What Is It To Preach The Gospel?†††††††
1 Corinthians 9:16
††††††††††† To preach the gospel is SIMPLY TO DECLARE IT AND DECLARE IT SIMPLY. God never called a preacher to defend the gospel, apologize for the gospel, explain the gospel, or adorn the gospel. It is my job simply to declare the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4), to declare it in such plain, simple terms that its doctrine cannot be mistaken.
To preach the gospel is to declare it as Godís message. Our gospel is the gospel of God, not the gospel of the Reformers, the gospel of the Puritans, the gospel of the Calvinists, or even the gospel of the Baptists. If the message I preach to you is just my message, then you may hear it or not hear it without consequence. But if the message I deliver to your soul is Godís message, then you must hear and heed it, or suffer the consequences of ignoring and disobeying God.
To preach the gospel is to declare it as Godís message for everyone. We do not have one message for the lost and another for the saved. We do not have one message for children and another for adults. We do not have one message for one group and another for another group. Our message, the gospel of God, is a message for everyone. Our message is always the same: For salvation and sanctification, for evangelism and edification, for conversion and correction, for conviction and comfort, for dead sinners and dying saints. The minute we start to specialize we compromise. If you try to make the gospel special for one group of people, you have to make it palatable to that group; and you cannot make the gospel palatable to sinners without compromising it.
If I would preach the gospel of the grace of God, I have to preach it as my message (Rom. 2:16; 16:25; 2 Tim. 2:8). I do not stand in my pulpit to talk about abstract religious, theological principles which I have learned from a book. I preach the message of God which has been inscribed upon my heart by the finger of God with fire and burned into my soul as with a branding iron by the Word of God in the hands of God the Holy Spirit.
To preach the gospel is to declare it with a genuine desire that all who hear may believe. Those who preach the gospel indifferently do not preach the gospel. They only mouth the words and go through the motions of preaching. Godís servants do not preach with indifference, but with passion, as dying men to dying men.
Every time I preach, I pray that God the Holy Spirit will enable me to preach the gospel to you as if I had just learned it today, as if you who hear me had never heard it before and will never hear it again, and as if I were certain that I would never preach it again. I pray for grace to preach with fire from heaven in my soul, because my prayer and heartís desire to God for you eternity bound sinners to whom I preach is that you might be saved by Godís almighty, free grace. I know that if God is pleased to save you, it will be by my gospel. If he calls you from death to life, if he calls you to Christ, it will be by the gospel which I preach to you in his dear name. Come, O Spirit of God, come. Call sinners to Christ by the gospel for the glory of God.