Gospel empowered communication obviously involves witnessing — communicating the Good News of God’s love and grace in sending Jesus to die in our place and come to life again so we can find new life in Him (1 Cor. 15:1-5; 2 Cor. 5:17-21). While God has entrusted His people with a specific message of “what” to share, He also expects the Gospel to affect “how” we speak.
The Gospel Affects the Whole of Our Lives, Including the Way we Communicate
God clearly states that the Gospel “is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believe” (Rom. 1:16). Hence, Gospel power is life-giving to those who believe it. To live “in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27) thereby requires that all of our communication has that life-giving effect.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph. 4:29)
Philippians 1:27 begins with “Whatever happens …”. Whether in the face of suffering, adversity, persecution or times of peace and favor, “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ”. That means no verbal retaliation, complaining, or grumbling but rather uplifting, constructive speech that matches the life-giving effect of the Gospel.
Gospel Empowered Communication is an Entrustment
We can live confidently, or unashamedly, because the gospel “is the power of God” (Rom. 1:16). When we realize that God has entrusted us with such a life-giving message, we want it to envelop all we do and say. “How” we speak matters.
On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thess. 2:4)
Viewing the Gospel as an entrustment empowers us in the following ways:
- When we understand our accountability to God, that it’s not about pleasing people but God, we don’t have to be afraid of what people think. It’s not about impressing people but rather pointing them to the cross (1 Cor. 1:17).
- When we realize that God cares about what’s in our hearts and not just what we say or do, we guard our motivations and attitudes “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Lk. 6:45).
- When we grasp the life-giving effect of Gospel-empowered words, we willingly adapt so we do all “for the sake of the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:19-23) which goes beyond “what” we say to “how” we say it.
For More about Church Leaders & the Power of the Gospel, Go To: God’s Power: The Gospel of Jesus Christ