What Is It To Preach The Gospel?

1 Corinthians 9:16

Paul did not say, "Woe is unto me, if I preach not." We have scads of preachers. The world would be better off without most of them. The Lord Jesus Christ never sent any man just to preach. Those men who are called, gifted, and sent of God to preach are sent by him to preach the gospel, to preach the gospel exclusively, and to preach the gospel in its entirety. Paul said, "Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" There is but one gospel, the gospel of Godís free and sovereign grace in Christ; and it is the great privilege and responsibility of all who preach, every time they preach to eternity bound sinners, to preach the gospel. That makes the question which heads this page a matter of immense importance. Ė What is it to preach the gospel?

The Truth About Man

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about man. What is the truth about man? "All flesh is grass," withering, worthless, insignificant grass (Isa. 40:6-8). All men are fallen, depraved, helpless, guilty sinners, without the least inclination or ability to do good, seek God, or know God (Rom. 3:9-18), dead in trespasses and in sins (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3).

The Truth About God

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about God. Read Isaiah 40:9-31, and find out who God is. The only God there is is the eternal, holy, sovereign Monarch of the universe. It is he who made all things, rules all things, and disposes of all things (including you and me) as he will. "All things are of God." Nothing in this universe writhes or wiggles apart from Godís purpose, predestination, providence, and power (Rom. 11:36). It is this great and glorious Lord God who lifts his hand and says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

The Truth About Christ

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, God come to save. He was called "Jesus" because he is Jehovah our Savior. He came here on an errand of mercy, with a commission from God the Father as our covenant Surety to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21; John 10:16-18); and when he left here, all that he came to do was done! Righteousness was established. Justice was satisfied. The sins of Godís elect, which were imputed to him, were put away. His people were fully and forever redeemed, justified, and sanctified by his blood (Heb. 10:10-14).

The Truth About Salvation

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about salvation. What does it take to save a sinner? It takes a work of Godís sovereign, eternal, electing love and predestination (Eph. 1:3-6). It takes a work of effectual, blood redemption, the satisfaction of divine justice by an infinitely meritorious Substitute Ė The Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:24-26). It takes all the work of Godís universal providence (Rom. 8:28-30). It takes the infallible, irresistible grace and power of God the Holy Spirit in regeneration and effectual calling, by which chosen, redeemed sinners are raised from the dead and given faith in Christ (Eph. 1:17-20; Psa. 65:4). It takes a work of immutable grace, preserving the called in life and grace, causing them to persevere in faith, keeping them unto the end (Phil. 1:6). It takes a work of resurrection glory, by which these bodies sown in corruption shall put on incorruption, mortality shall put on immortality, and Godís elect shall enter into that eternal state of bliss called "the glorious liberty of the sons of God" (1 Thess. 4:13-18). This salvation, in its entirety, is found in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (1 Cor. 1:30-31).

Don Fortner