Many love to quip “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”
Now let me make two crucial points. (1) There is no evidence Saint Francis of Assisi said this (even if he did, it’s not scripture).
(2) “Living out” the gospel is like eating a delicious meal (ie bread of life). Now, eating our delicious meal in front of others is not helpful to the hungry. It makes them want it, sure, but it is also heartless.
At some point we must share our meal with the hungry. And the Bible makes it clear that the meal is shared through words because it is received by “hearing the word” (Romans 10). Jesus clarifies in John 6:63 that “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Another scripture says “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” We know that news is shared by words , whether audible or written. Preaching is the public proclamation of a message.
What role does actions or “living out” the Gospel have then? It is to prove our words. When we share the gospel with words, we need to live it with actions, we demonstrate our truthfulness. If we eat from the same meal as them, they can trust us.
Romans 10:13-17 “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Want to know how to share your faith? try learning the Romans Road.