Here are ten Biblical principles to apply and help you share your faith with others.
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19, NLT). The phrase “all nations” means you will encounter various nations’ languages, skin colors, people groups, behaviors, customs, and beliefs. If that nation or people group are Hindus, Buddhist, atheist, Islamic, or backwoods voodoo you are to love them, share the gospel with them, and point them to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life for all nations. This will take acceptance and understanding while sharing Christ.
Let’s join Paul’s attitude when he wrote, “My prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved” (Rom. 10:1, NLT). Go ahead and pray for Israel, but also pray to God for _____ to be saved as well (you fill in the blank with someone dear to your heart). Your unsaved spouse, child, co-worker, fellow student, neighbor, or friend needs you to pray for them. In addition to praying for the lost, ask God to send out other believers who can share the gospel of Christ. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields” (Matt. 9:37-38, NLT). This could mean to pray for your company to have more godly workers, your local school to have more Christian teachers, your family to have more believers, and your city to have more healthy churches.
Notice carefully what Paul wrote, “When I am with those who are weak I share their weaknesses, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:22-23, NLT). The word “weak” refers to their weakness in understanding the gospel. What Paul is saying is even if people need simple explanations and elementary answers about God, Jesus, sin, and eternal life he is willing to simplify his explanation to help them understand. He doesn’t expect those without Christ to know much or anything about Christ so he is considerate. He starts where they are, not where he is.
There are many people in your town and around the world who don’t understand the mystery of Christ. It’s hard for them to comprehend how Jesus’ death and resurrection 2000 years ago could have an eternal impact on them now. With the help of the Holy Spirit and learning how to “share in their weakness” you can start where they are, not where you are.
Peter said, “If someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15, NLT). The idea behind the word “explain” is to defend. In the world of theology it is called apologetics. Apologetics is studying and training yourself to be able to defend the gospel and God’s Word regarding what and why you believe what you believe as a follower of Jesus. Whether you are in a courtroom or living room defending your faith you should “always be ready to explain it.”
Peter goes on to say, “If someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way” (emphasis added, 1 Peter 3:15-16, NLT). The word “gentle” refers to meekness or humility. It is answering others’ questions without being domineering or overbearing. Don’t be harsh when trying to explain the gospel or responding to their belief that may be different than yours.
When explaining the gospel or answering questions about what and why you believe what you do about Christ, Peter tells us to respond in a “respectful way” (1 Peter 5:15-16, NLT). When answering an unbeliever or doubter’s questions and discussing the Bible you want to be respectful. This means you will be polite, courteous, and considerate in your conversation. You will let them finish talking and explaining their view point before you begin. You respect their view even though you may disagree with it. When the conversation is over they should walk away feeling like you heard them and you valued their opinion.
Have confidence in the power of the gospel. Paul with great confidence wrote, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16, NLT). Paul was confident in the gospel of Jesus. He was confident in the power of God. He was confident that God was at work saving everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior. His confidence was not arrogance, but humble certainty in the message of God’s Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. He was not embarrassed about what he believed or his relationship with Jesus Christ. This confidence is what gave him the passion and drive to share Jesus with others.
You are told to “live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5, NLT). The word “wisely” refers to the ability to collect and organize principles of Scripture for a given situation. Wisdom involves properly evaluating circumstances and making godly decisions. As a believer, you are to show a carefully planned, consistent, and godly life based on Scripture. To “live wisely” means you are applying Biblical principles of forgiveness, grace, humility, and mercy in your situation at school, work, or community events.
Immediately following our encouragement to be wise among unbelievers we are told, “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Colossians 4:6, NLT). To speak with grace means to say what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complementary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful. Whether you are undergoing persecution, rejection, stress, difficulty, or injustice your speech should be filled with grace. Those without Christ should hear your graciousness toward them and others, which will make your conversation attractive.
Jesus had this attitude and so should you. Jesus said of Himself, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10, NLT). Jesus came looking for and seeking after those who don’t believe. Join Him in seeking them out. There are lost people, non-believers, and the unchurched in your life. Some of them are needing some questions answered, while others are simply waiting for someone to ask them about Jesus or to invite them to church. Be looking because the harvest is ready.