There is a passage of Scripture that is tattooed on my mind. A phrase in this passage appears to be written in bold and flashes in neon lights. The set of words that jumps out at me so clearly is “as of first importance.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (ESV):
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”
Is the gospel “of first importance” in our writing, teaching, or speaking? Do we painstakingly make clear the redemptive story of Jesus?
As Christian communicators, Jesus should be centric to our lives and our ministries.
We are charged with dispensing biblical truths to a fallen and hurting world. We are carriers of the gospel. The sad truth is that many Christians have neglected the call to preach and teach the gospel as of “first importance” in their messages. When we focus our message on ourselves, our methodology, or on our experience of overcoming, we rob our audiences of the only truth that has the power to truly change their circumstances.
When we begin constructing our message, we should ask “Who is at the center of this message; is it me or is it Jesus?”
When we take on the task of communicating biblical truth, whether through writing or speaking, we have to focus the centricity of its content around the mission and purpose of Jesus. Everything in the Bible, from cover to cover, is about God’s plan of redemption for His people through the finished work of Christ on the cross. Every topic, any earthly issue, can be tied back to the person of Jesus. It is our job to make the connection between the audiences’ struggles and the truth held within the gospel.
We do this by beginning with a deep understanding of the gospel ourselves. We must truly grasp and hold fast to what has saved us. Jesus has saved each one of us through his sacrificial and atoning death, burial, and resurrection. Through faith in him- as the Risen Son of God, we have access to God our Father. He calls us His children and co-heirs with Christ. Try connecting with the moment you encountered your Savior and communicate to your audience how your acceptance of the gospel has changed you. The truth is this: there is no list, method, or encouraging story that can compare to the saving grace and freedom bought with the blood of Christ.
Next, we must have an abiding knowledge of the whole counsel of God through regular engagement with His Word. One of my mentors gave me a pearl of wisdom many years ago. She said, “Holy Spirit giftings are Holy Spirit sustained.” What that means is that we have to be reliant on the revelation of God’s Word through regular study. If our messages are to be biblical ones, we must be immersed in the Bible itself.
Lastly, be committed to the mission of Christ—having a broken heart for the lost. We live in a time consumed by a generation lost. Gone are the days when people socially attended church out of obligation. If you don’t share the hope that you have in Christ within your circle of influence, who will?
My deepest prayer is that gifted communicators would share their stories to highlight Jesus. There are so many people searching for answers, answers they believe they will find in methods or inspiration. All too often, the temporal things of life and the worldly wisdom given falls short in the light of the grace dispersed by God through His Son, Jesus. May we submit our gifts to Him who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16 (ESV).