What Message Do We Have?
We’re entrusted with the Gospel – the glorious Gospel of the blessed God. The message – the very message, the very truths that set men free. The very truths of God – what He’s like; what this invisible God is like, what His mind is like, what He thinks, what He requires of us. The truths that prescribe to men how their sins can be forgiven, how the power of sin can be broken. We have the Gospel! We have the Gospel light. And nobody else has it. Nobody. The electrician doesn’t have it. The teacher doesn’t necessarily have it. The scientist doesn’t necessarily have it. Nobody else in the whole world has this message – these truths, this special information that we have been entrusted with. This glorious Gospel. This good news of how sin – the power of sin – can be broken; how the pollution of sin and the penalty of sin can be forgiven. No one else has it. And so we’ve been entrusted with a huge responsibility, with a huge privilege – the keys to how a person can be renewed in the spirit of his mind, how he can be delivered from demonic powers, how these strongholds in the mind can be pulled down. This is what has been entrusted to us.
I remember one time talking with an elderly woman in the nursing home, and as I left, it just settled on my like never before that her eternal destiny in Heaven or hell hinged on her response to those words that I had just given her. So we have been entrusted with the Gospel, with this good news, and it’s really the only good news there is. You know, the evening news is mostly bad news, and any good news that the world has is still really ultimately not good news because it’s just fading; it’s temporal. We Christians are the only ones that have good news that is solid joys and lasting pleasures. We have got the good news. That’s what the word “Gospel” means. We have been entrusted with that.
What Do We Do With The Message?
Now, number three, what do we do with it? He says, “Having been entrusted with the Gospel, so we speak.” So we speak. The Lord Jesus, when He saw the multitudes, went up on the mountain, sat down, and He opened His mouth. He opened His mouth in parables. He uttered things hidden from the foundation of the world. He spoke to the woman at the well. He lifted His voice to the multitude in the temple. He opened His mouth, and they marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth. As He was sent, so are we.
The Apostle Paul – he says, “God called me by His grace and was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles.” So that I might speak. He spoke on Mars Hill. He spoke in the synagogue. “Do you have any word for us?” “I do.” He spoke. He got up, motioned with his hand, and opened his mouth.
How about Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch? “What are you doing?” “Well, I’m reading this Scripture.” And so Phillip, beginning at that Scripture, opened his mouth and preached Jesus to him.
John the Baptist. He summed up his life and ministry how? He said I’m just a voice. I’m just a voice of one crying in the wilderness. So we speak.
You say, well, again, those examples – those were men who were called to preach. Is that right? Peter said we – we Christians – have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Why? To proclaim His excellencies. That means speaking. That means opening your mouth. So we speak.
If you are one that rarely speaks of the things of the Kingdom; that rarely turns conversations to Christ, I tell you, you’ve got reason – you’ve got big reason to doubt whether you’ve ever seen the glory. You’re still a mission field. You’re not a missionary yourself. So we speak.
He said we cannot stop speaking that which we have seen and heard. Why, your belly is unvented wine. It bubbled over. You’ve got a message to tell. It’s real. It’s your life. It’s your truth. It’s your stock and trade! That’s why I’m here – to tell you about the Lord Jesus Christ, a Savior for sinners.
Speaking is such a powerful thing, isn’t it? I mean, I know, we don’t want just words. We don’t want that. We draw near to God with our lips and our heart is far from Him. But nevertheless, having acknowledged that, speaking is a very powerful thing whether it’s one-on-one or one-on-a-hundred. It is a very powerful tool; a means that God has ordained. He’s ordained the foolishness of speaking.
Zach, my son you know, he’s run up against a challenge over there at Rolla. He’s found great fellowship at the BSU, met dear friends at the BSU, but alas, a couple problems have arisen. Number one, they allow one of the women from time-to-time to teach the men. And secondly, they engage in an unequal yoke of ministry with those who deny the Gospel. And so he has spoken to the leader. And the leader has not yet concurred, and so he’s wondering what should I do? Should I pull out of the BSU or just not attend those particular events? And I told him this, well, there’s something that would be more important than just disappearing, and that is speaking to the group. I mean, you’ve spoken to the leader. That’s quite right and Scriptural, but it’s also quite valid to speak to the group. It would be a lot easier to just disappear, just not show up, than it would be to speak and try to reprove and help in love and kindness, to offer some help there. And so, you know, sometimes isn’t it amazing what a challenge it is just to speak a word in season.
A word in season. That thought occurred to me this morning too. You know, Paul says, “And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man, teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.” And I believe it’s a key to try to take off with men where they’re at. Like Phillip with the Ethiopian eunuch, he was reading that Scripture, and beginning at that Scripture he proclaimed Christ to him. And there’s the woman at the well getting water, you know. And so what does the Lord speak on? He turned it to speak on the waters of life. And here’s Paul in Mars Hill. And so he sees this altar to the unknown god. That was his starting point. And there were other examples. Oh yeah, the disciples who were to be Apostles, they were washing their nets. So the Lord said, “Follow Me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” You know, just try to start where you find the person at. And so we speak he says.
How Do We Speak This Message?
How do we speak? Well, he says up here in verse 2, “We have our boldness in our God to speak to you the Gospel of God.” We ought to speak boldly in the face of such danger, right in the midst of opposition which would threaten our boldness, which would shut us down, make us timid. You know, I just about got killed at Phillipi. And so you’d be tempted, you know, to tone it down.
You remember the story of old Peter Cartwright in the early 1800’s. He was in the Kingdom of God when Davy Crockett was in the wilderness in the physical and a contemporary with him. But old Peter Cartwright, here he had been called back to some big Methodist conference in the East. And so he was speaking and really laying it out there, and the moderator sat right beside him. He leaned over and whispered to Cartwright. He told him to tone it down, that Andrew Jackson had just walked in. Everybody saw that the moderator had said something, and old Cartwright said, “Andrew Jackson? Who’s he? He’ll go to hell just like anybody else unless he repents.” And afterward, the moderator, he really reproved him, you know. “Look what you’ve done,” you know? You’ve spoiled your testimony with Andrew Jackson and so on. It was rude – I don’t know what he said. It was something along that line. And the next day, Cartwright met Andrew Jackson on the sidewalk. And old Andrew Jackson came up and shook his hand and said, “If I had a hundred soldiers like you, we’d beat the French.” And so he respected him for his boldness.
We have the boldness in our God. You know that’s really, if we’ve got soul-saving truth, life-saving truth, real truth, that’s the only thing that’s worthy is unapologetic speech. And anything else, the world would despise it. I mean, yes, there is a place for being gentle and being courteous. Yeah, but unapologetic and straightforward.
The other day on the way back last week, we stopped into a restaurant and were waiting in line out in the parking lot and there were some fancy Harley Davidson bikes parked there. And we were looking at them, and then the owners came out, and I thought I’m going to try to share something about Christ with them. And so I started out talking about their bikes. And then it was time to go and I handed them a card and I almost felt like it was too cheap, you know. I think they would have respected it if I’d have just come right out and said here is some Bible literature. So we’ve got to be Spirit-led on these things, but I’m talking about being bold. Having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech Paul said.
So we speak. Having such a hope, we use boldness in our speech. Why so bold? Why so bold? He says right here in verse 2, “Boldness in our God to speak,” and then verse 3, “For our exhortation does not come from error.” That’s why we can be so bold because we’re not promoting error. We’ve got the truth and we know it. And if you’ve got the truth and you know it, I mean, you know that it doesn’t matter how much opposition there is, you’ve got to get the message through. It’s worthy. It’s worth an all-out effort. It’s worth a bold effort. Not from error, not from impurity. Shall we speak with boldness. That’s how we speak, but also we speak with purity. With purity – purity of message, purity of heart. It seems like that’s what Paul is talking about here in his following context in contrast with, as usual, the false apostles, the false ministers. He says not error, but truth. Not impurity, but purity. Not by way of deceit, but rather, again with truth. And approved of God, not sent by men, he tells the Galatians. And not as pleasing men.