Musings 63

1 Corinthians 2:1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

It seems as if the real point of preaching has been lost on modern America. It also seems as if the real point of church has been lost on modern America. The goal of preaching is not so that people will have better lives and easier lives, but it is to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The goal of preaching Christ crucified is to preach the glory of God in the face of Christ. How is it that so many modern “preachers” are preaching morality, works, happy lives, and so many other things rather than Christ crucified? Apart from Christ crucified there is no morality, good works, and certainly no truly happy lives. It is only in light of the crucified Christ that anything makes sense in terms of who God and who men are to be.

Modern preaching is precisely what Paul described, but it has to do with the things he said that it should not be. Paul said that preaching should not be in superiority of speech or of wisdom (wisdom of men), but that is what we are getting today. Paul said that preaching should not be in persuasive words of wisdom, but that is precisely what we are getting today. Paul said that we should preach Christ crucified and in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, and that is precisely what we are not getting today.

There is a lot of expositional preaching today, but that can be done in a way that is not preaching Christ and Him crucified and is not in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. The expositional preaching that is heard in most parts has no power and no Spirit and other than a mention of Christ a token few times, Christless. The expositions of today are basically given in the wisdom of men and are without power, love, or Christ. One can attend churches that claim to be conservative and expositional but they have nothing to say of Christ and His cross in the sermons.

What do the congregations do when its sermons are more academic than full of Christ and His Spirit of love? It makes for congregations that have no real unity in the faith because true unity must have truth and love. It makes for congregations without knowledge of God or the Son of God and so they do not mature into the fullness of Christ. It makes for congregations who are not growing (spiritually) as they are not building themselves up in love. Academic preaching (expositional is one way of doing that) that is not full of Christ, love for the glory of God in Christ, and His Spirit of love is a form of preaching that leads to pride in the preachers and in the congregation. It is also not enough to preach correct doctrine about Christ, one must preach Christ Himself. People can have all kinds of information about Christ and not know Christ. When preachers do not preach Christ and Him crucified, even if they preach doctrine and conservative morality, they are not preaching in a biblical way nor in the way that they are commanded to preach. The churches are suffering as a result of pulpits and pews being filled with unhumbled and unbroken hearts who love notions of truth apart from Christ Himself.

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