If our reasons for proclaiming Jesus never get beyond the biblical commands to do so, we will possibly be sporadic, half-hearted, and fearful in whatever attempts we make. And, it will be easier to make it more about ourselves, what we are saying and doing, than about Him.
Yet, as we previously saw in 2 Corinthians 4:5, we are to proclaim Jesus, not ourselves.
If we continue on to verse 6, we will find some better reasons for proclaiming Jesus than because God said so.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6)
Yes, we are commanded to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and to “go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19-20). But, the reasons provided in this verse take on a personal nature that will tend to move us beyond mere obedience. What we see in 2 Corinthians 4:5 is moreso a reflection of the reality of 1 John 1:1-3 in which we read, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. … We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard …”
We Proclaim Jesus because of the following reasons:
1) God has done a work on our behalf that has transformed our lives.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine”
We lived in the darkness of sin and eternal death until God broke through the darkness with His Light. This is the same God whose first act in the creation of the world was to separate the light from the darkness (Gen. 1:3-5). Now He reaches down on the personal level into the lives of individual people and makes us new creations in Christ by taking us out of the kingdom of darkness and into His kingdom of His Son who is Light (Col. 1:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:9).
With a New Purpose, we proclaim Jesus because we now belong to Him.
2) God has changed our hearts.
“For God … made his light shine in our hearts”
God did not merely work around us to bring change, but He worked in us when “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). We are changed from the inside out, transformed to the very core of our being, affecting even our attitudes and ambitions, not just our actions.
With a New Motivation, we proclaim Jesus because we want to tell others of His great love.
3) God’s work in our hearts is beyond what we might have imagined possible.
“For God … made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory”
God broke through the darkness of our lives not with just a glimmer of knowledge about Him but rather with the “knowledge of God’s glory.” God wants us to know Him personally, fully, and intimately for the great God that He is. His desire is for us to be “growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light” (Col. 1:10-12).
With a New Appreciation and Understanding, we proclaim Jesus because what we have seen and experienced is worth sharing.
4) God made sure we could more fully understand His glory by sending us Jesus.
“to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”
God didn’t save us from a distance. He sent Jesus to this world to not only bring us light but to be our Light (Jn. 1:1-5; 8:12; 12:46). “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” (Heb. 1:3) “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.” (Col. 2:9-10a) Some of Jesus’ last words on this earth were “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” which He said after giving His followers the Great Commission to “go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19-20).
With a New Confidence, we proclaim Jesus because He is with us and leads the way.