"Good News Is To Be Declared . . ."
by Ken Gardner

In last Sunday morning's lesson we talked about what it means to obey the gospel. We studied how the scriptures described the gospel as more than just purely good news about our Savior being born and about Jesus dying for us to take away our sins. The gospel is indeed good news, but it is good news that imposes some responsibilities and obligations. It is good news that can be accepted or rejected. Thus the New Testament tells us to "obey" the gospel in Romans 10:16, II Thessalonians 1:8, and I Peter 4:17. Similarly, we are instructed to "obey the truth" (Galatians 3:1; 5:7) and to "obey the faith" (Acts 6:7; 14:22). Even the Presbyterian Albert Barnes, commenting on Acts 6:7, wrote, "To become obedient to the faith, therefore, is to obey the requirements of the gospel." Did you notice that? The gospel has requirements! Indeed it does!

The very next day after I preached this sermon, I just happened to drive by a Christian Church building in west Plano. Imagine my surprise when I saw the message on their sign: "Good News is to be declared, not discussed." In other words, there's nothing in the gospel to be discussed: no demands, no requirements, no conditions, no stipulations--it's just good news, pure and simple. But the New Testament clearly teaches just the opposite. The gospel is to be declared, yes, but it is also to be discussed. Paul told the Corinthians that he wanted to speak to them about the gospel which he had previously preached to them (I Corinthians 15:1, Phillips). The gospel had already been preached to them, or declared to them, and now Paul wanted to discuss it with them! Further, notice that the gospel is to be--

testified to (Acts 20:24)
"fully preached" (Romans 15:19)
defended and confirmed (Philippians 1:7)
striven for (Philippians 1:27)
contended for (I Thessalonians 2:2, Jude 3)
preached to those who have already heard it (Romans 1:15)

So where do people get the idea that the gospel is to be declared, not discussed? Certainly not from the Bible, but from the desire to disregard the demands of the gospel. May we, unlike our denominational neighbors, be like Paul, who said, "I am set for the defense of the gospel" (Philippians 1:17). We stand ready to defend it, and even discuss it, if necessary.