Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Should the Gospel be in Every Sermon?

I’ve been doing a lot of summer reading, and I found a little gem in a book called The Preacher and Preaching. J.I. Packer wrote the introduction to the book, and I think it helps understand concisely and biblically why a sermon that lacks the gospel is indeed, no sermon at all. Yes, that is a strong statement, and one that many people scoff at. But take a read of this wonderful explication of what Christ-centered preaching should be:

“Also, as one charged, like Paul, to declare “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27)—that is, all that God does for mankind and all that he requires in response—the evangelical preacher will relate the specific content of all his messages to Christ, His mediation, His cross and resurrection, and His gift of new life to those who trust Him… In that sense, the preacher will imitate Paul, who when he visited Corinth (and everywhere else, for that matter, pace some wayward theories to the contrary), “resolved to know nothing…except Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). That does not mean, of course, that the evangelical preacher will harp all the time on the bare fact of the crucifixion. It means, rather, that he will use all lines of biblical thought to illuminate the meaning of that fact; and he will never let his exposition of anything in Scripture get detached from, and so appear as unrelated to, Calvary’s cross and the redemption that was wrought there; and in this way he will sustain a Christ-centered, cross-oriented preaching ministry year in and year out, with an evangelistic as well as a pastoral thrust.”

This is an echo of what Christ taught the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:
 “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27

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