The Purpose of Gospel Preaching

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  2 : 1-5
Subject: Salvation; Preaching, The Purpose of; The Gospel; Power of God

The Purpose of Gospel Preaching

Dr. J. Mike Minnix. Editor,

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

Why do we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ? For what reason do we preach the Word of God? To be sure, some preach for reasons that are not holy or wholesome. In Philippians 1:15-18 Paul wrote,” 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” Paul makes it clear that if Jesus is preached in a way that brings people to saving faith, then such preaching is not in vain, even if some of that preaching was done for the wrong purposes.

Years ago there was a preacher who was widely known because of his radio preaching. He was very effective in communicating the gospel and many people came to the Lord and were saved through his ministry. They joined churches in their communities and served God faithfully. Then, one day the story was published that the great radio preacher had died, and people learned for the first time that he was an alcoholic, and he had not lived a true Christian life. Some of those converted to Christ through his preaching were troubled. They asked, “Am I really saved if I came to Christ under the preaching of a man like that?” My, my, what a question? The preacher does not save you – Jesus does! If the true gospel is proclaimed about the true Christ, and a person comes to true faith as a result, salvation is secure.

We cannot say why everyone preaches the gospel, but I can tell you the glorious purpose of preaching. Paul spoke of this in our text today. Note with me three important objectives God has in the declaration of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to all who repent and place faith in Him.

First, note that the purpose of preaching is to …

I. To Make Faith Possible

“That your faith ...”

Paul stated his preaching lacked some of the excellencies that perhaps belonged to other golden tongued orators but his purpose was never to appear learned or clever in the firsts place, father Paul preached so that the “faith” of the hearer might be fully placed in Christ and Christ alone. Clearly the purpose of preaching is to create or increase the faith of the hearer in God and God's Word.

Everyone has faith in something. Every time you get in your car and drive down the highway, you place faith in the tires on your vehicle – that they will not fail you. When you stand up, you place faith in your legs. When you eat a meal, you place faith in the food – that is not poisonous. We act in faith daily. When you take a pill from a medicine bottle, you have faith that it is what the label says it is. Just think of it, you go to see a doctor who tells you have an illness you cannot pronounce, then he writes a prescription that you cannot read, and you take it to a pharmacist that you do not know, and afterwards you swallow it with water from a water treatment plant you have never even visited - and you expect to get well! Now that's faith!

Faith is a part of daily living, but there is one act of faith that is crucial in life, death and eternity. When you look at life, your deeds and your coming demise, you must place your faith somewhere in regard to you future. You either have faith that death is the end and there is no judgment, or you have faith that you are as good as the next person and that whatever god there is will accept you. OR ... you believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and you place your faith in the One who died at Calvary to offer you forgiveness of sin and rose from the grave to grant you eternal life.

Everyone has faith regarding life after death, but the faith that is real and effective is that which is preached from the Bible regarding Jesus Christ - the giver of eternal life. The gospel is preached to declare that there is one God and that we are all sinners who are unworthy of ever being in His presence. Our sins separate us from Him, and we have no means of making things right with Him on our own. Yet, God loved us enough to send his Son, Jesus, to die on a cross in our place. On the cross Jesus took our sins, and they are removed from us the moment we place our true faith in Him as Savior and Lord. Having received Christ, we have eternal life and will live with God forever. This requires faith. Now, I’ve already proved that everyone has faith in something, but Paul is telling us that the gospel is the only declaration of truth regarding eternity. The gospel message regarding Jesus and His redemption is the only way for us to come to God. We preach the gospel so that people just like you can come to an eternal relationship with God in Christ. That is the purpose of preaching.

Listen, we don’t preach because we are better than others. I’m as sinful as the next guy and so are we all. There is none righteous – no not one! Salvation is not in the church, not in turning over a new leaf or found in carrying out religious works. Salvation is in Jesus. Jesus Saves, and Jesus alone saves. That is true preaching! That is the gospel.

The word “preach” in the New Testament is often taken from the Greek word kerygma, which means to proclaim openly, loudly and clearly. It came to mean preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. This preaching is not in the “wisdom” of humankind but is possible because of the power of the Holy Spirit working through the message. Our text today states that Paul preached with the power of the Spirit. It is interesting that the word "power" in Greek is from the word dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite! So, you see, the power is not in the preacher but in the gospel itself.

Now, note a second reason for the preaching of the gospel. It is to …

II. To Make Faith Pure

“...that your faith might not stand in the wisdom of men...”

Faith that is in Vain ...

As I said, everyone lives by faith each day. We go to sleep each night in faith that we will not die in our bed as a result of a faulty wire in our house that starts a fire. We take medicine with faith that in will make us better or ease our pain. Faith, however, can be in vain. Some years ago people bought an over-the-counter pain reliever for a backache or headache, but when they took the pills they became very sick. In fact, a few of the people died. Authorities discovered that someone had tampered with the bottles of medicine and altered the pills in the bottle to deliberately cause the illness or death in those who used them. Faith can be in vain.

Faith that is not in vain ...

Paul stated that he preached the gospel in order that no one place faith in a vain religion or vain hope for eternity. The gospel is to make faith in God sure and absolute. Jesus did not come to this earth to die in vain, and He does not wish you to do so. You can trust in Jesus and discover forgiveness for sin and eternal life. Jesus came to give life and that more abundantly. He came that you and I might have peace with God. That is what I'm preaching to you today - and it doesn't come from me, but rather it comes from the God whose Son came to this earth to die in your place and thus to pay for your sin.

An Example of vain faith in the natural world ...

One of the big issues in the world today is the danger of vaping. Vaping is the act of obtaining nicotine or marijuana through a heated mist drawn into the lungs through a device made for that purpose. When this first arose it was touted as a useful way of ingesting nicotine without the cancer causing, carcinogenic ingredients found in cigarettes. Also, the vapor from these devices does not have the terrible odor produced by cigarettes and cigars. However, placing faith in these devices and products has proven to be misplaced, especially among young people whose lungs are still developing. Illness and death have followed in the wake of vaping the wrong products.

Listen carefully – Paul clearly stated that he was concerned that people were placing their faith in idol gods or in human intellect because he knew that such misplaced faith was eternally dangerous and deadly. He said that he preached the gospel specifically so that people might come to faith in Christ and learn the truth. Jesus saves. He is not A way but is THE ONLY WAY to a right relationship with God. Placing faith in something else is a fool’s errand.

A scientific example of vain faith ...

Some people in this current age are placing faith in human wisdom. They believe that the world and the universe are mere accidents of nature. It has been of interest to me lately to read of scientists who are honest enough to state that Darwin’s theory of evolution just isn’t true. An article in National Geographic Magazine from September 21, 2018 explains that new discoveries make Darwin’s theory impossible. Did you hear me? Scientists of the highest intellect and educational credentials are affirming without question that Darwinian Evolution is IMPOSSIBLE. Certainly this magazine or those rejecting Darwin's Theory do not state faith in intellectual creationism, but they do point out that faith in evolution as it is taught in many of our schools is just dead wrong! You see, science is always discovering something new, and sometimes they are even uncovering fake and false evidence produced by a previous scientist who simply wanted the become famous, sell books or gain intellectual cred from his peers.

The glory of true faith in the true gospel ...

We preach Christ because it is true, and the message has never changed. Our sermons from God’s Word are the same today as they were 500 years ago, 1,000 years ago – well, from the beginning. Like Paul, the true gospel of God’s Word is preached in order that your faith might be pure, effectual and eternal. Sure, there have been some false preachers who change the gospel of Christ into a lie. There are those who preach a false gospel and it is important for every person to test what a preacher says against the Bible - God's Word. But the true gospel, embraced and believed by faith, leads to eternal life.

But, let me hasten to the third and last point. Paul said that we preach the gospel …

III. To Make Faith Powerful

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the Power of God.”

The idea in this statement is really very simple, for it regards the foundation upon which faith rests. Jesus used the parable of a man who built his house on sand, and the winds and rain came which caused the house to collapse and disappear. But, He spoke of a person who builds a house upon the rock, which stands up against any storm. In Matthew 7:25 we read, “The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was on the rock.” That is exactly what Paul is talking about in this text. We preach Christ because He is the Solid Rock upon which you can trust you soul, life and eternity.

The theories of man change with each generation. That which is purported to be best for us in one age is declared in a following age to be our bane. A thing stated as a magic cure today is found tp be the producer of misery in the following generation. Something looks bright today but may be a blight tomorrow. Only Jesus is always pure, always true, always best, and always the same - in every life and in every subsequent generation.

Just how powerful is God – how powerful is His salvation in Christ? Look at the universe – He made it all with just His voice. Examine the mystery of life, which scientists still cannot explain – He created that, too. Look at the resurrection of Jesus from the dead – now that is really powerful. It is that same power that is in the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God unto salvation. In Christ you are changed from a lost, condemned soul to a found, forgiven and forever soul.


Paul stated that preaching is foolishness to the of the world who don’t know the Lord. I know a lot of preaching is foolishness as far as its intellectual value is concerned, but I preach Christ, born of a virgin, who lived a sinless life, who died on the cross for the sins of the world, who rose with healing in His wings, who ascended into heaven, who intercedes for the saints before God the Father and who is coming again for us one day in the future. That may seem like foolishness to the world but to those who believe it is the power of God unto salvation – now and forever!