Saturday, December 11, 2010

Biblical Preaching

How would you define the act of preaching?  That word in our culture carries nothing but bad connotations with it, sadly EVEN among those who would call themselves Christians.  If you’ve been in contemporary Churchianity very long, chances are you’ve heard things said like “I don’t like him, he’s always preaching...” or “Don’t preach to me...” or My pastor isn’t one of those preachy ones...”  The culture at large hates what they call preaching.   But are they reacting against what the Bible calls preaching, or what the culture has erected as a straw man of it?  

What is Biblical preaching?  Certainly there is a bad way of communicating.  But I would contend that when it’s bad, it’s not preaching!  Biblical preaching means “to herald (as a public crier), to proclaim, to publish, to make known, to declare with urgency, to make MUCH of.”  TO MAKE MUCH OF! What are we making much of?  CHRIST!!  There are definitely elements that need to be present in any Gospel message, but if Christ is not being exalted, treasured, valued, made much of, then the Gospel loses it’s potency.   Like what 1 Cor 2:4 says “ speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,”  In this verse we see Paul appealing to the demonstration of the Spirit first.  We know from John 16:14 that the Holy Spirit’s chief end is to glorify Christ. So when our speech is glorifying and exalting Jesus Christ, that is a 'demonstration of the Spirit.'  Secondly he appeals to power.  What power is he speaking of?  I believe he's speaking of the power of exaltation.  Let me ask you, when you hear the Gospel message faithfully proclaimed, doesn’t something inside leap for joy as if to say “Oh thank you God!  Oh it’s good to hear those words again.  It’s good to hear Christ being exalted and lifted up in my presence. PRAISE GOD.”  THAT IS THE DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND OF POWER! 

So we do need the essential elements present in our Gospel preaching, but there is more than just the saving of sinners in scope in any faithful gospel proclamation.  Our chief end must be the exaltation of Jesus Christ. 

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