Sunday, October 07, 2012

24 Ways to Explain the Gospel

"Why do I need to be saved?" "From what?" 
These are common questions in today's society. Salvation can be a difficult concept to explain to a postmodern thinker. Fortunately, God's Word provides many ways of looking at our situation, and at God's solution. 24 Ways to Explain the Gospelcontains dozens of word pictures and illustrations that will help you communicate the gospel in ways everyone can understand.
14 panels, fits inside most Bibles, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, unfolds to 38 inches long.

The Bible is full of illustrations that use common experiences, such as gardening, having debt, a campfire, or joining a family, to explain what Jesus accomplished on the cross. In 24 Ways to Explain the Gospel, you will see 24 metaphors from the Bible, positive and negative examples, and several illustrations that show how the positive/negative examples can be explained. (A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase compares or describes something. For example: “A mighty fortress is our God” - “mighty fortress” is a metaphor to help to describe God.) 

Below is an example from 24 Ways to Explain the Gospel:
  • Metaphor: Light - Jesus is the light that shines on our path toward God (John 12:46)
  • Positive examples: Light - Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12)
    • Jesus' light shines in our heart (2 Cor. 4:4-6)
    • Children of the light (Eph. 5:8)
    • Jesus has rescued us from darkness (Col. 1:13)
    • Putting aside the deeds of darkness (Romans 13:12)
  • Negative examples: Dark - People living in darkness have seen a great light (Matt. 4:16)
    • People loved darkness (John 3:19)
  • Illustrations - A campfire in the wilderness provides light, warmth, safety and sustenance.
    • The light helps campers to find their way back to camp. It provides warmth for the night. It keeps the animals away. It cooks food and purifies water.
    • In a similar way, Jesus provides us with a guiding light, warmth, safety, and sustenance for our journey of life.
Discussion questions for 24 Ways to Explain the Gospel
For a group study, volunteers might take turns reading a paragraph. 
  1. Read panels 1-4. Which of these ways of explaining the Gospel helps you personally see the good news differently? Was there one that stood out? If so, why?
  2. Read panels 5-6, paying attention to the word "redemption" and what it meant in the biblical world. Which metaphor of redemption connected with you the most? Why?
  3. Read panel 7. Imagine yourself explaining the Gospel to someone using one of these plans. Which one fits your style the most? Which one fits your friend? What would you do differently?
  4. Read panels 8-10, and discuss the idea of citizenship. How does the concept of being a citizen of the kingdom of heaven appeal to people today? Which metaphor in this section connects with you and why?
  5. Read panels 11-13, and spend some time on the biblical definition of the word "sin." What aspects of sin and redemption were new to you? How does the Gospel help us heal our relationship with God and with the people around us?
How to use 24 Ways to Explain the Gospel
Bible studies, small group discussions, discipleship classes, young adult studies, evangelism training, personal study.

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