Monday, July 27, 2009

Can we preach [the gospel] please? My soul needs it and I am not alone.

iMonk: Law/Gospel Rant is brilliant.... Yes that subject again but it's important. Here's a taste but you should read the whole thing methinks:
"Remember this: Discipleship will put you in despair without the Gospel. Discipleship that’s rooted in law will just drive you into despair or Pharisaism. Discipleship needs to grow out of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit magnifying Jesus and the love of God. You can recognize law preaching because it’s always full of references to the Bible being a “handbook for life,” full of principles for a successful life. If your Bible is just a handbook for life, throw it away.
The Bible is the story that delivers us the Gospel. It’s point is to get you to Jesus, the one mediator between God and man. It’s a big book to get you to a short message. You buy the whole field, but the treasure is the Gospel, not the book of Judges or financial principles from Proverbs. Once you have the Gospel right and you know what preaching is all about, then you can read and preach Leviticus or Malachi or whatever you want, as long as Jesus is in his proper place and the message is the Gospel, not the law, or the old covenant, or this week’s good advice.
I really think we have an army of preachers who think that people ought to come hear them “preach” about various life questions and issues. How to have a great family. How to get along at work. How to use money. How to discipline kids.
Why would I want a preacher to tell me anything about these things? Why are preachers talking about sex, politics and what Jesus wants you to eat? Can anyone admit that the preacher’s ego is often inflated to dangerous level when we let his/her advice about politics or parenting become legitimate material for preaching.
Preach the Gospel, brother. Then sit down, be quiet and let’s do something else. We can pray, sing or go eat. All good.
The Bible is about the Gospel. You are about the Gospel. Give me enough of the law to make the Gospel good news, though I’ll admit I’m not one of those people convinced that we need to try and recreate Bunyan’s conversion. I’m with Spurgeon on that one. Our job is to keep the Good News out there."
The beauty is that the gospel shines out of every page of the Bible, so it doesn't matter whether you have Esther or Galatians, Leviticus or Mark open in front of you. The message to draw from the text is the gospel, the application of it is rich and diverse and practical and God-glorifying. And the beauty of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ crucified is that you can never hear it enough times, you need never move on to more - we just plunge deeper in to knowing the Christ. The gospel never gets old hat and tired. Like Calvin said: "This is what we should in short seek in the whole of Scripture: truly to know Jesus Christ, and the infinite riches that are comprised in him and are offered to us by him from God the Father."