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! ~1 Corinthians 9:16
Necessity is defined as that which is necessary, imperative, important, or required. Another way of looking at necessity is that which is our cause, is essential, or must be done. Personal necessity is what we consider our highest priority. It is what drives us. Let us see, this morning, Paul’s personal necessity.
We see the grip.
“...For necessity is laid upon me.” Necessity is when we are gripped by an imperative or a cause. Life is filled with many necessities. A deadline is a necessity. A deadline is a date by which something must be accomplished. Treating a serious illness or medical condition is a necessity. Caring for your spouse and children is a necessity. This includes time spent with them for encouragement, training, devotion, recreation, and prayer. Staying healthy is a necessity. Getting saved is a necessity. When we have a necessity, we must be gripped with a sense of purpose and urgency about what we must do and why we must get it done.
We see the goal.
Paul’s necessity was preaching the gospel. Paul’s goal was to get the gospel in large, populated cities. He was consumed day and night about preaching the gospel to Jews and Gentiles. It did not matter where Paul went or what his circumstances were: he made a way to preach the gospel. I believe that Paul premeditated the possible circumstances that he would face and established in his heart that if they happened, he would be undaunted in preaching the gospel. Even as captive prisoner, he took advantage of this situation to preach the gospel and win people to Christ. He knew that wherever God led him to preach the gospel, a local church would be established in that location. When we have a necessity, we must have a goal in mind.
We see the grief.
“Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” Paul considered it a grief, a woe, a sorrow, and a heartache if he did not preach the gospel. First, he considered it negligence of his personal responsibility. Second, he considered it a bad use of his time if he was not preaching the gospel. He emphasized the need for redeeming the time. Third, he was concerned about the blood of sinners on his hands if he did not preach the gospel. Fourth, he felt that he would fail God and himself if he was not advancing the cause of the gospel. He would be miserable and anxious if he was not consistently preaching the gospel.
We see the gladness.
Paul was most content and satisfied when he preached the gospel. He thrived on entering a city and finding a public location where he could stand and openly declare Jesus’ death and resurrection for sinner. He adapted himself to circumstances and places where he could effectively tell others how to be saved. He probably thought of Psalm 126:5-6 that “they that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” We get a strong glimpse of Paul’s satisfaction in preaching the gospel when we read passages such as Acts 20:26-28, Romans 1:14-16, 1 Corinthians 9, 2 Corinthians 5,and Philippians 1. For Paul, necessity was laid upon him to preach the gospel. It was what he lived and breathed. It was what he looked forward to as he awoke in the morning and when he went to sleep at night. Personal necessity is your cause. It is what drives you. What is your necessity? Are you driven to declare the gospel? Are you driven to live for the Lord? Find what your spiritual necessity is, and get it done.
Have a driven God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 19-21