We hear all around us the terms “preaching the Gospel, sharing the Gospel, believing the Gospel, loving the Gospel.” “Gospel” is one of those words that sneaks into our vocabularies and we use with great ease without always understanding just what it means. My guess is that if you ask most believers what they believe, they can tell you; but if you ask them to share the Gospel with you, you’ll get an uncomfortable silence or else a woefully incomplete explanation of God’s plan for mankind.
The Question: What is the Gospel?Is the Gospel God coming to earth in the form of Jesus Christ to save us from our sins? Is the Gospel the person, the ministry and the life of Jesus Christ? Is it God’s plan of repentance and salvation? Is the Gospel the promise of eternal life with the Master Creator?
The Answer: All of the Above and Then Some“Gospel: The history of the birth, life, actions, death, resurrection, ascension and doctrines of Jesus Christ ; or a revelation of the grace of God to fallen man through a mediator . . . with the whole scheme of salvation, as revealed by Christ and his apostles.” – American Dictionary of The English Language – Noah Webster 1828
Last year I heard Steve Demme of http://www.mathusee.com/ speak of his experiences of fathering his son, Johnny, with Down syndrome who is now in his 20s. One thing he spoke of is his question of whether or not Johnny can really understand all of the elements of salvation and his committment to present the Gospel to Johnny at every opportunity, so that at least as much as he is able to receive it, it is given to him. What a great reminder to me of my duty to pass on the love and the knowledge of Jesus Christ to my children at every turn, no matter what their mental age.
The salvation bracelets have been out for a while now, and they are a great visual reminder of the elements of salvation. It’s a simple bracelet children make in Sunday School classes with stretchy elastic jewelry cord and colored pony beads representing the different elements of the Gospel. I’ve changed the most common script up because, frankly, I find it a bit incomplete. This PDF file, Gospel in PIctures PEC Board, contains color-coded picture cards to help you walk through the Gospel with your child. The fully editable version is available at http://mrsriley.com/app/#fileID=47727. Each color stands for an element of the Gospel and includes scripture and explanation cards that are bordered in the color of the element. You can use the board as a standalone prop in explaining the Gospel to your child or Sunday School class. To increase participation, I encourage you to print off two copies, laminate them both, cut cards from one, and as you go through the script, have the child or children match the cards to the board.
If you like the idea of the bracelets, at the end of the lesson, either pass out pre-made bracelets (one appropriately colored bead for each Gospel element) or have supplies ready for the children to make their own. If you have time for the children to make multiples, this is a fabulous witnessing tool they can make for their friends. These also make a nice accompaniment to gospel tracts – just make up a bracelet, bag it along with the Gospel in PIctures PEC Board and hand it out as or in addition to a tract. This visual representation of God’s perfect plan can be a powerful witnessing tool to our children and to our world. The fact that the colors help in memorizing the key points is just a bonus.
Blessings to you and yours,
P.S. – Is there anything in this board you’d like to see differently? I’d love for this to be as useful as possible, so if there’s something distracting or unclear, drop me a line and help me fix it.