“That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
“as I ought to speak”
The word “ought” means necessary; “As it is necessary for me to speak.” Paul wanted to meet the need for getting the gospel out to the world. There is a divine imperative or necessity upon Paul.
Acts 4:18-20 “And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
Romans 1:14-16 “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
I Corinthians 9:16-17 “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.”
Note the words “to speak.” Words are necessary to communicate the gospel clearly. Life is not enough. There is a place for life-style evangelism but lips are crucial to make the gospel known.
I Thes. 2:4 “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”
Eph. 3:8-9 “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ.”
God has placed upon us a divine imperative to share the gospel.
The door may shut to an opportunity to preach the gospel before we clear our throat (by the time we get ready to witness). We need to be alert to opportunities to share our faith. We need the wisdom to recognize those opportunities.
In football there is something they call a “hole in the line.” The interference opens that hole for a brief second. The ball carrier must go through that hole in that split second. If we debate while that hole opens we may lose the opportunity. We must hit the hole precisely at the right time. If we hit the hole too soon, we force the play and the hole will not open. If we hit the hole too late, the opportunity disappears. Timing is crucial.
If salesmen were as quiet as we are about the gospel as we are, they would starve to death. The best kept secret in the world is that God loves sinful people and that Jesus died for them on the cross.