How to share the gospel with 4 words

It’s crunch time. You’ve been sharing Jesus with a friend. They’re really interested and they want to know more about what following Jesus means for them. You know it’s time to share the Gospel. But how do you summarise the Gospel? How do you tell it in a way that’s more helpful than confusing? There’s no script and you don’t want to mess it up.

A simple way to share the gospel meaningfully, is to memorise these 4 words: position, problem, provision, part

Each word describes an important section of the gospel message and is partnered with questions to help start the conversation and simple ideas to give you helpful language to unpack each section.

POSITION: Love is God’s position towards us

God is love and He is the creator of all things. As an outflow of His abundant love, He created the universe, the world, and all things in it. Because God is love, He loves every human being and His desire is to be in relationship with the people He created. For us, his people, relationship with God means life, wholeness, fulfilment, and living in harmony with others.

Question: What do you think love is?

God is love. God doesn’t just show love as an action. He is love. God loves all of His creation.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
– 1 John 4:7–8

God’s love is unconditional. This is not a love that must be earned or achieved, it’s given unconditionally.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”
– John 3:16

PROBLEM: Sin is our problem

God created man and woman to live in relationship with Him and each other, however, when humanity sinned, our sin cut off our relationship with God. Now every person has a spiritual heart problem, this is what we call sin. Sin is any choice we make that goes against God’s design for our life and these choices fundamentally break our relationship with God.

Question: What do you think sin is?

Sin is an “own way” attitude. Sin isn’t just bad things we do, it’s a fundamental attitude that makes choices against God’s design for our life.

“We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned his own way.”
– Isaiah 53:6

Question: What are the consequences of sin?

Sin separates us from God. Making choices that go against God’s design for our lives break our relationship with him. No one can earn their way back to God with good deeds because we are all sinners. Sin cuts us off from God, our source of life, so sin is the reason that we all eventually die.

“Your sins have cut you off from God.”
– Isaiah 59:2

PROVISION: Jesus is God’s provision

God wanted to restore relationship with him so he made a way for that to work. Jesus entered into the world. He is God, so He lived the perfect life we could not live and died the death we deserved. He lay dead in a tomb for three days, and on that third day, he rose again proving He was God and that his sacrifice was acceptable.

Question: Who do you think Jesus is?

Jesus is God. Jesus is God in human form. He lived a perfect life and did not sin.

“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
– John 14:9

Question: Why did Jesus have to die?

Jesus died as our substitute. The consequence of sin is death. However, Jesus died on the cross in our place, cancelling humanity’s debt of sin.

“But God demonstrates His love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8

PART: Turn and trust is our part

Believing in Jesus means turning from sin and trusting in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. The Bible calls this repentance and faith. You can’t just say the words or go through the motions, God knows your heart. You can do this by praying to God.

Question: What do you think it means to follow Jesus?

Our response is to turn away from our sins. This is repentance. When we own our brokenness and turn away from our sin to Jesus, he forgives us.

“Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens the door, I will come in.“

– Revelation 3:20

Our response is also to trust that Jesus is God and defeated death for us. This is faith. We can trust Jesus because he loves us unconditionally, which he demonstrated by dying in our place. When we trust that Jesus is God and that he defeated death for us, his undefeatable life now lives in us.

“…if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.“
– Romans 10:9

If your friend wants to make the decision to follow Jesus, you can help them by giving them the words to say. Try a prayer like this (get them to repeat the sentences after you):

Dear God. I know you love me. I’m sorry for my sin and that I have gone my own way. Thank you for your son Jesus who died on the cross for my sins and rose again. Today I turn from my sin and trust in Jesus alone. Amen.

Reinforce to them that these are not magic words, they’re an expression of the heart and that God sees their honest heart.

This framework is designed to help you articulate the gospel message. Don’t feel the pressure to share it all at once. In fact, it would be rare that you would do that in one go. More often it’s a helpful structure to keep in mind to help you diagnose what your friends might need to hear. For example, do they need to understand more about who God is? Or perhaps a helpful definition of the nature of sin. Often sharing Jesus doesn’t come down to one conversation where you explain the whole gospel. It can be helpful to gradually explain it over time, based on the needs and questions of your friend.

Spend time over a week committing these 4 words and the related questions, ideas and verses to memory so that you feel prepared to articulate the gospel story with meaning and clarity next time you have an opportunity to share it.


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