or in my homemaking (the latter at which I’m failing miserably), my heart’s desire is for it all to be perfect. When I began writing out the Gospel in my own words, I fretted over what to include and how to best word things.
Would people misconstrue the way I shared something?
Could I have done some of it better?
Did I leave out something important?
These and many other thoughts swirled around in my brain. The thing is, though, that when we write out the Gospel in our own words, we’re never going to do a perfect job at it. Here on Earth, we will never live perfect lives. But just because it won’t be flawless doesn’t mean we should completely give up on the idea!
God can and will use our imperfect testimonies for His glory and our good. He’s not limited by our limitations, nor is He stumped by our shortcomings. The Holy Spirit can round out our Gospel retellings and use them to bring others to a saving knowledge of Himself. We simply need to be ready to share the Gospel story to the best of our ability and leave the heart work up to Him!
(Note: If you are struggling to write out the Gospel in your own words, consider writing out Scripture passages word-for-word to begin with. This is actually a great practice for all of us, since nothing can compare to the accurateness of the inspired Word!)
Writing out the Gospel in your own words is an excellent practice for new and seasoned Christians alike. Not only can it help us confirm what we believe, but it’s also an effective tool to use when witnessing to others. By incorporating our salvation story and having both a short and more detailed version, we will be better equipped to be ambassadors for Christ.