Gospel Preaching 41

 

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)

I was blessed to be in a service with a truly good sermon this morning. The goal of the sermon appeared to be to drive people to Christ and then set Him forth before them. They were then urged to Christ. It is truly a blessing to be in a service where sermons like this are preached. As I thought and reflected on this sermon this afternoon and evening, both to think through it and also to think about what was so good about it, several things stood out.

1. The preaching was plain and it was crystal clear.
2. The preacher did not try to be thought of as wise or profound, but set forth Christ and the need for Christ.
3. The preacher did not try to set out an extensive background, but just enough to illustrate his points.
4. The preacher spoke of sin, but tried to show people that they were sinners too.
5. The preacher pressed home the fact that God hates sin, even theirs.
6. The preacher pressed home that sin is of the heart and not just the actions.
7. The preacher pressed home the fact that there is a wrathful God.
8. The preacher pressed home the fact that God is sovereign in salvation.
9. The preacher stressed that if Christ did knock on the door of the unregenerate, the person inside was dead and could not open the door.
10. The preacher pointed out that the person inside the door must be given ears to hear to even hear the knock.
11. The preacher stressed that life can only come when God grants it and gives it.
12. The preacher pointed out that all men are sinners and there is only one way of salvation.
13. The preacher stressed that the blood of Christ is the only way of salvation for anyone.
14. The preacher did not appear concerned with what people thought of him, but instead spoke of the sins of the people and their need for Christ.
15. This sermon put men down in their place and held up God in His place.

This sermon was not fancy and had no intent to tickle the ears of the moralist, the intellectual, or those who like dry doctrine apart from life. This sermon, however, as a result of the things in the previous sentence, was used of God to penetrate my heart and set forth Christ. It was not just about a doctrine of Christ or a doctrine of the Gospel, it was preaching Christ Himself as if He could really save. It was not just about some doctrine of the Gospel; it was about the Gospel itself. It was also far more than a mere lecture; it came from the heart and was aimed at the hearts of those in the building. It was an example of true preaching and that is not common in our day.

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