Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: “When I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
Here Paul, the renowned apostle, revealed that the results of his preaching were not dependent on his personal skills, knowledge, or expertise but on the power of God.
Since the biblical principle in this passage applies to all Christians, it can be a simple but powerful guideline to help us share the gospel. Paul doesn’t mention any textbooks, formulas, or evangelistic strategies. Rather, he concentrates on two basic truths that all of us can grasp.
To share the gospel effectively and compellingly, Christians should focus on the right spirit and the right message. It’s that simple.
The right spirit for sharing our faith is the spirit of humility. One of the greatest hindrances to communicating the gospel is personal pride. Unbelievers are seldom offended by a Christian who humbly shares what Christ has done in his or her life.
Personal honesty, including admission of our past failures and problems, is rarely an obstacle to witnessing. But when we imply through a proud spirit that we’re better than others because of our salvation experience, we immediately establish a barrier to the gospel.
Unbelievers quickly recognize spiritual pride. They see it as hypocrisy and resent the implication that they are inferior to Christians. How many people are won to Christ when we’re filled with pride and arrogance? Very few.
The other essential element in sharing our faith is having the right message. But what is the right message? Paul wrote: “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Contrary to what some people think, you do not have to know philosophy or theology to share Christ. You do not need a seminary degree. Paul said you should know that Jesus died on your behalf, bore your sins, and paid your penalty of death. As a result, you can receive the gift of eternal life from the Father.
When you talk with unbelievers, center your conversation on the person of Jesus Christ. It’s His claims and His life that you are sharing. Paul clearly understood this truth. That is why the message of the cross was the focus of his preaching.
Salvation is not complicated. An eight-year-old can know Jesus as his Savior as readily as an eighty-year-old. All that is necessary is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work on Calvary.
A personal testimony is a mighty tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit. As long as it focuses on Christ, it can be a significant factor in drawing others to Jesus. I know of many people who came to know Christ because they heard what He had done for someone else.
Others can relate to a personal testimony. They can identify with our doubts, fears, mistakes, and ignorance. They can see the difference Christ has made in our lives.
They understand when we share our feelings of hopelessness and meaninglessness. Deep within, they share the same sense of guilt over sin, the same fear of death, and the same questions about the purpose of our existence.
Never hesitate to tell others what Christ has done for you. It is a story of supernatural significance—even if it happened without drama or fanfare.
Adapted from "The Charles F. Stanley’s Life Principles Bible," 2008.