The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 72

"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! [1 Cor. 9:16 KJV].

These words of Paul reflect the very depths of his soul. Paul had a particular character trait, which God used for His glory. Whatever Paul did, he did with every bit of his energy. He was never half-hearted in his endeavours. He had studied under Gamaliel, and was himself a scholar of the highest order. Talking about his achievements he says "if anyone else thinks he has reasons to have confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church: as for legalistic righteousness, faultless' (Phil.3: 5,6). But, when the risen Jesus apprehended him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), a wonderful change occurred. That same zeal and vigour was now channeled into loving his Lord and demonstrating the work of God's grace in his life. From now on he would serve his Master with his entire mind, his strength and his will!

We cannot deny that Paul's words have relevance for all believers. So it would do well for each of us to take note of what he says, particularly those who are called to minister as Preachers! Let's consider two important aspects of this passage.

Firstly, what it means to preach the gospel. This means the whole gospel. Every doctrine and every truth must be given its proper place. To preach the gospel is 'to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth'. We are not to add to or take away from the essential truths of the Word. No watering down, no concessions, no violation or compromising of the truth. No majoring on one truth whilst omitting others! To preach the gospel also means to exalt Christ, because it is 'the power of God' to the ungodly first and then to the converted! Paul makes the further point that we take none of the glory for what the preaching achieves!

Secondly, that the necessity to preach is laid upon us. Some are compelled to preach because there is a call upon their lives. If God has called, then the man will certainly not be able to resist the urge. It will be like a fire inside his bones, and he will preach despite criticism and persecution. But there is another necessity to preach the gospel, and it falls upon every believer. To put it bluntly, it is the sad fate of those who will be damned because we do not preach the gospel. A great woe indeed that those of us who have been saved are selfish enough to not tell sinners around what a dear Saviour we have found! You don't need a doctorate in Theology to tell others your good news! You don't have to save them. You just tell them!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues