Was there ever a point in your life when you wondered about the “so what?” of the gospel, wondered what the practical effect of it in your day-to-day life was? Understanding that is so important and something that is often neglected in children’s discipleship. As a follow up to our last two blog posts on a framework for communicating the gospel with children, here is a brief framework for communicating a foundation for how to live it out.
Communicate what life can look like when someone is filled with God’s Spirit.
“Instead of listening to the flesh, you can listen to the Spirit and the Spirit gives you all the strength of God to live like Him. Jesus is in you and you are in Jesus. There’s no sin that’s stronger than Jesus and His Spirit is in you, so instead of obeying sin, you can say no to it—because you have God’s life (His Spirit) in you. Is there anything that’s stronger than God? No! And if He’s living in you, is there anything that’s too strong for you to say no to with His strength? No! What about whining? What about a bad attitude? What about fear? What about selfishness? What about [fill in the blank]?”
In Christ, Victory, and Walking in the Spirit
“Think about it like this too: After He died, Jesus came back to life again and went to the right hand of God the Father in heaven where everything is beneath His feet. That means He’s above everything, stronger than everything, King of everything. When you repent and believe, God gives you His life to be in you and also makes it so that you’re in Him. So what Jesus has, you have. Where Jesus is, you are. You’re in Him and He’s in you. It’s like you’re at the right hand of the Father too—in Jesus. If all things are under His feet, they’re under yours too.
Think about a bug being under your foot. You’re above it, stronger than it. Wouldn’t it be silly to do what the bug told you to do? Yes! So wouldn’t it also be silly to live like sin is still stronger than you and that you have to do whatever the flesh tells you to do? It’s beneath your feet! It’s not stronger than Jesus. Since you’re in Him and He’s in you, sin isn’t stronger than you either. Instead of obeying it, you can now glorify Jesus by showing what He is like, by following the Spirit and living like Jesus. Listen to His voice (through the Spirit and through God’s Word), trust that He’s given you everything you need (His life), and then obey. This doesn’t mean you will never sin again, but God will show you when you do, you can turn away from it, and instead of seeing a pattern of sin in your life (sinning over and over and over again) you’ll start seeing a pattern of following Jesus and being more like Him.”
Knowing and Glorifying
Don’t forget to remind the child over and over again what a joy it is to belong to Jesus, to be loved by Him, to know Him, to follow Him, to live fully for Him, to glorify Him, to look forward to all of forever with Him.
“And now you can do all that you were created to do. You can know and glorify Jesus, filled with His life and His joy, following Him, growing ever closer to Him, becoming more and more like Him as you do, and knowing that one day He will come back and you will be forever with Him. There is absolutely nothing better.”
The truths found in this Gospel Framework series are foundational truths to come back to over and over again in your own life and as you disciple children. The gospel isn’t just a one-time thing you share with a child or something you put up on a shelf once you know your sins are forgiven. These principles should be woven into every aspect of discipleship for they are the very basis not only of salvation but of continued growth and maturity in Christ, of a victorious, given, joy-filled life of knowing and glorifying Him.
There isn’t a formula for imparting the truth of the gospel and it takes sensitivity to the Spirit to know what and how to communicate in any given circumstance. The situations will be as varied and unique as the children you’re discipling, but oh, what wisdom and creativity He gives. So treasure the gospel, meditate on it, never lose the wonder of it, study it, know it, love it, live it. Ask the Lord for such a grasp on it that you can share it with a 4-year old or a 14-year old or 94-year old in all its astonishing simplicity without losing its profound depths. Remember that He is even more desirous than you are for His gospel to be proclaimed and He will provide you with all that is needed to do so in the lives of the children He has entrusted to you.