Brothers, Preach Christ: Proclaiming the Gospel Faithfully and Expectantly

Bruce Gale

brown wooden cross on brown wooden wall

The church is in desperate need of gospel clarity. Rampant on every social media platform is a barrage of claims to Christianity rife with compromise. Gospel clarity must be anchored in biblical and theological consistency. Ultimately, that clarity must begin in the pulpit. An old preaching adage I first heard in my expositional preaching class asserts, “If there is a mist in the pulpit, then there will be a fog in the pew.” The lack of gospel clarity among Christians stems from a lack of clarity within the local churches’ leadership. A church devoid of conversions is, plainly speaking, a dying church. A church with no gospel conviction—no evangelistic vision, passion for reaching the lost, nor any fervor for the Great Commission—has succumbed to apathy and complacency. 

Too often, local churches look to secular business models for church growth tactics and lose sight of their missional mandate—make disciples. Business models become transfixed on numerical growth that thrives within the status quo. These church models achieve a glorified country club status where Laodiceans gather—a harsh charge. However, I propose the following church growth model—as the gospel is proclaimed in the lost world, souls are saved, and churches grow. Two questions should come immediately to mind from this: 1) How do we right the ship if we find ourselves in the former situation? 2) How do we embrace a gospel-driven growth focus? The answer to both is the same—faithfully preach the gospel. 

Follow Paul’s Example

In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul emphasizes the call of the gospel message (1 Cor 15:1–4). Paul elucidates the significance of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection for our sins. To Paul, this was of central importance to the Christian faith. He further contends that these events occurred in accordance with the Scriptures’ account, undergirding the gospel message as woven into the fabric of the Scriptures. It is the message of the promise of salvation offered through Christ. We can see five distinct characteristics of preaching the gospel from Paul’s writings and life. He shows the foundation of preaching the gospel, the intentionality of preaching the gospel, the necessity of preaching the gospel, the expectancy of preaching the gospel, and the faithfulness of preaching the gospel. 

Paul’s Foundation of Preaching the Gospel (1 Cor 15:1–4)

First, as we started to see, Paul argued that the gospel message was of “first importance” (1 Cor 15:1–4). Paul was clear in drawing attention to the “gospel which [he] preached,” which happens to be the same gospel “by which you are saved” (1 Cor 15:1–2). To preach the Word is to preach the divine revelation of who God is to his creation. Scripture reveals God’s nature and attributes and ultimately points to the wonderful work of the cross. The cross of Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. The cross symbolizes God’s redemptive work in humanity by Christ through the Holy Spirit. The result of salvation—as symbolized by the cross—is fully trinitarian. To preach salvation is to proclaim the role of God the Father as its author, the Son as its implementor, and the Holy Spirit as its sustainer. The gospel, then, serves as that good news. This good news is the redemptive thread woven throughout the meta-narrative of Scripture. Therefore, to preach the Word faithfully is to preach the message of the cross. Paul rested all of his preaching upon the foundation of the gospel. The local church would do well to allow the gospel message to permeate everything they say.

Paul’s Intentionality in Preaching the Gospel (1 Cor 9:19–23)

Moreover, we can see that Paul established his purpose by using his freedom in Christ to proclaim the gospel. He became like those with whom he intended to share the gospel. Paul demonstrates intentionality in proclaiming the gospel to Jesus. He asserts, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may, by all means, save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it” (1 Cor 9:22b–23). Paul demonstrates his intentionality in striving toward sharing the gospel. He contends for the gospel that enabled him to behold Christ on the road to Damascus. Paul clearly shows that his approach to people intentionally led him toward preaching the gospel.   

Paul’s Necessity of Preaching the Gospel (Rom 10:14)

One of the driving factors behind evangelistic preaching should be the urgency of eternity hanging in the balance. People are not guaranteed their next breath, let alone tomorrow. With that in mind, urgency should be a characteristic of our preaching gospel urgency. Paul declared, “Whether then it was they or I, so we preach, and so you believed” (1 Cor 15:11). Coupled with that urgency is an understanding of the necessity for believers to proclaim the gospel. Paul acutely understood the necessity of proclaiming the gospel for the unbeliever to come to believe. He wrote, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher” (Rom 10:14). An evangelistic sermon succinctly presents the gospel and appeals to the audience to respond. The necessity of preaching the gospel lies in the Scriptures’ call to respond to the most profound need of the hearer—salvation for the unbeliever and sanctification for the believer. Paul clearly understood the necessity of proclamation of the gospel in salvation when he wrote, “So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). If we genuinely believe that it is the Word of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit that changes men from death to life then we must commit to the necessity of preaching the gospel, anchored in Scripture, and in submission to the Holy Spirit.  

Paul’s Expectancy of Preaching the Gospel (Rom 1:16)

When preaching the gospel, we proclaim the very power of God. We should be convinced to the core of our being that salvation is at the doorstep. That is because the soul’s salvation is the divine miracle of a moment—therein lies the power of the gospel illuminated in Romans 1:16, “For [the gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Paul’s confidence in the gospel rested upon the assurance of salvation found only in the gospel hope. His hope in the gospel rested firmly in his call to preach the gospel. Paul attests, “I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome” (Rom 1:15). His expectancy in preaching the gospel rested upon its power for salvation.

Paul’s Faithfulness in Preaching the Gospel (2 Tim 4:7)

Finally, Paul demonstrated the need for faithfulness in preaching the gospel. The question is not how we begin the race but how we end the race. Paul writes that he has done well to keep the faith and to stay faithful to what Jesus called him. He attests, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7). The end goal of every believer should be to hear those words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That much more should be the heart cry of every preacher to make much of the saving work of Jesus. Let us strive to preach the gospel, stand against worldly doctrine, and keep Christ central in our preaching. Thus, Paul was a paragon of faithfulness in preaching the gospel. 


Preachers should embrace the call toward evangelistic preaching in light of the gospel. Jesus’s final command in the Gospel of Matthew is clear, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). The call was not to strong-arm or coerce but to make disciples. Discipleship begins with the declaration of truth—Jesus saves. Faith, then, comes from hearing the message of the redemptive work of Christ. Ultimately, a divine mystery transpires when a soul is saved. Although there is a mystery, we know that the believer’s role is obedience in a faithful proclamation. How can we do it? We can do it through Christological focus, compassion for the lost, living a life of repentance, maintaining an eternal perspective, and being intentional in our obedience to the Great Commission.

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Bruce Gale

Bruce Gale serves as the Family Pastor at Paragon Church in Rio Rancho, NM. He is the husband to Shannon and the father to Caleb, Elias, and Joshua. He is passionate about equipping the local church for the furtherance of the gospel through evangelism and discipleship.