The Microevangelium

The Microevangelium

What Bible passage contains a microevangelium? Don’t gloss over this question. It is essential if you plan to share the gospel.

But first, what is a microevangelium? Confession: I made the word up. Just like the protoevangelium (proto = first, evangelium = gospel) is the first gospel (psst, its located in Genesis 3:16), so a microevangelium (micro = small, evangelium = gospel) is a succinct summary of the gospel.

I would personally like to title 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 the microevangelium. I believe that this passage summarizes the gospel. Last week I pointed out the four components of the gospel, and this passage contains all four. Take a look:

“…God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)

The end of 2 Corinthians 5 is like a five-star buffet, but your stomach hardly has space to try all the delicious helpings. Here is regeneration, becoming a new man in Christ! There we find justification, Christ made sin, and us the righteousness of God in him! Wow, wonderful stuff! But of course, we are looking for a summary of the Gospel, so I can’t include half the chapter. Notice how the two verses quoted above convey all four components of the Gospel:

#1 – God – These verses don’t go into much of a theology of God, but look at the first word of this summary: God. God is presupposed. And he is described, not as a force, a cycle, or an idea, but as a person – he is active, working to reconcile, to plead (as it were) through the apostles themselves. If you use these verses as a launch-pad into the gospel, you might need to lay more foundation. But even in these verses you can point to God’s personality, his centrality to the message, his action, and his desire to reconcile, as well as his ability to judge (since it is implied that he can impute trespasses).

#2 – Man – There is so much theology about man packed in here. First, God was reconciling the world to himself. That implies that the world is not naturally reconciled, that it is opposed to God. Second, the world has trespasses – it is sinful, breaking God’s commands. And then Paul implores people to be reconciled: that implies that every individual person requires reconciliation to God, because they are opposed to him.

#3 – Christ – Here is the essence of the message: God sought reconciliation in Christ. He was in Christ. And Paul implores people on Christ’s behalf. Obviously, Christ is at the crux of this message. God works out his redemption of the world through this person called Christ. Without Christ, there is no reconciliation.

#4 – Response – This is what I love about this passage: it brings the message home. These verses actually implore you to be reconciled to God. Does our modern evangelism implore people to be reconciled? Does it reveal their separation from God, and then implore them to bridge that gap through Jesus Christ?

As I mentioned last week, Peter used ‘many other words’ to preach the gospel. Don’t view this microevangelium as containing everything that the gospel holds (all the books in the world can’t delve into its full detail), but rather view it as a launch pad. Unpack each of these four components.

There are certainly many other ‘microevangeliums’ in the Bible. Which ones have you found?