A Simple Gospel Diagram
Brett had been sharing the gospel with Mahmut, but some things were still a little unclear. Brett then called Brock who came and spent an hour or so sharing a simple Gospel Diagram from selected Scriptures with Mahmut. This clarified the gospel for Mahmut and he placed his faith in Christ.
Brock’s Gospel Diagram comes from years of experience simply sharing the gospel with his neighbors in their language from many Biblical texts throughout Scripture – stories, prophecies and other key passages – to provide a grand narrative of the gospel using the following diagram.
I love how Brock keeps it simple. I annotate Brock’s description using Scripture texts that he often uses, while keeping the graph itself Scripture-free. In doing so, I want us to consider how we could abundantly and effectively apply various Scripture passages using this diagram or something like it to help us better proclaim the gospel while practicing Language 180. Brock begins with two horizontal lines that stretch to infinity:
In the beginning, there was eternal God (Genesis 1:1-3). God created everything (1:1-26). God created man in his own image (1:27) for one purpose: to inherit everlasting life with God (1:27).
Everything was good (Genesis 1:31). God created woman to be with man and they lived perfectly in God’s garden with neither shame nor sin (2:25), though God warned them not to sin (2:15-17).
Then the man and woman sinned (Genesis 3:1-7) and immediately sin and shame entered the world and came into their hearts. They were cast out of the garden. Their destination now was eternal death (illustrated by the downward “Fall” arrow.) This, too, is our destiny because of our sin. We lost everything, and fell to eternal death, forever.
The man and woman tried to solve their shame by covering themselves with leaves (Genesis 3:7), but God provided the skin of an animal (3:21) to cover their shame. Though their relationship with God was now broken (3:23-4), God promised a descendant who would come as a savior (3:15).
Men continued to sin. Brother killed brother. All hated God. God destroyed the world with a flood. Because of his faith, God saved only Noah and his family in the ark (Genesis 6-9). Men at Babel then tried to build a tower to reach the heavens, and to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:1-8), illustrated by the “Babel” tower image and upward arrows leading to infinite futility. It is only through our faith in Christ – not through religion, philosophy, or good works – that we can be reconciled to God.
2000 years before Christ, God called Abraham out of his home to go to a land that he would show him. Abraham believed God and followed him (Genesis 12:1-3). God blessed Abraham with a son in his old age. Then God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac (22:1-14). Abraham obeyed God, and because of Abraham’s wholehearted faith, God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in place of his son. By faith, Abraham pointed to Jesus, God’s only son, who would be sacrificed for our sins (illustrated by the “Prophecy” arrows pointing to our future hope in Christ.)
Moses (1400 BC) led the descendants of Abraham out of slavery in Egypt by the power of God through signs and wonders. The last sign was the death of each firstborn in all of Egypt. The angel of death ‘passed over’ the homes of the people of God, who had marked their doors with lamb’s blood (Exodus 12:1-14, 21-32), and were therefore saved. By faith, Moses also pointed to Jesus (see “Prophecy” arrows) who saves us by his blood.
Isaiah (700 BC) prophesied about the eternal Lamb of God who takes away our sins (Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12) pointing to Christ’s sacrificial death. John 1:1-18 says that Jesus Christ was the Word of God, God himself who had come to live among us. John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ who came to earth as a baby and died on the cross for our sins, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) illustrated by the cross of Christ. Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. Only when we put our faith in Jesus can we be cleansed from sin, reconciled to God, and inherit eternal life.
Jesus testified of himself as the fulfillment of all law and prophecy (Matthew 5:17). He prophesied of his death and resurrection (Luke 18:31-33), and actually died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the grave (Luke 23-24). Jesus is God’s only son (John 3:16), and those who believe in him are saved from eternal death to inherit eternal life (John 20:24-31).
We have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). But God showed his love for us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). We deserve eternal death, but God’s gift to us is eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Jesus is the Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7), the last and only sacrifice (Hebrews 10:12), the final word of God to us, the heir of all things, through whom all things were created, the radiance of God’s glory, the exact imprint of his nature, who upholds the universe by the word of his power, who made purification for our sins by his death on the cross, and is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:1-3). “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift – not from works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This is the faith that transforms our lives. This is the gospel message we are called to know, live, preach, and teach. As we follow Christ’s commission to make disciples of all peoples let us never pursue anything less than a full-on commitment toward total fluency in our gospel message, encompassing the entire breadth and depth of all biblical truth in the languages and cultures God calls us to learn.
We cannot transmit the faith we do not know.
(Jen Wilkin, from The Future of Missions)