This past Sunday night we saw that when the Gospel is being declared and its truth demonstrated it will probably not be long before it will also be disputed (Acts 6:9). In that message, I mentioned the importance of being ready to defend the truth of the Gospel. Like Stephen, we need to be able to engage people in conversation with the kind of wisdom and spirit that cannot be resisted (Acts 6:10).
One way we can prepare ourselves to have discussion about the Gospel is to make sure that we know the Gospel itself very well. Can you define the Gospel? Do you know the important Biblical terms associated with the Gospel? Can you communicate the essential elements and themes of the Gospel?
Another way we can prepare ourselves for discussion is to know the relationship between the Old Testament and the Gospel. Can you show from the Old Testament that the Gospel was not a new teaching? Do you have a handle on the important prophetic passages that foretell both the coming of the Messiah and His redeeming work on the cross? Do you know how Christ and His Gospel fit with the Old Testament covenants to Abraham, Israel (through Moses), and David?
I will be addressing some of these matters in upcoming articles. However, I would strongly encourage you to read carefully and thoughtfully through the book of Romans. In that book you will be strengthened in both your understanding of the Gospel and see its connection to the Old Testament as well.