Proclaim the Gospel

Text: 1 Corinthians 9:16
If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe betide me if I do not proclaim the gospel! (NRSV)

In my mind, there is a difference between be called to be a preacher and being called to proclaim the gospel.  A call to preach, is a specialized call from God to give one’s life to study and proclamation of God’s Word.  To me, it is akin to the prophets of old who spoke the word of God in their time and situation.  However, I also believe to proclaim the gospel—the good news of God as expressed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the general call of all who claim to be Jesus’ disciples.

Proclamation of the gospel is the living out of a transformed life in such a way that it bears witness to that transformation.  In other words, it is merely being true to the new life you have received as one who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

For me, this verse clearly speaks about the harm that is done to one who tries to live in the old broken and sinful ways of life after receiving the Spirit of God’s transforming love.  It is detrimental for anyone to live in a way that is inconsistent with who they truly are.  And thus “woe betide me” when I do not live out the gospel in such a way that others see the hope, joy, peace, and love of God through my words and actions.

Have you received Jesus as your Savior and Lord?  Has your life been touched and changed by God’s Holy Spirit?  Then woe to you if you live in a way that is inconsistent with who you have become.  Woe to you if you do not live differently than you did before you knew Jesus.  Woe to you if you do not live out the gospel.  Woe to you if you do not proclaim the gospel with your life.

Pray with me:

Jesus, you are my Lord and my Savior.  Pour out your Holy Spirit on me that I might live out the gospel message of you love in all my words and actions each day.  AMEN.

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