“Firing Up the Base — Preaching Christ Alone”

There is power in preaching Christ alone that fires up the base — God’s true children. This morning I was charged up by the powerful and profound message of Galatians 1 as expounded by Pastor Biggs. What a glorious message to the believer…Christ alone by faith alone and that faith is the gift of God! What then can man boast in? Nothing! Not our faith, not our believing, not our works, not our sanctification, not our perseverance in the faith, absolutely nothing! Salvation is all of grace, beautiful, lovely and glorious grace. Oh how we need a daily reminder of this so that we do not return to the beggarly elements of a gospel that is no gospel at all. As I recounted the sermon over and over again in my mind, I was reminded of past sermons, books and articles I had read over the years and the message of true grace is just as refreshing and awesome today as the first time I had spiritual ears to hear it. Grace, grace and more grace! This evening as I researched and read for my Heavenly Notes article for October, I re-read Michael Horton’s good article “Preaching Christ Alone” and I have included a couple of excellent excerpts to encourage you to read this article and when it is available. Oh that men in the pulpits today would preach faithfully to the sheep the message of Christ and true grace. Thanks be to God I was the benefactor of a blessed Lord’s Day sermon. God’s people are hungry and thirsty for the truth. We have a feast in the Word of God and grace fills our cup!

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“Therefore, it is our duty to preach “the whole counsel of God,” which includes everything in the category of law (the divine commandments and threats of punishment; the call to repentance and conversion, sanctification and service to God and our neighbor) and in the category of Gospel (God’s promise of rest, from Genesis to Revelation; its fulfillment in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, ascension, intercession, second coming; the gift of faith, through which the believer is justified and entered into a vital union with Christ; the gift of persevering faith, which enables us to pursue godliness in spite of suffering). But any type of preaching that fails to underscore the role of the law in condemning the sinner and the role of the Gospel in justifying the sinner or confuses these two is a serious violation of the distinction which Paul himself makes in Galatians 3:15-25.Much of the evangelical preaching with which I am familiar neither inspires a terror of God’s righteousness nor praise for the depths of God’s grace in his gift of righteousness. Rather, it is often a confusion of these two, so that the bad news isn’t quite that bad and the good news isn’t all that good. We actually can do something to get closer to God; we aren’t so far from God that we cannot make use of the examples of the biblical characters and attain righteousness by following the “Seven Steps to the Spirit-Filled Life.” But in the biblical view, the biblical characters are not examples of their victory, but of God’s! The life of David is not a testimony to David’s faithfulness, surely, but to God’s and for us to read any part of that story as though we could attain the Gospel (righteousness) by the law (obedience) is the age-old error of Cain, the Pharisees, the Galatian Judaizers, the Pelagians, Semi-Pelagians, Arminians, and Higher Life proponents.

The “Christ And…” Syndrome In C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, the devil’s strategy is not to remove Christ altogether from the scene, but to propagate a “Christ And…” religion: What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of “Christianity And.” You know–Christianity and the Crisis, Christianity and the New Psychology, Christianity and the New Order, Christianity and Faith Healing, Christianity and Psychic Research, Christianity and Vegetarianism, Christianity and Spelling Reform. If they must be Christians, let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian colouring. Work on their horror of the Same Old Thing (Letter XXV).

Today, we see this in terms of Christ and America; Christ and Self-Esteem; Christ and Prosperity; Christ and the Republican or Democratic Party; Christ and End-Time Predictions; Christ and Healing; Christ and Marketing and Church Growth; Christ and Traditional Values, and on we could go, until Christ himself becomes little more than an appendage to a religion that can, after all, get on quite well without him. That is not, of course, to say that the evangelical enterprise could do this without some difficulty. After all, every movement needs a mascot. We say we are Christ-centered, but what was the sermon about last Sunday?

In fact, it is not even enough to preach the centrality of Christ. It is particularly Christ as He is our sacrifice for sin and guarantor of new life because of his resurrection that the Bible makes central in its revelation.”

Preaching Christ Alone by Michael Horton
© 1993, Modern Reformation Magazine,
(Mar / Apr 1993 Issue, Vol. 2.2).
All Rights Reserved
.

To read the entire article:
http://www.modernreformation.org/mh93preaching.htm

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“For in Him we live, move and have our being.”

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