As we think about preaching and evangelism, we want to have a biblical perspective of the content of the proclamation. Whether you are a Mega-Church Pastor preaching to 3,000 people or a mother telling your neighbors about Jesus at a playground, you need to know what the content of your “proclamation” must be so that the words you speak can be more fruitful for God’s kingdom.
When we survey what the bible says about proclamation, one particular thing sticks out more than anything else. That is the word euangelizō which means to proclaim the gospel. It’s like a special word created to describe a certain type of proclamation. A proclamation who’s content is the good news of Jesus. This word is used 54 times in the New Testament! So when we talk about the content of preaching we need to remember that the heart of the New Testament authors was to proclaim the good news of Jesus. Whether it was the apostles preaching in the temple and from house to house in Acts 5:42 or Paul desiring to preach to the Roman Believers in Romans 1:15, the heart of the content was the good news of Jesus. The Gospel is the content of proclamation in evangelistic encounters and the content of faithful preaching in the local church. A pastor is not being faithful to his task if he teaches about how to make life easier or how to reduce conflict without relating it directly to what Jesus did on the cross. A well meaning christian is not being faithful in his task if he is telling people to go to church or to trust that God is real, if he does not clearly explain that there is forgiveness of sins found in Jesus Christ when the lost turn from their sins and trust in Jesus. The gospel is the primary content of faithful proclamation.
Now that we have it established that the primary content of biblical proclamation, We need to consider how the authors of scripture give us more detail. The content of preaching is identified as the gospel of the grace of God, the kingdom, he whole counsel of God (Acts 20:24-27), Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1–5), the word (2 Timothy 4:2), repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3), repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations (Luke 24:47), the Christ is Jesus (Acts 5:42), good news of peace through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36), not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4:5), not man’s gospel (Galatians 1:11), the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8), the word of God (Colossians 1:25), Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David (2 Timothy 2:8). Their are many other passages that speak about the content of preaching but I think this list is a good starting point. What sticks out to you here? What sticks out to me is the riches of the gospel of Jesus! What an amazing task that we have been given by God! May we be faithful in the content of our proclamation!
Let us go out and Proclaim the Gospel! To our neighbors, our friends, our grocery store clerk, our coworkers, our spouse, our kids, and everyone else we come in contact with. Read these two passages to yourself out loud and may God help you see the mission that he has called you to do.
1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
Romans 10:13–15 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? 15 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!”
This is blog two is a series on Biblical Proclamation. Check part one: The All Day Sermon About the Law: The Example of Ezra for Preaching