The Bridge Illustration

The bridge illustration is an effective way of sharing the gospel with either a child or an adult. It gives a visual aide to complement the verses and concepts that are being discussed. If two people were in a restaurant, for example, the illustration could be drawn upon a paper napkin, along with the verse references, and given to the person with whom the message is being shared. If no paper is handy, the illustration can be easily described, or two glasses and a butter knife, for the bridge, could be used for the same effect. This illustration is frequently used by Navpress in their books. It is fairly easy for one to draw out as it is spoken.

Humans are separated from God, because God is perfect and the standard He requires to be with Him is perfection from us. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48). We cannot be perfect. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). The result of not being able to meet God’s standard is death, eternal separation from Him. For the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23a). According the that verse we earn separation from God, just like someone earns a paycheck from working, so we earn death because of our sin.

People try to make it across to God. Some people try religion, but that is not good enough. All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away Isa 64:6. Some people try and just be good people, but good works cannot save us. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast Eph 2:8-9.

But according to verse 8 in Ephesians 2:8-9 God knew we could not earn salvation, so He offers it as a gift. We receive the gift by faith, by believing in God’s plan for getting us across to Him. According to Romans 6:23 it is a gift. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus is the one in whom we have to place our faith. He is the bridge to God over sin and death. How one places their faith in Jesus is stated in Romans 10:9-10. That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Jesus was more than a man, He is God in the flesh. Jesus was able to live a perfect life, so He did not deserve to die, but men put Him to death on a cross. Three days later, He rose from the dead proving that He was God and had the power to save, and now He offers His death as a substitute for ours. What we must believe is that we are sinners, unable to get to God, and accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Doing that is walking across the bridge.

We could try another way, in fact people do, We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all Isa. 53:6, but Jesus is the only way, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth adn the life. Now one comes to the Father except through me, John 14:6.

©2002-2012 Paul Tillman

Paul Tillman

About Paul Tillman

Paul Tillman serves as lead pastor at Oakdale Wesleyan Church of Oakdale, MN. A tactical leader, with a passion to see individuals and the Church corporate conformed to the image of Christ, he expresses this passion primarily in the areas of spiritual formation, administration, preaching, and multi-ethnic ministry.
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