The writer of Philemon 1:6 says that he is praying that through the sharing of ‘your faith’ people would effectively know the full measure of what is for us in Christ.
However, the main message of the New Testament, is not to share our faith. But rather, to share the gospel of faith. The gospel of faith in Jesus.
Yes we do this by sharing our testimony and experiences of walking with God. But, I think there is a danger that we attach ourselves too much to the gospel.
What do I mean?
I remember hearing a Casting Crowns song as a teenage that had a few lines that really stuck with me:
This world doesn’t need my tie, my hoodie
My denomination or my translation of the bible
They just need Jesus
We can be passionate about what we believe
But we can’t strap ourselves to the gospel’Cause we’re slowing it down
Jesus is going to save the world
But maybe the best thing we can do
Is just get out of the way
Yes obviously, there is a balance in this. If the gospel is not personal it can be just cold hard fact. Un-relatable and impersonal. Without vulnerable sharing of our weaknesses and sins, people will not see how in need of grace we ourselves are…But I think an even greater concern is that we are trying to be too much like our post-modern culture in sharing the gospel. Talking about how it is our faith that we share. Just like it is ‘our truth’ in a world of many ‘truths’.
No, the gospel is the good news. And it stands powerfully by itself as hope for the world. Far be it from me, to get in the way, by talking about faith as something I possess. Rather, let me point to Jesus, who’s faithful obedience to God, purchased souls for eternal life.
In doing so, we will allow the gospel to be adopted and experienced in fresh ways by new believers. Maybe this very change would produce greater innovation, creativity and diversity in the Church. Instead of a cookie cutter Christianity, where everyone is trying to be like the ‘white male middle class pastor’, we would have Christians living out a unique faith in the very worlds in which they do life.