25
Jan
10

Six Questions

 

Any English or Journalism major will tell you there are six important questions you need to ask when writing or investigating a story. They consist of five W’s and one H:

  • Who (was involved)?

  • What (happened)?

  • When (did it happen)?

  • Where (did it happen)?

  • Why (did it happen)?

  • How (did it happen)?

These six questions, whether in news style, research, or any investigation, form the basics tools of information-gathering. They represent a formula for getting the “full” story on something. For a report to be considered complete it should answer all six questions. So, if we’re going to give the full story, if we’re to be able to relate what we believe to others, we must be able to answer the five W’s and one H of the Gospel.

 The first of the six questions is:

 

“Who?”

Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”  

Acts 9:4-5

Who are the main characters involved in the above passage? Jesus Christ and Saul of Tarsus. Saul was on his way to Damascus, on orders from the High Priest to arrest some followers of a new Jewish cult, when he is stricken by a bright appearance, causing him to fall to the ground and hear a voice call out to him. Saul is confused and asks an important question (the same question we must answer if we are to understand the full story of the Gospel): “Who are you, Lord?”

If we are to have any success in sharing our faith with others, we must answer that same question for ourselves. Who is Jesus Christ to you? Your answer to that question colors your clear understanding of the Gospel and the ministry of Jesus Christ. Well, you might say, “Jesus is my Savior”. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” He is God’s only begotten Son.” He is the Lamb of God, who takes away my sins.” All of those are accurate enough, but it’s not enough to just say words, you must know, in your heart that He is exactly Who Scripture says He is, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior. He was fully man, so He completely understands everything you struggle with as a person. He understands hunger, fatigue, lust, temptation, etc. But unless this is a settled matter in your heart; unless your knowledge of this comes from an unshakable conviction of the truth it contains, than you do not truly know who Jesus Christ is. So, I again ask the question: Who is Jesus Christ to you?

Now we move on to the next question we must answer to understand the full story of the Gospel:

 “What?”

So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 

Acts 9:6

Saul next question is, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” We must answer this question too, if we’re ever to fully understand the Gospel fully. What does Jesus Christ want you do with your life? He sent Saul on into Damascus, blinded. Jesus may want you to stop seeing things as the world does (blindness) and see things, perhaps for the first time, as He sees them. See the sin in your life, as He sees it. Feel the pain it causes, as He feels it. Speak out about the lifestyles you see around you, regardless of what it may cost you.

An example of this kind of courageous behavior was displayed when on a recent panel discussion on Fox News, commentator, Brit Hume made the following statement regarding the predicament pro-golfer, Tiger Woods, finds himself in:

“The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”

A great many people immediately declared this the most outrageous thing they’d ever heard and denounced it as evidence of everything from chauvinism and bigotry to outright stupidity.

  • Jon Stewart used Hume’s words on the Daily Show, to mock and demean Hume’s convictions.
  • News commentator Keith Olbermann condemned Hume for trying to “threaten Tiger Woods into becoming a Christian.”
  • News commentator David Shuster suggested Hume had belittled his own religion by discussing it on a talk show.
  • A Washington Post TV critic mocked the idea that Christians should “run around trying to drum up new business” for their faith, unless of course “one believes that every Christian by mandate must proselytize.”

 

Mr. Hume simply shared what he thought Jesus Christ wanted him to do (i.e. testify to the truth of the Gospel). What does Jesus Christ want you to do?

Our next question to consider is:

 

“When?”

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

Mark 13:3-4

Four of His disciples ask Jesus “When will these things be?” Jesus just described the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, and they basically ask when it will happen and when will Jesus usher in the Kingdom they so long for. We must ask ourselves when we trusted Christ. It’s important to know when you yourself trusted our Lord, not to the day or hour, but that it happened. The Gospel tells us Jesus will destroy sin’s reign over our lives, but we must ask the question when. When will we start living like we’re dead to sin? When will we start acting as we should toward our family, friends, or the world? And if we’ve not trusted Christ as Savior, then we must ask ourselves when will we?

The fourth of our six questions is:

 

“Where?”

And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

Luke 8:24-25

In this passage (and in the other Gospel accounts of this event) the disciples ask a couple of questions: Don’t you care that we are perishing? Who are you that you’re able to control the natural elements? The question we need to consider though is the one that Jesus asks: “Where is your faith?” The disciples had heard Jesus teach about the power of faith and even observed Him heal Peter’s mother-in-law. They walked so close to Him, yet didn’t understand what it meant to have faith. “Oh, ye of little faith,” is how it’s translated elsewhere. Jesus asks them (and us) where does your faith reside when you’re afraid, when you’re overwhelmed, when you’re pushed to your limit? Is your faith in Jesus (Philippians 4:13) or is still in yourself? You can’t begin to share your faith until you’re completely certain as to where is your faith resides.

The last of the five W’s is:

“Why?”

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  

Mark 10:17-18

Note the question Jesus asks of the rich young ruler, “Why do you call me good?” The young man wanted to be sure he had eternal life, in case he’d left something out.  He comes to Christ and calls him “good teacher” (a formal greeting, not a true estimation on his part). He had an intellectual recognition of Christ as an instructor, but Jesus asks him if he recognizes the true Lord standing before him. He was underscoring that man’s goodness isn’t comparable to God’s absolute and undefiled goodness. Jesus was asking if he could see the Messiah, the Lord, standing before him. If we’re to be effective in sharing our faith, we must understand why Jesus Christ is the only One Who can save us from our deserved fate. Why do you call yourself a Christian? Have you truly, unreservedly, totally given your life over to Him as your Master, or are you still holding something back. Why is Jesus the only One capable of bringing you salvation?

Now we move to our final question:

“How?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 

John 3:3-4

Nicodemus asks “How can a man be born…a second time?” Jesus has told him he must be born from above to get into the Kingdom. In effect Nicodemus asks: “How can I be born again?” And that is the final question in our investigation of the full story of the Gospel that we must be able to answer. We must be able to explain that one must accept the fact that we deserve nothing more than death and eternal separation from God. We must be able to believe that God sent His only Son, out of His magnificent love, to die in our place. We must confess (agree with God) that we are sinners, and can do nothing, of ourselves, to escape our fate. It is Jesus who saves us.

GB&G2U

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