Evangelism Week 4
Week 4 of the course encouraged us to think about The Gospel in a Nutshell.
J John suggested that one way to do this was to focus on the Four D’s .
1) God formed us - Design. Genesis is Hebrew for beginnings we are told in Genesis 1:27 -32 “God created mankind in his own image ... and it was very good” God the creator formed us as the crown and pinnacle of His creation -in his likeness.
2) Sin deformed us – Disorder. God’s creation did not stay that way for long and Genesis 3 records the advent of sin into the world. Genesis gives a general permission and a singular prohibition Genesis 2:16-17 but Adam and Eve were unable to resist temptation.
They are just like us, everyone has strayed from the right path. It has been pointed out by someone that sin is a three letter word with I in the middle. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and this caused them to be excluded from the garden. In other words it resulted in their alienation from God. We have to live with that alienation today . Sin separates us from God
3) Christ transforms us- Deliverance. In Genesis 3:15 the serpent, who represents the devil is promised that a descendant of Eve will crush his head . Then Paul in Colossians 2 vs 15 declares that Jesus Christ “disarmed the powers and authorities .... making a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross.”
The cross is God’s great rescue plan. Jesus means God saves or a modern paraphrase might be God to the rescue. God in Christ has come to our rescue delivering us from disorder and death. His resurrection and ascension declares his victory.
4) Scripture informs us - Decision. John 1 vs 1-12 says to all who did receive him to those who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God.
Each of us has a decision to make to:
Believe in Jesus and repent of our sins.
Receive Jesus into our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and grow our faith.
Follow Jesus in every area of life. following makes Jesus Lord .
We brainstormed what truth we felt we learned from each of these D’s, the idea being that we need to be able to apply the truth of each to life . We came up with some good ideas- like we are all special – forgiveness is possible etc .
We then looked at some pastoral scenarios. We looked at which of the four D’s we might share with some one and also looked at how we might share something of the truth of Jesus with them.
We agreed to do some role play next week to try to practise sharing our faith. Everyone felt this was scary, but we also realised that we needed to practise talking about our faith. We need to put some of what we have learned into practice.
Finally we looked at the Nicene creed and agreed that we would each try and rewrite one paragraph in our words as homework the idea being that it would help us to know better what we believe.
WE BELIEVE in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.