Gospel Preaching 38

I Corinthians 2:2 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.

He should also open his mouth vigorously and confidently, to preach the truth that has been entrusted to him. He should not be silent or mumble but should testify without being frightened or bashful. He should speak out candidly without regarding or sparing anyone, let it strike whomever and whatever it will. It is a great hindrance to a preacher if he looks around and worries about what people like or do not like to hear, or what might make him unpopular or bring harm or danger upon him. (Martin Luther)

“Preach Christ, let your end be to glorify him, to render him amiable and precious in the eyes of his people; to lead them to him as a sanctuary to protect, a propitiation to reconcile, a treasure to enrich, a physician to heal, an advocate to present, as righteousness to justify, as sanctification to renew, as redemption to save, as an inexhausted fountain of pardon, grace, comfort, victory, and glory.” (Edward Reynolds)

The preacher should be vigorous and confident in preaching the Gospel of free-grace. Why should one be silent or mumble around concerning such a glorious manifestation of the Gospel of Christ? The preacher must preach Christ for the glory of God, the good of the people of God, and for the conversion of all that God will draw to Himself. It is Christ who must be proclaimed if people are going to hear of a King who protects them and cares for them. It is Christ who must be proclaimed if people are to hear of a perfect propitiatory sacrifice that cleanses them from all of their sins. It is Christ who must be proclaimed if people are to have a true treasure.

The world is not often thought of in terms of it being a treasure, but that is the treasure people seek for day in and day out. People seek many kinds of treasure in the world, regardless of what they call it, but apart from seeing Christ as the true treasure people will seek treasure in the world. It is Christ who is the greatest treasure that can be found. It is in Christ where all spiritual riches and treasures are found. It is in Christ where all the treasures of wisdom, knowledge, and grace are found. It is in Christ alone where all spiritual riches can be found. It is in Christ and Christ alone where the treasures of heaven are put on display for those with eyes to see. Christ is precious to all those that believe, and Christ is far more precious than gold to those who believe. It is Christ who is the desire of those who love Him. It seems that there is no excuse for not preaching Christ, which is far more than mentioning Him in the sermon.

Wounded sinners need a physician to diagnose them, to prescribe what is needed, and then someone to apply the medication. Jesus Christ Himself is the Great Physician of the soul and He alone can heal the soul that is truly wounded. Only Christ can see into the depths of the heart and know what is truly going on there. Only Christ can possibly know the perfect way to heal a wounded heart. Only Christ can know the degree and extent of the disease and so know how to deal with sinners of various cases. Christ alone is sufficient for any spiritual work since apart from Him we can do nothing (spiritual).

When poor sinners are distraught and tried by their wicked hearts within them, they need a sufficient Advocate pleading a sufficient sacrifice. There is no one else acceptable to the Father to present a perfect sacrifice in the place of sinners and plead the merits of His own blood, righteousness, and grace. Only Christ can stand in for sinners as a substitute and have that acceptable to the Father. Only Christ can plead for sinners based on His own Person, works, and perfect righteousness. Sinners need to look to Christ alone for grace alone. There is nothing meritorious or good in sinners themselves, but there is One who is sufficient in all He is, all He has, and all He is doing.

Sinners should seek the Lord for His grace to give them humbled and broken hearts. They should seek the Lord for His work in giving them a broken heart. No one else is sufficient for this work, though men should seek it from the Lord Himself. Men don’t need winsome preachers and encouraging (in the modern sense) words, they need to hear Christ preached and they need to cry out to the Lord to give them ears to hear. Not only all of that, but they need Christ Himself to cast out evil the one and His bondage from their hearts. They need to be delivered from the kingdom of darkness and be transferred into the kingdom of His Beloved Son. There are not enough sermons to preach the complete Christ and the full Christ, but He should be preached faithfully.

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