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Unashamed for the Gospel

March 19, 2015

embrace the crossJesus declares, “Whosoever will come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me.” Four sentences later Jesus makes specific application of what it means to take up the cross. “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed.” (Mark 9:34, 38) He that has taken up the cross will not be ashamed to preach Jesus and the Word of God. A man that has taken up his cross will not be ashamed of the gospel. This unashamed, cross carrying man will:

  • Give the gospel boldly, even in the face of intense opposition and persecution. (1 Thessalonians 2:2)
  • Preach the gospel and the Bible in full truth, not distorting, shifting or subtly changing the content in any way. (1 Thessalonians 2:3)
  • Declare the gospel without mixing in the methods and means of this world. He will not seek to impress with oratory, showmanship, exhibitionism, shock, emotion or superstition. He will give the message with power and simplicity. (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
  • Not bait people into hearing or professing belief. He will not treat the gospel like a trap to which people have to be drawn with appealing bait. (1 Thessalonians 2:3)
  • Give the message with both eyes on God and not an eye to the satisfaction or pleasure of men. When the gaze shifts to pleasing men, the gospel preacher will inevitably change the gospel to limit it’s offense and make it more palatable to the hearer. (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
  • Preach God’s Word without flattery. Because he already consider himself dead, the cross carrying man will not butter up men to make them want to hear. The cross carrying man will not rely on a dynamic personality to his will with people to draw them to a decision. (1 Thessalonians 2:5)
  • Be dead to the things of this world and is not greedy. He is certaintly not greedy of money and personal prosperity. He is not longing for a huge crowd that will flock to hear him speak. He is also not greedy for other more acceptable forms of gain, full pews at church, more tithers in the church or a more moral community. The gospel is motivated by a deep love for God and the lost. The gospel seeks the glory of God and the eternal gain of hearer, not the temporal gain it brings to the gospel preacher, his coalition, denomination, publisher or church. (1 Thessalonians 2:5, 9)
  • Not seek honor among men. The messenger who desires to become famous or applauded for his presentation of the message will inevitably obscure the glory of the originator of the message. The king’s herald has no business drawing the praise of men away from the king and the one who counts himself dead but living now in Christ will not obscure Christ for personal glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:6)
  • Preach the gospel with boldness and with love. He will gently, tenderly, compassionately give the truth and labor long for the salvation and growth in Christ of the hearers. He will not respond in anger to rebuttals or rebuffs. He will give sacrificially that which is necessary for the salvation of others no matter the cost to himself. (1 Thessalonians 2:8-9)

The man who is dead to all but Jesus will live and speak without shame for the spread of the gospel.

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