Gospel Preaching 17

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,

What should be the topic of preaching if not Christ and the Gospel? What should men be preaching if not the Person and works of Christ as magnified in the Gospel? Should men be preaching through books of the Bible rather than Christ and the Gospel of Christ? If one is preaching through a book of the Bible and does not preach the main point of the book, then one is not preaching that book with the same intent as the original author did. The Old Testament pointed to Christ and the Gospel of Christ as Christ Himself taught in Luke 24. Perhaps it is easier to preach books of the Bible in a scholarly way than it is to pray and seek for light and understanding so that one can preach the grace of the Gospel as set forth in and by Christ. But we are still commanded to preach Christ and the Gospel of Christ and nothing else is Gospel preaching. The glories of Christ far exceed what a man can preach if he had 100 lives to live and do nothing but preach. One is not preaching as he ought to preach (though no one preaches even close to what should be done) unless he is preaching Christ and Him crucified.

“Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44-47).

Can one preach morality without preaching Christ and the Gospel? I would argue that one cannot preach true morality without preaching Christ and the Gospel. There is no morality apart from the Greatest Commandment and there is no keeping the Greatest Commandment (at any level) apart from the work of Christ in the heart. A great aspect of the Gospel is the good news that sinners may be turned from sin and their inability to love God to a heart that does love God by the power of God. A sinner that has reached the point of understanding sin feels the weight of his enmity toward God and knows that he must love God and that all he does is out of a motive that is for self and pride rather than love for God. An unconverted sinner may not love God but feels the power of his enmity toward God and knows that he must have a changed heart to love God as part of his conversion. This is simply another way of saying that a person must preach Christ and the Gospel of Christ if a person is going to preach true morality. To put it a different way, true morality is to glorify God in all we do and that cannot be done apart from sinners being saved to the glory of God and having the life of Christ manifested through them.

What other reason can men have for not having Christ and the Gospel of Christ as the center of their preaching? It is possible for one to strive to be a doctrinal preacher and so the person thinks that he is preaching doctrine as commanded by the Bible. But what doctrine can be conceived of that is not set forth in its fullness in and by Christ? What doctrine is not intended to glorify God or to set out the glory of God? Christ Himself is the shining forth of His glory (Heb 1:3) and the human flesh of Christ was the very tabernacle of His glory (John 1:14) and it was Christ who has explained the Father (John 1:18). If one is to preach about doctrine which is all meant to set forth the truth of God in some way, then one must preach Christ and the Gospel of Christ. It is the Gospel where God has most fully manifested Himself. One cannot preach doctrine in truth apart from Christ and His Gospel.

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