We have thought about the phrase "Preach the gospel, and when necessary, use words" a few different times since the Lord opened our eyes to the Biblical Gospel. Is that really a true statement? Can we preach a complete gospel only by living our lives? Our thinking came to an end a while ago through the book Christless Christianity. We finally found the answer, and it was just as we thought. Just another false way of thinking gone popular in today's "relevant" church culture. Below is from the book, and we think it's extremely well said:
"We do not preach ourselves but Christ. God's law tells us what God approves-what His heart delights in. He does not ask us to be spontaneous, creative, or self-willed but to do the things that He regards as righteous, holy, true, and good. What a relief it is when we are liberated from thinking that we are called to be the gospel! Now we can simply receive it and draw upon it daily for the confidence to look up to God in faith and out to our neighbor in love. 'We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord' (2 Cor 4:5). People are looking for authenticity, but this includes acknowledgment of our sin and self-righteousness and our need for Christ. What could be less authentic and honest than assuming that our lives can preach better than the gospel?"
This is exactly one of the things that emergent leader Rob Bell teaches – that "you are the good news. You are the gospel." (Nooma video "You", emphasis ours). As Christless Christianity said, in essence, Christ Himself is the Gospel. As Christians, we should certainly be living the gospel out in our everyday lives, but we ourselves, or our lives, are certainly not the gospel. This is one of the contributing factors of false conversion – the thought that because you are supposedly living the gospel proves that you are saved. The world cannot be saved through us. The world can only be saved through Jesus Christ.
By Vince and Lori Williamswww.vinceandloriministries.blogspot.com