As an end of year pause for reflection, we are considering why it is that we preach. Yesterday we looked at the fact that God is a God who speaks, and that our preaching is not for our own sake, but as an act of service to others. From a slightly different angle:
3. Because the Gospel is thrillingly good news. The mission of the preacher is not merely to communicate ancient truths relevantly. God has given us a message. And that message is labelled as good news for a reason. The great sweep of redemption history involves the intra-trinitarian mission to rescue fallen creatures and restore them to full glorious fellowship with a loving and giving God.
It is not some sort of heavenly plan B to make the best of a bad situation and try to restore some semblance of respectability to a God who is on the throne but attacked on every side. When time is wrapped up and we have the benefit of both hindsight and eternal perspective, we will be gasping at the multi-coloured and multi-faceted dazzling beauty of what God has done in Christ.
We get to proclaim that now!
4. Because people need to hear the Gospel. There are only two types of people in the world. Those who need to hear the gospel and be saved, and those who need to hear the gospel as they are being saved. While we may get beyond simplistic and trite presentations of some scaled down version of the good news to some sort of legal loophole, we never move beyond the gospel in its glorious richness.
What God is like, what He has done for us in Christ, how much we need Him, redeclaration of total dependence – justification, regeneration, reconciliation, adoption, fellowship. Preaching Christ so that people will trust in Him. This is something our people can’t hear enough about. They need the hope, the faith and the love that is only found in the gospel. We are not called to give tips for successful independent living, or to offer life coaching team talks. We are called to preach Christ and Him crucified, that all may trust in Him, know Him, enjoy Him.
Gospel preaching, why wouldn’t we want to do that?