Preaching the Gospel Clearly (like Billy Graham)

February 23, 2018

“Moreover, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you… That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1Corinthians 15:1-4)

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that when he came to them he determined to know nothing among them but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He did not use enticing words of man’s wisdom because he did not want their faith to be rooted in the wisdom of man but in the power of God. (1Corinthians 2)

When Paul concluded his letter to the Corinthians he reminded them of the Gospel he had preached in a clear summary. It is simply two facts about Jesus Christ: He died, and He was raised from the dead for our sins. That was what Paul preached, that was what they believed, that was what saved them, and that was the foundation upon which their faith was to stand. Furthermore, if they believed anything else they were lost. (1Corinthians 15)

We preachers often go beyond the Gospel Paul proclaimed. Perhaps we are trying to make it more interesting for ourselves. We may be preaching to each other. Whatever our reasons, we need to return to the clear and simple presentation of the Gospel Paul preached in Corinth and all over the world.

I know of no one in my generation who did that like Billy Graham. He wrote that early in his preaching when a meeting was not right, in prayer the Lord showed him that he was making it too complex. He then returned to an uncomplicated, clear message that never wavered from the Gospel.

Dick Woodward, 27 August 2013

Editor’s Note: My father looked up to Billy Graham with the highest respect & appreciation. He always treasured the time he met him through family friends in Va. Beach & the opportunity to serve as part of a pastoral team during a 1970s crusade in Tidewater. I’m sure there’s much rejoicing in Heaven with many souls, like Papa, there to shake Billy Graham’s spiritual hands. May he R.I.P. & may the legacy of his faith – the clear proclamation of the Gospel – continue to transform lives with the power of Jesus Christ’s love.


The Defense of the Gospel

August 27, 2013

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you…  That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”  (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians he defended the gospel.  He wrote that when he came to them he determined to know nothing among them but Christ and Him crucified.  He did not use enticing words of man’s wisdom because he did not want their faith to be rooted in the wisdom of man but in the power of God (1Corinthians 2).

When he brought his letter to a conclusion he reminded them of the gospel he had preached in a very clear summary.  It is simply two facts about Jesus Christ: He died, and He was raised from the dead for our sins.  That was what Paul preached, that was what they believed, that was what saved them, and that was the foundation upon which their faith was to stand.  Furthermore, if they believed anything else they were lost (Chapter 15).

We who are preachers often go beyond the gospel Paul proclaimed.  Perhaps we are trying to make it more interesting for ourselves.  We may be preaching to each other.  Whatever our reasons may be we need to return to the simple presentation of the gospel Paul preached in Corinth and all over the world.

I know of no one who did that in my generation like Billy Graham.  He wrote that early in his preaching when a meeting was not right, in prayer the Lord showed him that he was making it too complex.  He then returned to an uncomplicated gospel and never wavered from that clear gospel message.


Words and Ways of God

May 25, 2013

STEP NUMBER FOUR:  Spend much time in God’s Word.

Let me tell you why.  In chapter 55 of his prophecy, Isaiah tells us there is as much difference between the thoughts and ways of God and the way we think and do things as the heavens are high above the earth (vv. 8-9).   He then goes on to describe one of the many supernatural functions of the Word of God. 

The Word of God establishes an alignment between our thoughts, ways and wills, and the thoughts, ways and will of God.

I once heard Billy Graham tell of boarding a plane before he was famous.  He spoke to an old pastor friend who was sitting in an aisle seat reading his Bible.  The old pastor completely ignored Billy.  When they had been in flight for about an hour, the pastor came back to where Billy was seated and greeted him enthusiastically.  He apologized for ignoring Billy earlier.  He said, “When I pray, I am talking to God, but when I open God’s Word, He talks to me.  He was talking to me when you spoke to me and I could not interrupt God just to talk to Billy Graham.”

Thomas à Kempis opened his Bible every morning with this prayer: “Let all the voices be stopped.  Speak to me Lord, Thou alone.”   If we sincerely want to know the will of God, we must be in relationship and in conversation with God.  We should speak to our loving heavenly Father in prayer and expect God to speak to us as we open the Word of God.  That is why two of the bases we must touch when we seek to know the will of God are prayer and the Word of God.