The preaching of Jesus Christ as Lord is basic to the life of the Christian community. Paul was a gospel preacher and he wanted to be sure that he did his preaching the right way. He wrote, "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ" (2 Cor. 2:17). A lot of people try to get rich from preaching God's message. But faithful preachers are God's sincere messengers, by the power of Christ the message is spoken and they speak with God as their witness. It was the desire of Paul that no wrong attitude or any message foreign to the gospel be allowed to render the gospel void. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk. 16:15). The gospel only makes Christians only. Only the preaching of the gospel will make a Christian.
The gospel is to be preached in order for people to have the knowledge of salvation. The gospel is God's power to save. Paul wrote, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom 1:16). Apart from the gospel there is nothing that can be done or believed that will bring a person to salvation. Hearing the gospel must precede saving faith "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Saving faith is faith in the gospel, faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The mission of the Church of Christ is to follow Christ's footsteps in "preaching the gospel of the kingdom to every creature" (Matt. 4:23).
Let us preach the gospel. And let us be sure we do it the right way.
THE RIGHT WAY TO PREACH IS TO PREACH THE GOSPEL SINCERELY. When Paul spoke of preaching the word he said, "As of sincerity" (2 Cor. 2:17). He viewed himself as a sincere messenger of God. Paul was true to God and also to his own personal convictions as he preached the salvation message. He preached the gospel with truth, power and love. He preached God's message and he would not allow himself to be swayed by the desires of others. He said, "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). The right kind of preaching sincerely sets forth the fact that Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins. This gospel is the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that provides deliverance from the power and the penalty of sin. Let us sincerely ring forth the message that there is an antidote to sin and its deadly effects. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). Salvation can come only through Jesus.
THE RIGHT WAY TO PREACH IS TO KNOW THAT GOD SENT YOU. In a special way as an apostle, Paul was sent by God. He said, "But as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ" (2 Cor. 2:17). Paul looked upon his preaching as from God and in the sight of God. He was conscience of the fact that God saw him and heard each sermon that he preached. Gospel preachers should never pervert the message of the cross because (1) Souls are at stake, and (2) God is always listening. Gospel preaching as it should be must be the preaching of the story of all Bible stories; it is the story of redemption through Jesus Christ. The Bible is the story of redemptive history which culminates in Jesus Christ. The man that preaches the right way must understand that his preaching must be Christ-centered preaching. It must be the preaching of the whole of Scripture. The right king of preaching must be done with the understand-ing that the central message of Scripture is what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The preaching is done with soberness and in the presence of God.
THE RIGHT WAY TO PREACH IS TO SPEAK IN CHRIST. Paul said, "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ" (2 Cor. 2:17). He said, "Speak we in Christ." The idea is that in our preaching we must preach with the character and the spirit of Christ. One that speaks in Christ will never do so with selfish motives. The preacher that preaches the right way will never preach for popularity or fame if he is speaking in Christ. Paul preached the right way. He preached the gospel with sincerity. He preached the pure gospel of Christ. Human opinions and philosophies were never a part of his message. He preached the "will of God," nothing more, nothing less. He preached with himself in Christ, preaching the message of Christ, in the way that Christ would preach. That is truly preaching the right way! "So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel..." Rom 1:15
Our time here on earth is short. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”. (James 4:14) Since our lives on earth are so brief, we need to work hard at learning the gospel and preparing to meet God. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Jesus invites all to come to Him for salvation. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). The sinner prepares to meet God through hearing God’s word, believing in the Lord Jesus, repenting of all sins, confessing faith in Christ, and being baptized (Mk. 16:15-16; Matt. 10:32; Acts 2:38). God pleads with all to prepare for eternity. If we fail to prepare, we will be cast out to destruction.