Do you remember the game show, $10,000 Pyramid, hosted by Dick Clark? It was a game where one team member would listen to clues from the other team member and give an answer. For example, one team member might say, “You sit on this item. It has four legs. There might be arm rests. It may be upholstered.” Then the other team member would say, “A chair.” Correct!
There were two elements to the show. During the first section, the giver of clues could use their hands and voice inflections to help with the description, but in the second section, their bodies had to be perfectly still and they had to speak without inflection. If during the second element either rule was broken, a buzzer would sound and they would move on.
Sometimes we feel like we are in this game show in life. We may not get clues, but we certainly get questions or statements. Like, “What are you going to be after school or college?” I always answered, “A high school music teacher.” If I had been on that television show, I would have heard the buzzer! I am anything but a high school music teacher…never have been and never will be.
Perhaps life turns serious. We may hear statements and be expected to have an answer. Like, “Your unborn child has a heart defect.” Or, “You have cancer.” How are we to respond to these statements? I’m not sure we have answers in these situations, just faith that God is in control of the situation and prayers will be answered according to His purpose.
And then, there are these dreaded questions. “Why do you believe there is a God?” “Can you tell me about Jesus?” “Your faith is so strong, why?” “How do I become a Christian?” Do you have an answer for this type of question?
I’ve heard from some that if you don’t know the theological answers to these questions, to simply tell your story. Tell them how Jesus has impacted your life and why you are different because of what He’s done. While I love this concept and think it is a start, it is just that. A start. A good start. But I believe we must be able to get into Scripture to tell others about Jesus.
We read in Scripture, “But make sure in your hearts that Christ is Lord. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope you have. Be ready to give the reason for it. But do it gently and with respect.” (1 Peter 3:15- NIRV) So here’s my version of the salvation plan.
We must believe
There is a lot that we simply must have faith in. We must believe that God’s Word is living and active and that God breathed life into each verse. (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16)
We must believe that Jesus is God’s Son, sent to be the Messiah, the Savior of mankind. (John 3:15-16; 1 John 5:1; 5:5; Romans 3:22)
We must believe that Jesus was crucified for the forgiveness of our sins and rose to life to prove victory over death. (Luke 24:46-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:14)
We must repent
Repentance means to turn completely around. To go the opposite direction of our original path. So for a believer, we must put to death the sinful nature in order for the spiritual nature to be visible. (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19)
We must confess
You’ve heard it before, Peter’s great confession of our Lord. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16 – NIV) Yes, we must proclaim it as well. Matthew 16:16; 2 Timothy 2:19
We must be baptized
Jesus teaches that baptism is part of the salvation plan and was himself baptized. Peter preached it on the day of Pentecost. Paul also was baptized and preached baptism. (Matthew 3:13; 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 9:18; Galatians 3:27)
We must live
Live lives that bring honor, glory and praise to God who has freely lavished grace upon us. There are plenty of passages that lead us in this direction, but I’m listing two here. (Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 2:10)
We must tell
If in fact we have the greatest news mankind has ever heard, why do we keep silent? Why isn’t His message on the tip of our tongues constantly? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know that Scriptures tell me to share the Gospel. (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:47)
This is just a start…but at least you’ll be able to begin with what is here. But here’s the thing. You must make it your own. I do like the story part. Write you’re your story. Practice telling it. Add Scripture to it and then you’ll be set and ready for the next person that asks you that hard question. You can do it. I know you can with God’s Spirit within you.
Believe it. Confess it. Live it. Tell it.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,