“to declare the mystery of Christ…that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” (vs. 3-4)
Paul is asking the church to pray for opportunities to share the “mystery of Christ”, or the gospel.
One of my main objectives as a Jesus follower is to clearly communicate the gospel to those who are “outsiders”. Ironically, it also seems to be the most difficult thing I do as a Jesus follower. Spiritual practices, disciple making, church attendance…not a problem. Sharing Jesus with the lost…not so much.
Apparently, even the great apostle Paul had the same struggle, hence the prayer request. He makes a similar request of the church in Ephesus (Eph.6:18-20), when he asked for boldness to speak the mystery of the gospel.
So, what’s the secret? When fear says don’t share the gospel, how do we overcome? Two things that Paul mentions here:
- Prayer — ask God for boldness/courage and opportunities to clearly speak the gospel
- Obligation — “I ought to…” It’s what we MUST do, it is necessary. Paul said that he was “an ambassador in bonds”, he was chained to this obligation. In another letter he puts it this way, “For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
The simple reality is, if we don’t speak the gospel as we ought…the lost won’t hear. Aren’t you glad for the boldness of the one who spoke the gospel to you?