Can you tweet the gospel? Can you summarize the good news of Christ reconciling sinners to God through his work on the cross and his resurrection and ascension in 280 characters? Can you explain the gospel in 60 seconds?
Christians ought to know the gospel well enough to clearly and concisely communicate it. And know the gospel full enough to know when a key element is being left out. Every summary fails its subject at some point. No gospel explanation exhausts the gospel, but many gospel explanations neglect key components.
In Titus 3 Paul reveals the gospel foundation of our Christian conduct in the public sphere. Having called believers to be submissive to rulers and authorities and to be kind to all people (Titus 3:1-2), he explains why. Having called Titus to remind them of gospel conduct Paul reminds them of gospel foundations.
- “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.” (Titus 3:3-8)
Here is a rich gospel presentation.Timothy is to “insist on these things” (Titus 3:8). John Stott summarizes, “Paul isolates six ingredients of salvation — its need (why it is necessary), its source (where it originates), its ground (what it rests on), its means (how it comes to us), its goal (what it leads to) and its evidence (how it proves itself)” (201).
Christian you may or may not cover all six ingredients in your next gospel-centered tweet. But ask, “Am I neglecting critical ingredients? Am I digitally serving a half-baked gospel?”