How to Share Your Faith
Romans 1:16 — “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…”
Matthew 4:19 — “Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.”
John 4:35 — “Do you not say, ‘four months and then the harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
1 Peter 3:15 — “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Suppose you were dying of cancer. Then, compelled by your imminent death, you discovered the cure to not only your cancer, but all cancer. How great would that be-you would no longer die! And then, having found the cure for yourself, you simply went about your life without sharing your knowledge with anyone else.
It’s hard to imagine having the cure to cancer, and not sharing it with a world of dying cancer victims. How much more should we recoil from having the “reason for the hope” of eternal life with God and failing to tell others?
God has called you to Himself, saved you from the penalty of sin, forgiven you, and made you His child forever. The most natural thing to do is share God’s love and forgiveness with others who do not yet know Him.
Overview of the Gospel…
God’s redemption follows a simple, logical outline. In fact, it can be summarized in four words:
1. Plan -> 2. Problem -> 3. Solution -> 4. Decision
1. Plan – God offers His love to you and a personal relationship with Him.
2. Problem – We are sinful, and our sin alienates us from a Holy God, preventing us from experiencing His love and forgiveness. The penalty of sin is spiritual death–separation from God.
3. Solution – Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin-through Him alone can we experience God’s love and forgiveness. He satisfied God’s death penalty, by the sacrifice of His life on our behalf.
4. Decision — By faith we receive Christ’s forgiveness and acknowledge that He died for us. By faith, we enter into a relationship with God, experiencing His perfect love and forgiveness.
A simple tool to share the gospel, following this four point outline, is the “Four Spiritual Laws.” You can download a copy at www.4laws.com. It is currently available in 145 languages, with 76 bilingual versions.
Sharing Christ One-to-One
Some people say we should try and share the gospel with the international student as soon as possible, challenging him or her to make a decision. Others say we should first build a relationship and then communicate the gospel message. There is, however a “middle ground.” Many international students just want a basic understanding of Christianity. You might have a friend in this category-someone you recently met who has little or no knowledge of Jesus. Even though you have not had the time to build much of a relationship, he would still appreciate a brief, non-pushy explanation of what the Christian message is about. With someone like this, you can share the gospel simply to provide the basic understanding. There will be opportunities later to challenge your friend to faith.
Or you might have an international friend who has been exposed to the Christian faith and has a positive understanding of Jesus. With someone like this, you will want to share the gospel and provide an opportunity for your friend to receive Christ.
Turning the Conversation to Christ
- Determine your friend’s thoughts basic attitude toward Christianity. If there is interest, offer a short explanation of the basic message.
- Then ask, “What do you think of what I just shared? Do you believe that God exists? Is He real? Unreal? Are you not sure?”
- If your friend is not sure that God exists, simply offer opportunities to learn more (e.g., Bible studies, literature, further discussions).
- If your friend believes God is real, explore his understanding of Christ and His death on our behalf. You may or may not end with a challenge to faith.
- Take time to listen to your friend’s concerns related to the gospel. This will allow you to effectively address the genuine barriers.
Communicating the Gospel
- Use bilingual literature whenever possible.
- Use a tool like “The Four Spiritual Laws.”
- Also take opportunities to share gospel truth directly from the Bible.
- Clarify points which might need more explanation for a particular culture.
- Share your personal testimony.
- Defer questions (especially on peripheral issues) that arise in the middle of a basic gospel presentation by saying something like this: “Maybe it would be better if I could finish this overview, and then answer your question. My answer might make more sense then.”
- Turn questions into opportunities for real communication by asking your friend to explain his thoughts behind the questions. Rephrase or restate his questions for clearer understanding. Ask him questions about what you have shared.
- When you are not sure how to answer a question, be honest and say, “I don’t think I can answer that very well right now. But I can look something up on it and get back to you.” If your friend is genuinely interested, set up another appointment for further discussion.