For any who have been genuinely saved and delivered from the penalty, power, guilt and shame of sin, it is because they heard of and believed in the true and triumphant Jesus Christ. Through the Spirit’s revealing work, they were convicted, captivated and captured by His deep devotion to people and His deep desire to come and save them from sin and for righteousness, now and forever.
So if we are to truly share the gospel, we must make it all about Jesus. We must introduce people to Jesus as Savior and Redeemer, the one who took the pain and paid the price to take away sin’s death grip by divine grace. We must help them to be captured by Jesus as Substitute and Life-Giver, the one who died in their place and was raised to give them abundant and eternal life. Finally, they must be captured by Jesus as Lord and Friend, the one who is infinitely worthy of all love and obedience and who welcomes them into a life of abiding and intimate friendship when they fully surrender their lives to His supreme authority.
Dr. David Shibley puts it like this: “It’s all about Jesus. The star of this story is Jesus Christ. Paul said that the gospel is ‘concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom. 1:3). In His life He is humanity’s only perfection; in His death, humanity’s only Savior; in His resurrection, humanity’s only hope. Yes, we are the objects of His love, but the subject is Jesus. Let’s not confuse the object with the subject. Our personal salvation stories are not the gospel; they are testimonies to the power of the gospel. We’re not saved merely because we gave our lives to Jesus; we are saved because Jesus gave His life for us.” *
Remember: When we keep the glorious and gracious Jesus as the central figure of the story of God’s plan for redemption and restoration, people will be captivated and captured by the soul-saving, life-giving, freedom-granting, kingdom-conquering, eternal Son of God.
* ENTRUSTED: Anchoring Your Life In The Gospel, by Dr. David Shibley