Musings 91

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

In thinking about church and preaching again, it still appears that God has withdrawn His presence and has left men to themselves in terms of preaching. Men are left to their own wisdom in terms of content and methods. Men want to set forth the Scriptures in some way, but setting out things that are true is not the same thing as preaching the truth of God and the Gospel. It is not enough to preach the Scripture unless one preaches the truth of who Christ is and what He has done, which is to say that the Scriptures point to Christ and not themselves. It is so sad to hear men who preach the Scriptures and yet don’t point to the true Christ, though they might mention Him.

It is not enough to preach the Scriptures without preaching the glory of God and the Gospel of His glory. It should also be said that one cannot preach the truth of Scripture with the true intent of Scripture without preaching the glory of God. Surely it is obvious that God has created all things for His glory, the Lord Jesus was the tabernacle of His glory on earth, and the Church is the dwelling place of Christ or the dwelling place of His glory. Preaching that has a focus on jokes and stories rather than the glory of God is not preaching at all. Preaching that focuses on a text and the verbal content of the text and yet misses God and His glory is not preaching that real purpose of the text. In our day the glory of God in the face of Christ is like a mystery that has been hidden.

Preaching (so-called) that basically only speaks of God as if He has done all He can do and is now waiting on man to make a choice in order that He might do something is opposite of the truth. Man is not the focus of God, but instead God is the focus of God. Preaching is to take God’s side over men and preaching is to declare the rights of God and His glorious sovereignty in the affairs of men. When God is thought of as nothing more than One who focuses on men and waits on men to make a choice that He can then do something, that is false preaching. God, the love of God for Himself, and the absolute freeness of God to show and give grace as He is pleased is necessary to the Gospel and sanctification. Preaching is about God and His works and choices rather than men. Men are to seek God for grace and salvation rather than God waiting on men to make the choice themselves.

We can preach (so-called) that men ought to love and they ought to be holy, but it is not in their power to do so. For a man to love or be holy that man must have God work that love and holiness in him. A man cannot love apart from a source of true love and the only source of true love is in God and is not in the power of the will of man. A man cannot be holy apart from the grace of God as true holiness can only come when man becomes a partaker of holiness. A man is not holy because men make a choice to be holy, but because God works holiness in their hearts by His grace and that holiness then comes out in the life.

When a preacher tells people to make a choice to be holy and to love rather than telling them to seek the Lord for hearts that are holy and share in His love, he is encouraging them in a way of works. When a preacher tells people to choose to be holy and to love rather than preach to them that they must be made a partaker of those things by grace alone, he is preaching a system of works. Oh how abominable works are to God when they are works that come from the will and power of man rather than from the strength of grace. If grace is to be grace then it must always be free-grace because that is the only kind of grace that there is. Men are holy and they love by grace alone and not because they have the power to choose to do so and then God helps them do it. Men should seek the Lord for a holy heart of love that they may be instruments of His glory in the world. Only when preachers preach God and the glory of God and His sovereign grace can men live by grace rather than their own wills.

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