hear ye, hear ye

March 15, 2017

Image result for picture of a pulpit

For more than two thousand years, believers across the globe have joined together to listen to a preacher deliver an extended monologue called a sermon. Have you ever considered why we do this? We now have access to various forms of Bible study resources. So why do we need to listen to a local pastor explain the meaning of a passage of Scripture?

 In a lecture at Yale in 1877, Phillips Brooks answered the question “What is preaching for?” by saying: “The answer comes without hesitation. It is for men’s salvation.” But if we’re already “born again,” from what do we need saving?

  If we need deliverance from sinful desires, preaching will focus on issues of spiritual maturity and combating temptation. If we need rescue from God’s just wrath, preaching will concentrate on justification and Christ’s once-for-all obedience and sacrifice that are its ground . . . If we need salvation from anxiety, preaching must calm our fears. If we need rescue from sorrow, it should bring us comfort. If we long for deliverance from interpersonal conflict in dysfunctional marriages, preaching needs to provide counsel on peacemaking in the home. If hearers need to be saved from their own lack of self-discipline, preaching may be viewed as life coaching.

  Paul also identifies the purpose of preaching as salvation (see Ro 1:15–16). In Colossians 1:28 we see how broadly he understands salvation and preaching’s purpose: “so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” Says Johnson,

  That is a big goal, an all-encompassing goal. It includes the forgiveness of sins, but it’s bigger than this. It includes being resurrected from spiritual death to spiritual life, but it carries the story further, to embrace the completion of a radical transformation of thoughts, affections, desires, words, and actions until every trace and stain of sinful self-centeredness is eradicated from one’s character.

  We need to hear preaching because it’s a way God transforms the body of Christ—not just its individual members—“until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please continue to pray for Lori, (spanky’s mom) liver cancer, months left. She is a Christian.


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