Friday, March 2, 2012

A Great Commission People

Todd Benkert wrote this article on the SBC Voices blog. Read the whole article. Here's a snippet:

If we are not careful, evangelism will be merely something we talk about and list among other Christian duties but never actually do. Until evangelism ceases to be a Christian virtue that we have not yet achieved and becomes the driving passion of our church and personal ministry, we will never fulfill the purpose God has set for us.
 He quotes a passage from 2 Corinthians 5. I responded with a comment and a reference to 1 Corinthians 9:

    [17] For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. [18] What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
(1 Corinthians 9:17-18 ESV)

My comment:

Jim Pemberton March 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm
Paul wrote about this in his other letter to the Corinthians, chapter 9. He talks about rights that he has that he has not taken advantage of. Rather, he laid down his rights for the proclamation of the gospel.

But he made an interesting statement in verses 17 and 18. He was talking about whether he proclaims the gospel according to his own will or not. I don’t think he’s talking along the lines of our tired debate about Reformed theology. I think he’s talking about what motivates him to proclaim the gospel. There are less-than-honorable motives for proclaiming the gospel. The good motive comes with a reward.

But look at the reward he says he gets: his reward is to offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of his rights. What kind of reward is that? Only the reward due to someone whose heart is for the gospel and its propagation in the lives of others. If that’s our motive, we will rejoice when we have no other reward and we will not consider the work and risk involved or the cost at our expense to be a hardship.

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