Why Words are Necessary for the Gospel WitnessSeptember 23, 2014
“Preach the gospel” it has been said, “And if necessary, use words.” Such a statement initially seems commendable. The idea behind such a thought is that our lives are to be lived out in such a way that people see Christ in everything we do. It is true; the believer should live with spiritual and moral integrity. He should exhibit the qualities of Christ in every venue of life. From the lanes on the interstate to the lanes in the grocery store, the true convert should exude a biblical witness.
But does such a witness really appropriate the Great Commission in a comprehensive, understandable language? Is it really necessary to use words? Well, consider the following statements:
- Feed the hungry, and if necessary use bread.
- Clothe the poor, and if necessary use garments.
- House the orphan, and if necessary give them shelter.
The hungry people need more than a virtuous person living before them, they actually need bread. Poor people need to see more than a degree hanging on a wall from a prestigious religious institution, they need clothing. The orphan will never come in from the rain by sheer virtue of your doctrinal statement. No, they need shelter. The lost and unregenerate need more than kind and gracious hospitality, they need the gospel.
Therefore, using words to spread the gospel is not just important, it is vital, it IS necessary. Sure, preaching the gospel cannot be limited to a three-point outline, but neither is it clearly propagated by the good intentions of a warm and friendly smile. Behind that smile, the words of the Good News must be communicated.
In order for the lost to believe they must hear, and in order for them to hear, we must speak. Therefore we conclude: Preach the Gospel, and use words because it is necessary.