Gospel Preaching 16

Romans 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,

The Gospel cannot be preached apart from preaching Christ and Him crucified. The Gospel cannot be preached apart from preaching a whole Christ. We cannot take it for granted or assume that people know much of Christ at all, and even if they do they still need to hear the wonders and glories of Christ. There is no preaching the Gospel apart from preaching Christ and there is no preaching Christ apart from the Gospel. People are not saved by hearing a message about some acts that took place, they are saved by Christ Himself. People are not saved by agreeing that a few facts are true, but they are saved or they are given the power to become children of God when they receive Christ Himself. It is Christ who saves as opposed to anything or anybody else.

People are sanctified through the preaching of Christ because He is our sanctification. People are sanctified through the preaching of the Gospel because sinners always need the Christ of the Gospel and they always need to be cleansed from their sin. Paul was not eager to preach the deep things and the mysteries to people apart form Christ to the Romans, but instead he longed to preach the Gospel of God’s Son to them. He wanted to give them what they needed to mature and grow, so he preached Christ and the Gospel to them. He wanted to have them be established in the faith, so he sought to establish them according to the Gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ. This surely shows that Gospel preaching should never stop in the churches, but once it does biblical preaching has in truth stopped regardless of whether men are doing expositions or not.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.

Notice that in the passage above we are told to leave the elementary teaching about Christ. But what does the writer then do? He starts chapter 7 with speaking about Christ and Melchizedek. Chapter 8 speaks of Christ as our new High Priest and moves into how that relates to the New Covenant. Chapter 9 is about how Christ is the One whom all the sacrifices pointed to and how this is how people enter into the presence of God. Chapter 10 speaks of how the law cannot make anyone perfect, but Christ can. Without going on, the point is that the writer did not stop speaking of Christ and the Gospel and then to on to more mature things, but instead the writer continued to speak of Christ but in more than elementary ways. He did not stop writing about Christ and the Gospel. In the same way preachers are not to stop preaching Christ and the Gospel but they are to move on to things where people can grow in their knowledge of Christ and the Gospel rather than always remaining at the basic level.

No person ever matures beyond the desperate need of hearing Christ preached. Truly converted people are still sinners and after conversion they see far more of their sin than before conversion. Sinners are attacked and wounded and they must hear about the blood and righteousness of Christ for sinners such as they are. Wounded sinners don’t need to hear more moralism, but they need to hear of Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He saves sinners from beginning to end and it is all by grace alone. Sinners are not saved because they become better, not because they praise God, and not because they attend worship services. Sinners are saved when God looks to the blood of Christ that covers the sinner. Sinners, converted or not, need Gospel preaching.

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