The Gospel According to Me

January 21, 2014 | Pr. Finny Samuel |

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Social Pulpit of Facebook and Twitter

The word Gospel is a word to word translation of the Greek word "euangelion" meaning "Good Message". The process of sharing the good message is Evangelism and the person who shares it is an Evangelist.

In this digital era, social networking has become an integral part of life, for most of us.  Most of us evangelize about several things on Facebook on a daily basis - Starting from a simple good morning, our breakfast, dishes cooked, places traveled, pictures taken, emotions experienced, jobs done, websites visited and the list goes on and on.  Most of those status updates are evangelizing ourselves or the ones we love.  I'm not saying that it is a sin, but when it grows beyond the realm of information sharing to the area of self-centered attention-seeking, we ought to have a bit of control.  It is absolutely true that up to an extent, these social networks are a blessing since they can be effective media to spread information faster and broader and can be used to interact and share ideas, emotions, and viewpoints. However, when the social network is turned from being a tool to being a dependency and obsession, it is high time that we redefine the depth of the impact these tools have on us.  Modern researches show that analyzing our activity on social media may be one of the best ways to learn about our personality. One glimpse at our Facebook wall or timeline may yield fairly correct judgment into who we are, our priorities, our tastes, and our outlook on almost all areas of life and much more information on us. While we use these tools to interact with our friends and with our community it is as important to make sure how we present ourselves through these interactions.  Would our friends or visitors see Jesus when they visit our timeline? Would they understand what we believe in what we don't? Would the public hear about the true Good News, the real Gospel, from our Facebook timeline or tweet corners?

Evangelism is not the job just for the pastors. It would not require training from a Bible Seminary or in-depth knowledge about the Bible to share what Jesus has done for us through our lives. We always need to remember that our lives might be the only Bible some people ever read in their lifetime. So every Christian should have a Gospel according to himself/herself that is shared through our lives. Let people see Jesus when they interact with us. Let them understand about the difference in being a Christian when they look at us. Thus we will be evangelists even if we do not have the talent for public speech or writing.

How can we develop a gospel according to ourselves?

Be the ambassador of Christ

... we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV)

An ambassador is a highest-ranking official who represents a country and is usually accredited to another country as the resident representative of their own government, appointed for a special and temporary diplomatic assignment.  Since we are the ambassadors of Christ, we, being the highest diplomatic officials in Heaven, are representing the country of Heaven and are temporarily appointed in the country of 'earth' for the special assignment of representing the government (Jesus Christ) of Heaven! How great a privilege and authority is that! When the ambassador of a country talks to an official of another country, the opinion he/she shares is considered as the opinion of the country he/she represents. Likewise when we make a statement to the world, it is considered as the statement from Heaven! From another angle, an ambassador CANNOT take any decision or make a policy as his own, and should consider the policy of his country before doing or conversing anything! If we represent Jesus, our words and deeds are to be aligned exactly with the policies by Jesus Christ! We are the mouth and the hands of Jesus in this world and are supposed to live and act with that responsibility in mind always. We are entrusted with His Gospel and we are supposed to show that in our lives.

Be the light reflecting Christ

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

That (Jesus) was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. - John 1:9 (NKJV)

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:5) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

We are the light of the world and Jesus is the light to the world. John says Jesus is the light of the world as long as He was in the world and once He ascended to Heaven we are given the baton of light (John 9:5, 12:36). So we are like MOON to earth. Moon, by itself, has no light. But reflecting the light of the Sun, it shines brightly at night. Hence we are the reflectors or mirrors reflecting THE Light to the dark world which does not see Jesus (Sun) as its light due to the darkness of evil (night time).  Until the Sun of righteousness arises (Romans 13:12), we need to reflect God's LOVE through our lives and our actions to the world lighting the darkness of evil in the world.

Some may say, 'I'm a Christian and it is a matter between me and God. So others need not know that' - Such people are like lights under a basket (as in Matt. 5:15) - Jesus wants us to be like a lampstand and a city on a hill that is visible from every corner.  Our lives should edify others and God wants us to shine His true light through our daily life.  Our lives and actions should be distinguishable from others. On the side note, as Matt. 5:16 says, if our actions do not bring glory TO God (or they bring glory to ourselves), then it is not worth it.  Light is not compromising. There can never be a mixture of darkness and light and when the light comes (however dim it might be) darkness is gone. [1 John 1:5-7] Being light is a huge responsibility for living a blameless life! (Philippians 2:14-16) As long as we live in the light, the darkness of evil cannot overcome us.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

Be an example of Christ

(Paul says:) Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV)

This is THE most inspiring and challenging verse in the whole Bible for the practical Christian life. Can you imagine a conversation with your friend as below?

Your friend:  How can I live a life acceptable to God?
You Just talk like I talk. Do like I do. Live as I live. Just copy me to lead the life of a saint.

Imagine the huge confidence Paul possessed to urge the Christians to imitate him in order to imitate Christ! Like the transitive equality theorem in Mathematics (If A=B and B=C then A=C), if I imitate Christ and my friend imitate me, then my friend imitates Christ! How many of us can boldly advise another person to imitate us in all the walks of Life? (I know I can't - as of now - though I really want to). IF and WHEN we grow to that level in our Christian life how great a blessed life would that be! Those who are parents among us, we sometimes proudly say to others my son or daughter is like me in so-and-so matter. Still, honestly, we don't want our own children to be exactly like us, at least in some areas of life, just because we know there are some limitations in our own lives. In every walk of our life, if we can examine whether our actions or words can be an example to another person who wants to follow Jesus, we could certainly improve the quality of our Christian life. (2 Corinthians 13:5). For that, we need to imitate Christ first! We need to measure our lives with the heavenly calibration standard.  We can start trying to wonder 'What would have Jesus done or said had he been in this situation?' in those situations where we find difficult to make choice.

 ... being manifested that you are a letter of Christ ...

2 Corinthians 3:3 NKJV

I want to encourage you to examine yourselves on the divine standards.

  • If I were the Bible to others what would others read from me?
  • If I am the letter of Christ (2 Cor. 3:3), what is the message written ON me?
  • If I am the mirror of Christ, am I reflecting His light?
  • If I am the representative of Christ, am I speaking the Policies of Christ?
  • What is THE GOSPEL according to me?

PS: This article is the summation of a message God talked to me about my own life which convicted and inspired me very deeply.

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