The Good News… without words?

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:13-17

“…how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”  This struck me when I read it through, again, and again… it convicted me personally about something I’ve been sometimes on the fence regarding how to go about “spreading the gospel”.  There is a fairly common idea I have heard and fallen into that is often represented by this quote: “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.”  The view often associated with this quote is typically that of just sharing Christ through our actions and not words.  Reading this section in Romans again points out to me the incredible importance of not just living out our faith but the way to share our faith with others is through the use of telling them with words about the good news of Jesus Christ.  

Don’t get me wrong, our actions are very important as we are reminded often in the book of James for example in James 1:22 or again when James talks about faith and works in James 2:14-26, but this is often how we are to live out our faith – not necessarily how we are to share the Gospel.  It is obviously important to live by the faith we profess to believe, to continually lay down our lives, take up our cross, and follow Jesus – these are all active things we do on an ongoing basis.  But just living a “good” life out in front of others, in hopes of leading them to Christ (this on occasion happens, but it is usually less about how “good” we are and more about our faith, joy, or contentment coming through to create curiosity from those around us) I don’t believe is how we should expect to share our faith.  If we are only showing others how to live a “good” life, what is it we are actually showing them?  Part of me thinks that if we just show how to be a Christian merely by “good” deeds, then all we are teaching is how to achieve works righteousness.  The other problem with this, as I was reminded recently, is that because we are all made in the image of God – even those who do not believe can still be used by him to do good, even amazing, things that can even look better than a lot of Christians.  This again goes to show that living the Gospel with our actions or doing good works is a part of living out our faith, but it is not equal to sharing the Gospel with words.  Look at Jesus’ example – every time we see a miracle, or a way he lives out his faith, he uses words to follow it up or accompany it in order to point people back to the Father.

Michelle and I feel so blessed to be called to share the good news of
Jesus Christ to all the nations

 Again, coming back to this scripture in Romans, it is specifically stating that the only way others will hear the good news of Jesus Christ is through those who preach it.  I feel so blessed to be one called to preach this good news to future leaders of the world.  Michelle and I know that God is calling us to reach the world through the students at Walt Disney World, and I know it is important for me to continue to work out my faith as I am being sanctified to be more like Christ, but none of this discounts me using the words He gives me through reading His word and through submitting myself to the work of the Holy Spirit in me.  Many of us, me included, often say “I’m not a good speaker”, or “I’m not very outgoing” when we think of telling others about the Gospel, but let us not forget that even Moses had similar hang-ups with God.  But God used him anyway, and God will use me anyway… I know he will use you anyway too as you obey and follow His call on your life.

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