Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 20, 1968
NUMBER 8, PAGE 11b-12

"Necessity Is Laid Upon Me"

Robert L. Love

"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel" (I Cor. 9:16.) "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also" (Rom. 1:14,15).

In the words above, Paul, the greatest preacher of this age, expressed the idea that sent him to distant lands to preach the gospel at the cost of all he possessed, even to laying down his very life. That was Paul's necessity.

Paul said the necessity was laid upon him to preach the gospel. He had resolved to do this task with all the ability he had. He considered it a debt that had to be paid and found no freedom from it in this life. So, when he was well favored in this world he preached the gospel, for it was necessary. When his friends and fellow workers left him, he preached the gospel. When he was free, he moved from place to place preaching the Word. When he was imprisoned, he rented a house and preached the gospel under guard. He wrote letters to places he could not visit to preach the gospel. He did the things his love for Christ made necessary. Then when he could carry on no longer, he wrote to that one who had served so well with him and said, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, Preach the Word" (II Tim. 4:1,2). And in the same letter he said to young Timothy, "The things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." THAT WAS PAUL'S NECESSITY OF LIFE. This he did faithfully while he lived, and then made as sure as he could that the work would go on after he was gone.

The word "must" has very prominent place in the New Testament Scriptures. In Acts 16:30 the Jailor asked, "What must I do to be saved? The inspired apostle told him what he must do. He did the imperative things and became one of the first members of the body of Christ at Philippi. In Heb. 11:6 we read, "He that cometh to God must believe." No one approaches God without faith. In coming to God faith is an imperative. Jesus taught Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." In order for Nicodemus to live spiritually and enter the kingdom of God there was something that had to be done. That was to be born of water and the Spirit (John 3:3-5).

The Saviour's command is also the Christian's necessity. In Deut. 4:22 is found a statement from Moses that reveals the heart of this great servant of God. He is addressing the children of Israel just before leaving them to die. He tells them how they are to act while they enjoy "the land flowing with milk and honey." He tells them they are to go over into the good land God has promised them. Of himself he says but one thing: "I must not go over." Moses had wanted to go to Canaan for eighty years. He had given up all the world counts dear to have the privilege of leading these people over Jordan. Now he dismisses his dreams with the words, "I must not go over." Why? God had said at the waters of Meribah, "Because ye believe me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. (Num. 20:12). What God said became the necessity of Moses. God said, "Thou shalt not," and Moses said, "I must not."

This then, is, even today, the Christian's necessity in religious affairs. What God says do, we must do. It is IMPERATIVE. What God forbids we must not touch.

Let us observe the example, of Christ (I Pet. 2:21; I Cor. 11:1); and see the things Christ counted most essential and imperative:

1. At the age of 12, when His parents found Him in the temple, He said 1 must be about my Father's business." (Luke 2:49). 2. Again He said, "I must preach the kingdom of God..." (Luke 4:43). 3. When he started to Jerusalem on a mission that His disciples thought very dangerous, and His disciples tried to turn Him aside, He simply said, "The things that are written must be accomplished." (Luke 24:44). 4. With the trials before Him, He told his disciples, "The Son of man must suffer many things." (Mark 8:31). 5. Gethsemane was a necessity to Christ, He said, "I must be delivered to sinful men." (Luke 24:7). 6. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." (John 3:14). His death was a necessity to accomplish the thing he came to do. IT MUST BE!

Friend, what have you thought it necessary for you to do? Do you feel that you must obey the gospel? If a Christian, do you feel impelled to tell others of the Christ? Have you sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness before even food and clothing? That is what Christ did. That is what Paul did. And, that is what He asks you to do.

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