Being reformed (that is, committed to the whole counsel of God in terms of its thought, teaching, and common threads) can, if one is not careful, sap the vitality and life out of ones persistence in prayer and zeal for evangelism. Without getting in to the finer details of why this phenomena should be both anathema and fantastically farcical to true believers, let us nevertheless presume for a moment that it can happen. So, the astute reader might ask, then, what DOES a reformed presentation of the Gospel actually look like? This recent article in byFaith Magazine gives some very helpful summation on the topic:
So what do these characteristics look like in a Reformed gospel presentation? An explanation of a God-centered gospel includes five elements. It will:
• Showcase the glory of God as Creator and Redeemer, generating an awe of Him and a profound indebtedness for His covenant mercies expressed in Christ.
• Display the logical flow of the gospel, moving from problem to solution, as well as the glorious illogic of grace, the non sequitur of God’s love of the unlovely and His justification of the ungodly.
• Carry with it the overtones of God’s sovereign work in salvation and the undertow of His purpose in election, which is initiated and ensured by Him, and contingent on Him rather than our efforts.
• Be communicated in ways that rely on the Holy Spirit whereby we see ourselves as spiritual midwives and not spiritual salesmen; whereby we are driven to prayer in dependence on the Spirit and happily submissive to His working.
• Issue a call not merely to conversion but to discipleship as the exercise of lively faith and the fruit of genuine repentance; it must convey the necessity of obeying God’s commands to believe on His Son and to turn from sin and live by grace under the lordship and for the sake of Christ.
It is interesting to note, by the way, that without the fifth bullet point, our presentation of Christ’s saving work is not in fact at all faithful to the great commission unless part of the call is to demonstrate newfound faith in the bearing out of fruit.
For what it’s worth.