Saturday, July 19, 2008

Keeping the Main Thing as the Main Thing.

In the Name of Jesus. Amen

When listening to sermons from various brands of modern evangelicalism we see something is lacking. Some of the sermons are more of a behaviour modification seminar than a Christian sermon. It is true we have specific things that God our Father expects from us. Being loving children we all would love to behave in ways that would please Him. Even when the sermon is laden with scripture it is presented in such a way as to be about the Christian rather than the Christ.

Another popular subject is end times. Whether the preacher is in his mind Premillenial, Post millennial or Amellenial the main emphasis is proving the point of where we are in history and what happens next. This is all very interesting and makes for great seminars and bible studies but is not Christian preaching.

Still another popular subject, especially around Eastertide, is proving through evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. The evidence is compelling and will leave no doubt in the honest brain that Jesus did indeed rise again from the dead as promised. However, that type of sermon is information not proclamation. You can speak to many an unbeliever and many will agree that Jesus rose from the dead. But it does not mean that person trusts this truth for a saving reason.

Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. ESV

We see in the above section what Jesus said is the main proclamation. No matter the part of the bible being preached it is about Christ crucified and resurrected. The Gospel is not merely the facts surrounding what happened to Jesus. It is the promises associated with his finished work which makes up the Gospel.

Yes indeed the law must be laid down in all its crushing force. There should be no wiggle room for any sinner to escape its condemning diagnosis. And after the diagnosis is pronounced and the death sentence given then the sweetness of the Gospel can come forth into the ears of the sinners. By this hearing we receive the forgiveness of our sins. This Gospel is received through the waters of baptism when God’s name is placed on us and we become new creatures risen with Jesus, We also receive this when we take in the body and blood of our Lord into our mouths as he promised. What wonderful peace is ours after a week, in all honesty, we knew coming into worship we have been defeated by our own fallen and sinful nature.

And this is to be proclaimed in Jesus name to all nations. This includes the 21st century USA to believers in Christ. The objection is raised that as believers we all ready know this. In deed we do but we get sidetracked and therefore leak faith. In this world one gets ahead by trying hard and being faithful. Those are laudable actions and the duty of those baptized into the name of the Triune God. However, that is not how we get ahead as far as our relationship to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has proclaimed us ahead by granting repentance and the forgiveness of sin. We receive this good news by faith and live in the peace that it offers. In addition we can know we are set free to do the things that please Father because of His grace and the robe of righteousness we also receive by faith in baptism.

In the Name of Jesus. Amen †

1 comment:

steve martin said...

St. David,

If I ever put together a baseball team, I'm putting you in the clean-up spot.

Your ability to smack the ball out of the park time and time again, is awesome.

And to think how much more important the gospel is than baseball! (except for Red Sox fans)

Christ and His forgiveness is, was, and always will be the main thing.

In His Grip,

Steve M.