Is our gospel CLEAR or just CRAFTY?

The Apostle Paul is famous for saying that he would do or be whatever or whoever it takes in order to reach people for the Kingdom (cf. 1Cor 9:19-23).

But listen to what Paul says to the Believers in Corinth about the necessity of having a CLEAR Gospel:

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

-2Cor 4:1-6

Paul refused to allow his “craftiness” (the skill at which he presented the Gospel) to interfere with his “clarity” in communicating God’s word.

People who do not accept the gift of God’s grace are deceived. They are not ignorant nor do they just need someone with enough apologetic training and skill to convince them of the truth of the Gospel, they are blinded by Satan and his evil influence in this world. It is a spiritual problem, and they are perishing.

Too many times we think we have to be creative, exciting, captivating… and these are not bad things, in fact they are a part of doing everything with excellence (cf. 1Cor 10:31), creativity is not our primary pursuit.

Should a church primarily offer to people what programs they can provide, or is it incumbent upon every church to clearly offer the good news of the gift of God in Jesus Christ? Paul says “what we proclaim is not ourselves,” it is not who they are or what they can offer that they use to attract people.

God has given us the light of the Gospel to clearly shine in the darkness. Be as creative as possible, offer as much by way of programs as you can, but never at the expense of the clarity of the Gospel message: “Christ died for our sins…” (cf. 1Cor 15:1-6)

About John Harris

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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