|INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDIES|
LESSON FOR FEBRUARY 14, 1993
Proclaim the Gospel
KEY VERSE: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” —Romans 10:17
SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Romans 10:5-17
BEFORE ANY OF us can proclaim the Gospel, it is necessary to carefully study the Word of God—not only to become very familiar with its doctrines, but particularly to become acquainted with its spirit. Our Heavenly Father has, for many centuries, worked through a variety of instrumentalities. God used the prophets to foretell his plans and purposes with regard to the world of mankind, and also with respect to his especially called people. These recorded messages from God make up our Bible, which contains all that the Christian needs to know to proclaim the Gospel in a manner acceptable to the Lord.—II Tim. 3:16
One man used very widely at the beginning of the Gospel Age was the Apostle Paul; he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Paul was willing to present the truth to anyone, Jew or Gentile, who showed any interest in it. The truth—the Gospel—is the only means of salvation, but “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” and we are told that “without faith it is impossible to please him [God].”—Heb. 11:6
The Apostle Paul’s statement, when he said that faith comes by ‘hearing’, was a very logical one. Of course, ‘hearing’ is not limited to the sound made by an actual voice, although we may first have heard the message of truth during a conversation with a friend, or neighbor, or co-worker—or when listening to a broadcast over the radio or television. But many times we first hear the truth through reading a tract or magazine, book or booklet, published for the very purpose of proclaiming the Gospel.
At the heart of the Christian faith is the necessity for the followers of Christ to tell out the good news. We are commissioned to speak “glad tidings of good things!” (Rom. 10:15) wherever we find ourselves. It has been said, “I would rather see a sermon than hear one;” and again, “Practice what you preach.” This sort of statement implies that ‘living’ the good news is more effective than merely ‘speaking’ the good news. This is important to remember when witnessing.
Through the spoken and printed word we communicate the truth of the Gospel to one another. Gradually those who listen catch a glimpse of the Christian vision. Their lives are put into perspective, and they develop new goals and ambitions to strive toward. As Christians become more and more familiar with the reason why Jesus came to earth—to ransom mankind from their condemnation to death, and to be a perfect example as they try to walk in his steps—the truth becomes a lens through which they have a new and clearer view of life.
One reason why a Christian’s good works are acceptable to God is because they are always attempted and carried out in harmony with God’s will. We know that during the Gospel Age, the time in which we are still living, the work which God is accomplishing is the call of the church. God is seeking a ‘bride’ for his son, Jesus—his ‘footstep followers’ who will lay down their lives in the doing of God’s will even unto death—preaching the glad tidings. Once the selection of the church is complete, all other good works can commence: the resurrection of the dead, the opening of the blind eyes and deaf ears, the healing of disease, pain, and heartbreak; the spread of peace, harmony, and plenty to all the peoples of the earth; and finally, perfect life-everlasting.
“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom. 10:15) Yes, despite the many forces led by their archenemy, Satan, which seek to render the messengers silent, there are still those who dare to speak the good news dearly and unceasingly! How beautiful is their message!
Let us share our faith with someone today!