Why We Teach the Bible Hero Image
Why We Teach the Bible Hero Image
Apr 15, 2024 / 8 min

Why We Teach the Bible

Timothy "TA" Ateek & Oren Martin

Have the people you’re closest to heard the gospel from you? Often, we use a lack of relational equity as a reason to hold off on sharing our faith, but as we get closer to someone it can actually feel more difficult to shift the conversation from natural to spiritual.

The easiest and most difficult people for you to reach are those you’re closest to. We have to guard ourselves against writing off our closest friends, family, coworkers, and even the server at your favorite restaurant as people who couldn’t be receptive to the gospel. These are the circles of influence you’ve been placed in for a reason. We can be encouraged with the confidence that God is the one who saves, but He has lovingly invited us to be the hands and feet of His ministry on earth as His kingdom takes new ground!

We Have to Decide if We’re Convinced of The Gospel

Your instinct might be “Of course,” but really consider if you’re exemplifying the name of God in your actions and treating His Word with reverence in your heart.

It’s possible we recognize the truth of the gospel while discounting the power of it. It’s not a sweet sentiment — it’s life-altering, world-defining, and somehow simple enough for a child to understand and complex enough for a theologian to study all their life and still never scratch the surface. It doesn’t just save us, it changes us.

For those of us who’ve encountered Christ and been made into new creations, we should be the most convinced that the gospel needs to be shared like our lives depend on it.

There’s No Excuses for Not Sharing the Gospel

We can’t rely on people in our lives to pick up on the gospel through our actions, because while our lives should look holy and set apart, this does not grant us an exemption from the Great Commission. (Romans 10:17) We were told by Jesus in Matthew 28 to “Go and make disciples” — this is incredibly active language that should break us from our tendency to seek out comfort and excuse passivity.

While it can feel weird to share your faith with someone who you’ve known since middle school, it’s unkind to let your friends buy into lies that will cost them their lives. The lies that there is nothing more important than achieving the next new status, that we just need to maintain good moral standing on a scale we alter at will, or that it’s ok to live in contempt of our Creator. As people who have a hope for now and for the future, we have to view God highly enough to fully believe a relationship with Him is worth broadcasting.

If you equate the people we read about in the Bible who profess God’s name as people who would be on payroll at the church, you might have a misunderstanding of your role in the body of Christ. They weren’t the Christian elite, fanatics who did maybe a little too much — they’re just normal people that took the call Jesus gave to all of us seriously.

Our Confidence Belongs in Christ, Not Ourselves

Insecurity in our own abilities can’t be the reason we ignore the Great Commission. Moses had a stutter, begging God to pass him over for the role of leading the Israelites out of Egypt because he wasn’t enough. (Exodus 4:10-14) But God is more than enough to compensate for our shortcomings.

He even tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His power is perfected in weakness, so he’s already accounted that we won’t perfectly carry out everything we’ve been tasked with. The privilege we have as believers is that he meets us in our weakness and acts as our strength.

Sometimes it’s a little awkward or hard to know where to start (ex. how do I take a conversation about their work being understaffed and turn it into a “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior” kind of talk??) Here are some helpful practicals for sharing your faith in your circles and beyond:

A – Ask God for the boldness to share. Our job is to share, not to save — everyone take a collective sigh of relief now. If you find yourself missing opportunities to share the gospel because you’re intimidated or uncomfortable, God will meet you where you are, He just wants you to lean into Him! We see this example set for us in Acts 4:29-31,

“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

An example of what this prayer might look like for you is “Lord, empower your servants to walk in love, and speak your Word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to save every young adult in Dallas, Texas.”

B – Build bridges to share. We get to meet people where they are and show them we care about them for who they are, not just adding a tally to some sort of supernatural scorecard. When talking about reaching the lost, Paul tells us,

“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel…” 1 Corinthians 9:22-23

Let’s get even more practical — what does this look like? Here are two ways you can build bridges:

  1. Give Our Time - We can never be too busy where we won’t allow others to interrupt us. This doesn’t have to mean adding another meeting on your calendar, it might look like inviting people to things you’re already doing — you have to eat at some point, might as well have company.

  2. Ask Questions-

  3. How can I be praying for you? (Write down their name and actually pray for them. Their real people with real problems, but we can provide real solutions by pointing people to Jesus and following up with them after)

  4. Is there anything keeping you from accepting God’s forgiveness right now?

  5. Where do you find hope in the midst of brokenness?

  6. What do you mean by that?

  7. How did you come to that conclusion?

The time you give someone and the questions you ask someone can lead to a coffee, meal, phone call… a real relationship where they get to see your heart for them, your love for them. Jesus said it like this,

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

C – Carry a burden to share. When considering his Jewish people’s rejection of Christ, Paul says, “I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh” Romans 9:1-3

While he could never lose his salvation, Paul’s heartbreak for his people shows us the level of conviction he held for the saving power of the gospel. We should allow ourselves to feel the same weight — because if we walk around apathetic to the transformative nature of the Gospel, why would anyone else around you care?

D – Develop a plan to share. Practice may not make perfect, but it can definitely help. When you develop a plan to share, you’re intentionally setting yourself up to be able to articulate the gospel clearly when you have the opportunity to. One tool we teach all our leaders is The Gospel Bridge, a simple illustration that takes people through the concepts discussed in Romans 6:23, which reads:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

No matter how you start, it’s better to do it imperfectly than not at all. Remember, all of these tips and tactics can be really helpful, but the most impactful next step you could take is to simply start and trust God to do what He does best. The one thing you can’t do in Heaven is share the Gospel.

Discussion Questions:

  • Who is one person in your life you can share the gospel with this week?
  • What has been holding you back from sharing?
  • Do you truly feel the conviction of the gospel?