Words Are Necessary

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17 (ESV)

One of my favorite blogs is written by Pastor Greg Dutcher over at Beholding Him. Lately he’s been doing a great series of posts on evangelism, and last week he had a very thoughtful post that he titled How St. Francis Is Killing Our Evangelism! In it, Pastor Greg mentioned the famous quote that has been attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, the quote being, “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Pastor Greg explains that while this quote has some merit to it, it’s incomplete in that, “The Christian is called not just to live out the truth of the gospel, but he’s called to testify to it as well.” As he always does, Pastor Greg points us to Scripture (Romans 10:17, Psalm 107:2) as to why the message of Christianity needs to be spoken as well as simply lived out.

I recently rented a DVD called Discipleship Explored that focuses on Paul’s letter to the Phillipians. During one of the episodes, host Barry Cooper gives an illustration of why simply living out our faith is not enough. Thanks to him and to Pastor Greg for the reminders.

Here’s Mr. Cooper:

“My friend Robert had been working at an engineering firm for five years, and at his leaving party, one of his colleagues stood up and said, ‘Rob, we all agree that you’re one of the most likable people we’ve worked with. You’ve got such integrity and patience.’ And then he said something that made Robert feel, as a Christian, that he’d missed a five-year long opportunity.

“His colleague said, ‘We were trying to work out what it was that makes you so special. We decided you must be a Buddhist.'”

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