only help my unbelief

Who’s authorized to preach the gospel?
June 20, 2008, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Posts

In my post “Offending others or offending God?”, dove124 asked a relevant question:

…Who is authorized to preach the Gospel ? Are you? Or your pastor? Or maybe, someone who happens to read four verses and then starts preaching? Are they authorized by God to preach the Gospel?

First, I need to address what I meant by “preach” in my post. Because I was talking about a church, I was specifically referring to how the gospel should be preached by a pastor during the sermon. That’s definitely the main focus; after all, if that isn’t happening, it’s highly unlikely the gospel is being preached anywhere else in the church.

But at the end of my post I moved into general terms, addressing us as individuals who need to preach the gospel to others.

Those are two different kinds of “preaching.” My pastor has been called and ordained by God to be a pastor who preaches Sunday mornings at my church. The kind of “preaching” I do doesn’t look like his. The way I preach the gospel is by being, as the apostle Paul describes, a minister of reconciliation.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us… – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

As Christians, we are all called to this ministry of reconciliation. This is “preaching the gospel,” because in order to tell people what it means to be reconciled to Christ, we must tell them why they need to be reconciled – their sin – and how they can be reconciled – through Christ’s saving work on the cross.

I’m not qualified to preach on a Sunday morning at a church because I’m a woman. My dad isn’t qualified to preach from a pulpit because he hasn’t been called to do that.

When it comes to personal evangelism, to which all Christians are called, we are all authorized to preach the gospel. But whether we’re preaching from a pulpit as a pastor or at a coffee shop with an unbelieving friend, we should remember God’s words through Matthew:

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it on the day of judgment. – Matthew 12:36

dove, I hope that answers your question.

Remember that preaching the gospel to a friend doesn’t mean hitting them over the head with your Bible. It means living your life every day under the authority of Christ and boasting in the Lord about His goodness.

And above all, remember:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

We don’t save people. God does.




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