The people of God are called to engage in the task of evangelism. In fulfillment of this task they must bring a message of good news to a sinful world. This message must be proclaimed in words and demonstrated in deeds. The simplest formulation which can be given to the message is this: “Jesus Saves!”—the full message of the gospel is implicit in these two words. However, this simple formula can be misunderstood and misused—as often has been in the past—if two considerations are not kept clearly in mind.
First, we must be clear about what it is that Jesus Christ saves men [and women] from. Jesus Christ did not come into the world merely to save men [and women] from their anxieties, or their boredom, or their bad habits; he came to rescue the entire created order from the pervasive power of sin. When humans first succumbed to the Temptor’s challenge to “be like God” they involved the entire human race in a radically destructive and disintegrating sinful project which extends its influence throughout the created order. There is no way in which sinners can, by their own efforts, escape the grip of sin. But God in [God's] sovereign mercy has sent [God's] son into the world to become involved in the agonies of the sinful condition, so that by his death and resurrection he might break the bonds of sin and death. The proclamation that “Jesus saves” is never complete unless it is clearly related to the source of the human predicament, namely, the pervasive power of sin.