The Apostle Paul clarified his foremost mission to the Corinthian church: Christ sent him to preach the gospel. Everything else Paul did, from healing people to gathering offerings for others, from making tents to journeying around the Mediterranean world, he did with the central focus and aim of proclaiming the gospel of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
The Corinthian believers had lost sight of this urgent and needed imperative of preaching the good news of Jesus. They had hardened into opinionated groups and had broken down into disunity over things that were secondary, not primary. Paul wrote to correct this situation, which had gotten out of hand.
The proclamation of the gospel needs to be at the core of every church and every believer’s life. When it isn’t, there will be factions, special-interest groups, and condescending attitudes which are more than ready to fill the vacuum left in the center.
Everyone in the church has a role to fulfill, a gift to exercise, in proclaiming the gospel of grace. For me, I enjoy teaching Scripture to unbelievers and answering their questions, as well as mentoring believers in the cardinal doctrines of faith and practice. Others proclaim the gospel through hospitality, or partnering with others, or even inviting people to events and bible studies. In all the myriad ways God has gifted us, whether it is in serving or speaking, we are to use that gift not to advance a personal agenda, but to preach the gospel.
Blessed Father, Son, and Spirit, you are One God, perfectly united and in continual harmony. You have loved humanity to such a degree that you orchestrated a great deliverance from sin, death, and hell. Help your entire church to get our eyes off our petty differences and fix our gaze firmly and graciously on proclaiming the good news of salvation in Jesus, our Lord. Amen.