Saturday 11 February 2017

Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:16

I have almost finished the J. C. Ryle book by Iain Murray. In reading one chapter, I was impressed that Ryle had this verse inscribed on the pulpit in a congregation he served in Stradbroke, Suffolk. For a man who was educated at Eton School, with a top University degree from Oxford, this inscribed verse speaks volumes of what it means to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

As for Paul the apostle, JC Ryle, and any true servant of Christ, the joy of preaching the gospel outweighs any other path. Paul the apostle was constrained and he writes to the Corinthians that "necessity is laid upon me". To preach is an irrepressible burden.

A man called to the office of teaching elder must be qualified by managing his own household, being gifted for the office and trained, but there must be more. A man called by God has this inner-burning conviction to preach. He must preach!

However, it is not just preaching or heralding the message. The content of the message must be right. It is the gospel that is to be preached in all of its facets. We must pray for these kinds of men to be raised up by the Lord again in our own generation.

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