The gospel is news. News has to be announced, communicated, written, and delivered with words. Think of any major news story or event: the reporter doesn’t seek to act it out, but he just delivers the news.
This is why I find it so confusing when I hear people say: “We’re just trying to live the gospel” or “We’re trying to be the gospel.” There is of course the well-known quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” I’d argue that it’s always necessary to use words, because the gospel is news.
The gospel is the good news that God sent his perfect Son Jesus Christ to live, die, and resurrect on behalf of sinners, to save their souls and reconcile them to God.
As important as it is to do good works, care for the poor, nobody becomes a Christian and enters into eternal life because we gave somebody a sandwich; They get saved because they hear the preaching of the news of Jesus.
“In other words, good works without good news do no good.”
Good works that adorn good news do not only earthly good but also eternal good.
Use Words to Preach the Gospel
Paul told Titus that good works have their proper place when they adorn the gospel: “… but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10). But to be clear, neither Paul, Jesus, nor any of the apostles never tells us that good works are the gospel. The gospel is a message that must be preached, proclaimed, and told using words.
I talk to so many people who go to the church where I pastor, and they tell me, “I’m just being really friendly and helpful. They know I am a Christian and when the want to know they will ask me.”
I ask two questions “Did you get saved because someone was nice?” and “Did you conclude from their kindness that Jesus is God, you are a sinner, Jesus died for your sin and rose from the dead as King?” The answer of course is no. They will just think you are nice. And then continue to walk in darkness.
You are not the gospel; Jesus Christ is the gospel. You are not Jesus; Jesus is God. Therefore you cannot live or show the gospel: you must proclaim it.
(resurgence- harvey turner)